Let's get it straight, when you post an awesome video on Facebook you're often dying to get it seen as many times as possible.
Unfortunately, not every post will be treated the same by Facebook algorithm, and chances are that your video aren't prioritized on your targeted audience's news feed because of low "points".
To give you an example, while this short video by Hubspot got 14 "points" (13 reactions and 1 share):
It still isn't prioritized like this one by The New York Times, which got tens of thousands of "points", including 11K reactions, over 2.6K shares and 2.4K comments and more from reactions to the comments.
In this blog, I'm neither taking the topic nor the audience base of these content publishers into account, I'm just comparing them based on the number of "points" they gain from Facebook.
So why do you need to have more "points"?
Because that means more engagement.
That means more free exposure (or lower cost per lead).
It might mean that next time your other content will be prioritized by Facebook, too.
Okay, you're ready? Let's get right into it.
You must first know their true motivation…
...if you want to game them.
How do people connect with each other people? Spending time with them.
Put that into the Facebook context, and there you have it, spending MORE time on Facebook.
Now let's talk business. Facebook is, after all, a business. And a business needs money to exist.
It's like a circle. Businesses all over the world is paying Facebook to display their ads to potential customers - that's where most of Facebook money comes from. In order to maximize revenue from ads, Facebook needs to have a lot of inventory. And their inventory is... your TIME.
That's right my friends, Facebook want to keep you on the site longer, even more than that 50 minutes per day.
But HOW can they keep people for a longer time on Facebook? The answer is more relevant and engaging content.
In a nutshell, Facebook wants us on their platform, so that have more inventory to serve their paid ad partners.
There have been several moves from Facebook that prove my opinion that they want to keep you longer on the site:
- Facebook noticed (very early on) that people interact more and pay more attention to pictures, so they prioritise posts with imagery
- Now they've taken this to the next level by revamping the album feature, allowing people to add anything to their albums, not just photos
- They also prefer Live videos - that's why you get that notification "Alex just went live..." every time one of your friends livestream a video on Facebook
- Posts with vigorous discussion in the comment section are likely to gain higher placement in the News Feed
So how can you take advantage of these?
Back to my two examples at the beginning of this blog, although I wasn't interested, that video was up high in my News Feed.
The simple reason was that it got a lot of interactions. Or in other words, it got very high points.
So, no matter what the content is like, Facebook algorithms are currently judging its engagement and relevance rates based on POINTS only.
Let me break it down very roughly for you:
- You got 1 reaction on your video = +1 point
- You got 1 comment on your video = +1 point
- Somebody shares your video for some reason = +1 point
- Someone reacts to a comment on your video = +1 point
- A comment on your post gets a reply = +1 point
I know you don't want to be a freak to generate controversial discussion and get points, so here are my top 5 tips to get maximum exposure for your Facebook video without being hated for it.
Tip 1: Always encourage interactions of any kind from your audience
The point is, of course, to make Facebook algorithms "think" that your video deserve a more preferential placement in your followers' Notification center and News Feed. Here are a few things that you can do:
- At the end of the video's description, request any of the following actions: like or react, share, comment a specific number/name/phrases/etc.
People actually tag their friends
- Try your best to respond to every comment as quickly as possible, BETTER if you bring up a question so that the commenter has to answer when they come back.
Piperwai is doing very well with responding to their audience and tagging them in their comments.
- And DON'T forget to tag the commenter in your reply to make sure they are notified.
- Click like, or react to EVERY single comment, even yours.
Tip 2: Leverage Facebook Live notification
This is divided into 3 periods: pre-live, live and post-live.
- Promote your live video on Facebook and Instagram so that your audience is prepared for the event
- Do a mock broadcast in your company's secret group to test the audio, lighting, your hair, your teeth and everything
- Have the description prepared on your desktop so that you only have to press Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V when you go live
- Introduce yourself first, don't start talking about the main thing right after you're live, greet everyone who's watching you, start some small talk or even a small Q&A session to hook people in
- Don't forget the CTA during your broadcast. For example: Tell you audience to "Love/like to show me you can hear me ok" OR "Comment your name so that we can put you in the lucky draw list after this video ends", etc.
- Save and share the live video with your followers so that you can reach out to those who missed the live event
- Use this Google Chrome extension called Awesome Facebook Video Downloader to download and repurpose your live videos for Youtube, blogs or other social media platforms.
Tip 3: Upload your video(s) to Facebook directly
Since Facebook is tightening up their competition with other content platforms, video links that direct Facebook users to Youtube, Vine or any other video website now are not treated equally to direct Facebook video uploads.
Not only the thumbnail, but those directly uploaded to Facebook will have a better placement in the News Feed than those from other video hubs.
Of course, there's a way to post a Youtube video to Facebook with big thumbnail, but it isn't worth it being dependable on a third-party, whose technologies can be immediately outdated once Facebook changes their algorithms. Therefore, I suggest that you upload the content directly to Facebook for better and safer placement and exposure.
Tip 4: Feature your best branded video on your Facebook page
Usually you'll see companies and brands pin their videos at the top of their Facebook page, but what if you can be much cooler than most of them out there, with a featured video?
If you've turned off your Map and check-in feature in the About section, then you should see that snippet saying Feature one of your videos like in this picture.
Oh, you can now even set a short video as your "Facebook cover video", too.
Any video you choose must be between 20 - 90 seconds and at least 820 x 312 pixels. The recommended size is 820 x 462 pixels.
Tip 5: Use a 30-second teaser on Facebook and link the full video on your website
Of course it's extremely important for you to get more attention on Facebook, but don't forget the fact that every session that people spend on Facebook only lasts for about 20 minutes.
Within that time span, tons of content "attack" them, from their best friend's new shoes pictures, to their mom's latest vacation album, to their crush's status and other brands' updates.
It's best that you don't take up too much of their time, and aren't hard to understand after 6 first seconds of the video.
If you have what-you-believe as a wonderful video that lasts 30 minutes, the best thing to do is to throw a 30-second teaser on your Facebook page, with a link to the full video in the description.
Of course, the video is directly uploaded to Facebook as said in Tip 3.
That way, you kill two birds with one stone. You keep your Facebook followers interested, curious and feel like their time is respected. At the same time, you get more traffic to your website, which will increase your ranking.
All in all, here's a Facebook video cheatsheet for your reference in the future. Happy Facebooking!
Facebook Video Cheatsheet
What's the true motivation behind Facebook's algorithms?
They want to keep you longer on their platform to increase ad inventory.
How can you "exploit" that?
- Always remember to encourage your audience to interact with you, and sometimes react to your own actions, too
- Take advantage of Facebook Live by well preparing for pre-live, live and post-live event
- Upload your videos directly to Facebook instead of sharing videos from other video platforms
- Feature your best video in About section and profile cover section
- Teaser videos posted on Facebook should not be over 30 second, and should link to full videos on your website