I know a few performers who also make videos of themselves doing their thing and then put those videos up online to share. A lot of them either put their videos on YouTube & Facebook or even just on Facebook.  What they’re effectively doing is killing their chance of having a viral video and cutting down the amount of people who will see it. And here’s why…

When you put videos on Facebook that’s probably the easiest way to get comments on them, at first. Most of your friends are likely on Facebook and it’s a real hub for commenting on stuff in general.  But there is no view count on Facebook videos so even if you got thousands of views, you’d never know it or be able to prove it. And beyond that it’s also not a public searchable forum like YouTube so really the only people who will watch your video there is your friends and you likely only have a few hundred of those anyway.

So if you only put the video on Facebook then you’re essentially cutting off the rest of the world from seeing it. Sure, some of your friends of friends might see it if it gets passed around a bit, but it doesn’t have the viral capabilities that a YouTube video does. YouTube allows the video to be easily shared with anyone in a variety of different ways including by email, being embedded in blogs and web sites, and of course even by Facebook.  Facebook videos on the other hand are very limiting in who can see them and how they’re shared.

And if you put your videos on both Facebook and YouTube, then you’ve likely just cut out your biggest audience (your friends) from watching it on YouTube, which simply cuts down your view count on YouTube and cuts down the chances that they’d pass around the YouTube link.

See, it’s all about the numbers. The more views you have on your YouTube video, the more it’ll get noticed (and the more impressive it’ll be to your viewers). When people go to YouTube they will usually find videos either by searching for words that are connected with the video or by finding it in the YouTube honors, which are categories like “most viewed today” and “most commented today”.  To get in those honors lists you need to have ALL of your viewers watching the video on YouTube.  Unless you have a huge following, you can’t afford to throw all of your Facebook friends’ views away, which is what you’re basically doing if you put your videos up on Facebook.

So put your videos ONLY on YouTube. It’s the #1 most used video sharing site and that’s where the general public will find your video. Then send all of your friends there with a link in your Facebook status and by posting the YouTube link on your wall.  That way their views will be counted and they have to share the YouTube link if they want to pass it on to others. When you have thousands of views on your video you’ll start getting on the honors lists and that way more people will start to find  your video and it will be shared around more and you’ll get more comments on it and it all just feeds into itself over and over again!

I used this strategy for the “Father Lover” video and went so far as to ask Ryan (the other singer in the video) to not upload it to his Facebook account or even his own YouTube account until after a month. That way we’d both be sending all of the traffic to one location, keeping the view count up as high as we could, and that way getting it the most exposure by being in the YouTube honors.  I’m sure that “Father Lover” wouldn’t have almost 50,000 views in it’s first 2 months if Ryan & I had both put it on Facebook and had he also put it on his own YouTube channel.

What do you think? Do you upload videos to Facebook?  Do you still think it’s better to have them there as well as or even instead of YouTube?