User Behavior on Social Media Platforms – Facebook vs. YouTube

When it comes to social media advertising, understanding the user behavior across different social media platforms is possibly the biggest challenge that advertisers are facing today. But it is also one of the most crucial factors in generating highly successful campaigns. At Mediahead, we want to help you understand your users better and to maximize your ad spending. In this article, we will explain you the difference in user behavior between Facebook and YouTube.

However, before you plan your video campaign on social media, you should also fully understand the difference of the platforms in regard to social video advertising.

User Behavior on Social Media Platforms – Facebook vs. YouTube

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) conducted a survey with 1,000 participants from UK, France and Germany. These are the key findings:

  • Only around 1/3 of the online population is on both YouTube and Facebook
  • Half of the users are doing something else on the internet when they are using YouTube or Facebook
  • More than 30% of the users are with friends when they are using Facebook or YouTube
  • More than 20% are watching TV when they are on Facebook or YouTube

What users do on Facebook and YouTube

  • Read comments on users’ own walls
  • Keep up to date with friends’ activities
  • Check out other people’s photos
  • Send message to friends and family
  • Post comments on friends walls

  • Check out videos recommended by friends and family
  • Watch videos with friends and family
  • Check out most watched videos
  • Share videos from YouTube via Facebook
  • Send links to friends


Trigger to visit Facebook or YouTube


Have something specific in mind



Have nothing specific in mind



Reason for visiting brand pages on Facebook and YouTube

A significant number of users will visit the brand YouTube page to look at an ad that they have seen previously.

In general, users will visit the Facebook page to:

  • Get to know the brand better
  • Hear about or receive special offers
  • Find share content from their friends
  • Share opinions and experience

The different behavior is largely contributed to the inherent features of the sites. For instance, Facebook are known for its shareability feature, whereas YouTube are known for being a host to all kinds of videos.

Types of brands that users visit on Facebook and YouTube

Users are more inclined to view entertainment, such as movie trailers, on YouTube than on Facebook.

New fashion styles are more likely to be released first on the brand’s Facebook page.

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