Photo of a film reel with text "Facebook videos (5 cool things)"

(This post was originally published on June 24, 2015, and has been updated to be even more informative!)More and more businesses are uploading videos directly to Facebook instead of uploading to YouTube and sharing a link on the social network. The most obvious reason for that is that Facebook favors direct videos over links – that is, uploading your video directly gets you more organic reach.
But that’s not the only reason to publish videos on Facebook:

  • People are watching them – there are 1 billion video views on Facebook everyday.
  • Videos auto-play – that is, as long as the user hasn’t turned off this feature, videos start to play as soon as they come on the screen – meaning they catch attention more than photos or text.
  • You can see how popular a video is right away – the number of views appears right below the video.
  • Facebook has introduced some pretty helpful metrics – for example, you can see how many people started watching your video, and how far they got into it.

Photo of a film reel with text "5 cool things about Facebook videos"Here are some nifty tricks and tips to help you take full advantage of all of the action.

Add a Call-to-Action button

Facebook recently introduced the Call-to-Action (CTA) button for Pages – and now, one of the actions can be to “Watch Video.” While there are lots of good CTAs to choose from for that button, you might want to use the Watch Video option whenever you release a new and exciting video.
Here are the step-by-step instructions to add a CTA button to your Page.
 

Add a Call-to-Action to your video

This feature allows you to add a CTA to the end of your video. Take this example is from a video on the Social Media Examiner Facebook Page:
Screenshot of the end of a video showing options "replay" and "learn more"
I have the option to replay the video, or I can click “Learn More,” which takes me to their website.
Here are Facebook’s instructions on how to add the CTA to your video.

Set a Featured Video

A Featured Video is a video of your choice that will show under “About” on your Page, as well as be larger on the Videos tab of your Page.
Screenshot of HGTV Facebook Page featured video
To set this up, you can either follow these instructions, or you can just open the video of your choice and click “Feature this video” as shown here:
Screen shot of Feature this video button

Add Playlists

Playlists are to videos what Albums are to photos – they allow you to organize all of your videos by category. For example, you might have one playlist for all of your how-to videos, and another for cute videos of your patients showing off their tricks.
Here’s an example of a playlist from the HGTV Page.
Screen shot of a Facebook playlist
And here’s how to set up a Playlist.

Set a Custom Thumbnail

Facebook automatically picks a thumbnail for your video, but they also give you the option to change the thumbnail – which can come in handy if the one Facebook chose for you isn’t particularly attractive or compelling. Click the arrow buttons on either side of the original thumbnail to pick a different frame, or select “Add Custom Thumbnail” to upload your own image.
Thumbnail
Choosing an enticing thumbnail is a great way to get more views on your video, which is one step closer to engagement and clicks through to your website.

Embed them on your blog

You can even embed your Facebook videos into your blog posts, just like with YouTube.
Open your video in its own tab or window, and click “Embed Video”:
Screen shot of the Embed video option
Then copy and paste the embed code into the text editor for your blog post.
Screenshot of embed code
 

A word of caution: Don’t dump YouTube completely

Facebook is very cleverly offering feature after feature in the hopes that you will dump YouTube from your toolbox, but remember that YouTube still has value because it is owned by Google. Posting your videos along with your practice name, address, phone number (or NAP), and a link to your website, is still good for SEO.You don’t have to be a Hollywood filmmaker to make videos for Facebook – in fact, with all of the user-generated videos out there, people are pretty forgiving these days. For some great ideas of engaging videos you can make easily, check out the post Beyond the Essentials: 10 Veterinary Video Ideas.
And if you’re new to videos and don’t have the essentials in place yet, we’ve got your back. Learn more and browse through our portfolio.

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