Is Facebook (0) Going to Kill the Video Star?


If you are a child of the 80s*, you’re probably singing “Video Killed the Radio Star” right about now – and if you weren’t before, you probably are NOW.

Facebook Zero is getting a lot of credit for killing many things right now – especially organic reach. But one big concern is will it kill off the reach of videos?

Videos on Facebook – especially those uploaded natively to Facebook and not just linked through YouTube – have been huge in the last three years. But with Facebook Zero saying they are going to show “content based on people’s connections and that content’s ability to spark interactions,” will they make the cut?

Yes and no.

Video may be seen as passive posting, as it may drive people to hit reaction buttons, but rarely spurs conversation on posts, and conversation is what will keep posts seen. So, how do you get people to comment on videos instead of passively liking them and moving on?

Two words: LIVE Video.

I realize those are two of the scariest words on the planet to most small business owners, but as social media marketing continues to change and evolve, you have to adapt. Currently, Facebook Live Videos are watched three times as long as other videos, and are commented on 10 times more than other videos on Facebook.

In other words – they drive the type of engagement your business needs to stay in peoples’ newsfeeds.

So what kind of video do you put out there live? Well, events, of course, doing a Q&A session, and launching/presenting a new product line always make for great live videos.

What about other types of videos? Are they just doomed?

Not necessarily. There are several steps you can take to make other videos stand out and fight the Facebook Zero algorithms.

Be Brief.

Briefness, like beauty, can often be in the eye of the beholder, but short videos on Facebook perform better. And “short” in this case is defined as under two minutes, but around 90 seconds is really ideal. People lose interest quickly, and you want to keep their attention as long as possible. (This actually hasn’t changed with Facebook Zero: it has been a practice I’ve been recommending to success for years.)

Use Subtitles.

Whoa – bet you weren’t expecting that one, were you? Having recently cut cable, I can tell you that my 17-month-old has figured out how to turn on Closed Captioning on the Netflix remote – and that his parents have been struggling to turn it off. You simply cannot ignore closed captioning – which is the point.

Videos are muted on autoplay on Facebook, and a lot of people will watch videos with no sound. (Don’t believe it? I’m guilty as charged: I can’t chance waking up Sunshine afterall!) Using Subtitles will help you overcome this barrier, as people will still know what your video is about.

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is.

Yes, again, I’m going to tell you that if none of the above work to help get visibility to your videos, you may need to consider advertising. If you have spent the time and money to create quality videos, you don’t want them to just sit there and not be seen, do you?  

Need help with social media management, content development, or advertising? Contact us! We are here to help you combat the nasty taste Facebook Zero is leaving behind.


*Yes, we know the song was technically released in 1979.