Should you upload Facebook Livestreams to YouTube?

Share this article

Repurposing your livestream videos by uploading them to YouTube sounds like a fantastic idea, but is it? Really? In this episode of the Video Pursuit Podcast, that’s exactly what we’re talking about. Can you repurpose your Livestreams or Instagram Stories publish them on your YouTube channel?

Listen to Episode 16: Should you upload Facebook Livestreams to YouTube?

Repurposing Livestreams from Facebook and Instagram

In this post, I’m talking about repurposing Livestreams from Facebook and Instagram, but this applies to Instagram Stories too. IGTV is another ball game, and I talked about IGTV in episode #14 so we’re going to leave it out of the conversation for now. Another thing I’m going to ignore for this episode is the fact that you can do Livestreams on YouTube. If you do a live stream ON YouTube, you don’t need to worry about repurposing anything, and we’ll talk about YouTube live streaming in a future episode.

Let’s say you have a Livestream you just did on your Facebook page or Instagram, and it went really well. Lots of people showed up, you didn’t stumble over your words or pick your nose on camera or anything (haha!)… it went so well that you think maybe you should publish it on your YouTube channel too.

Obviously, we all want to save as much time as possible and get the most bang for our buck. Repurposing content for other platforms isn’t a new concept, right? It’s actually a really smart thing to do. I call this the Pizza Hut Theory of Content Creation (just stick with me here).

If you go to Pizza Hut and look at the menu, you see Pizza, Breadsticks, Breadsticks with Cheese, which you can dip into pizza sauce, right? They also have calzones and dessert pizza. Some of my local pizza places also serve Fried Dough.

All of those menu items are the same exact thing made into another shape and another flavor. It’s all dough… all the same dough, but in different shapes, sizes, and flavors.

You can also take a look at the pasta aisle in your grocery store. Spaghetti, Linguine, Fettuccine… It’s THE EXACT SAME THING JUST A DIFFERENT SIZE. We’re talking minute measurements here, but it’s different!

Do you see how this applies to creating content? You create the same general message, but a different piece of content for every platform. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, your actual Blog post, Pinterest, YouTube… same message, different delivery, style, shape, and size.

But live streaming throws a wrench in my Pizza Hut Theory because it’s different. Because the platform and engagement is so different than the others that it’s almost like… breakfast pizza. Similar concept… but, actually really really different.

Now if you go to a breakfast restaurant, and you get served breakfast pizza, ok. That sounds about right. But how disappointed would you be if you thought you were going to a real authentic pizzeria and the only pizza option was breakfast pizza. Not ok.

YouTube is like that pizzeria. There are different types and styles of video that will work on that platform. Vlogs, Educational, Entertainment, Cooking shows, Tutorials… but repurposed Livestreams… it really depends, but likely it’s not going to work well.

Have you seen successful YouTube channels that repurpose Livestream content from Facebook or Instagram? If they are, they’re probably doing a few things to make that work and we’ll get to that in a few minutes.

Why Facebook and Instagram Live Streams Don’t Work Well on YouTube

There are benefits to going live on Facebook and Instagram, including the fact that the algorithms favor live content right now. It’s fun, it’s new, it’s engaging… it makes sense to take advantage of that! But there are two really attractive reasons for Live streaming… One is that you can show up, do your thing, and you’re done… NO EDITING! The other is that the real-time comments and reactions on a live stream mean you are engaging with your audience in a real way.

But those are the exact reasons why repurposed Lives don’t work well on YouTube. Why?

Viewer Retention on YouTube

Viewer Retention is huge–HUGE–on YouTube. You have to capture the viewer’s attention and keep it as long as possible. The second you start saying “oh hey Suzie, Jenny, Jessie, so glad you could make it” your retention on YouTube is going to tank. While your live stream viewers are going to feel like they’re getting the special treatment, your YouTube viewers just walked into a fancy Italian restaurant and got served breakfast pizza. Ew.

YouTube will see that viewership tanked at the beginning and think “well this video is not helpful, not interesting, and not useful, so we’re not going to recommend it to others or rank it in the search results.”

So all the benefits of engagement and comments and being able to interact live in real time with viewers… it’s a huge disadvantage as a YouTube video.

And you may not want to hear this, but editing is important. You’re going to have to do some editing before uploading to YouTube. Remember: viewer retention is important. Editing to keep your video moving quickly, cutting in additional graphics or adding B-roll… that helps keep the viewer’s attention and therefore… retention.

Just take a look at your favorite TV shows… even the ones that were filmed live in front of a studio audience are heavily edited.

Feed vs. Find

Back in Episode #14 where I talked about IGTV, I touched on this a little bit. Feed vs. Find is a concept that more and more you’re going to have to ask yourself about your content.

Ask yourself: is your Livestream topic something that your existing followers are SUPER interested in? When they see it in their FEED are they going to watch it?

Or… is this topic something you know people (future followers?) are searching for? Is this a topic that you want people to FIND your content in search?

Feed vs. Find makes a big difference how you treat the content.

If you did a Livestream on Facebook or Instagram, thinking “this will be verticalinteresting to my followers” that has no basis AT ALL for whether people will find it and watch it on YouTube. Unless you do your search term research for YouTube (you can go to episode 11 to find out more about that), your repurposed Livestream isn’t going to see much traction at all.

How To Make Facebook and Instagram Videos Work on YouTube

First of all, edit them… a lot. Get rid of the “hey Suzie nice to see you, how did your dog do with his surgery?” stuff. Edit out where you lost your train of thought or where you had to block a spammer in your comments or whatever. Do the best you can with what you have but keep the video moving.

If your video was vertical… put a background behind it. Slides would work or a pretty picture with your social handles on the side. I have a YouTube video that I collabed with Jessica Stansberry on about how to edit your vertical videos from Instagram Stories into something that’s acceptable for YouTube. It applies to Livestreams too!

If your video isn’t vertical, still consider adding in some graphics as you’re talking so it’s not JUST your head the whole time.

Lastly… Optimize the title, thumbnail, and description. Don’t just throw it up there! Do not “dump and run” as I like to say. Put a little effort into it, and remember that YouTube is its own platform. Just like any other platform, it works best when you use it natively.

Repurpose Livestreams For Youtube Pin