Episode #105: Facebook or YouTube? Which is the Best Platform for the Online Musician?


If you are building a music business, should you focus on YouTube of Facebook? Well, both honestly! But as C.J. explains the pro’s and con’s of both, you’ll find that Facebook by far has the advantage.

Would you rather have 1,000,000 video views on YouTube or 100 superfans that would buy anything in your store? If you’re serious about earning a living from your music, and not just doing this for vanity, the answer is obvious and C.J. tells you how and why Facebook is the answer.  

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Getting a plan for your music business
  • How YouTube is favoring mainstream media
  • YouTube is a search engine
  • Facebook is a share engine
  • How Facebook is true social media
  • How to find your superfans with Facebooks ad manager
  • Uploading videos directly to Facebook vs. sharing from YouTube
  • Connecting your Instagram and Facebook business profile
  • Personal vs. business profile


“You need a way forward to how you can find your place in this online busy world, stand out, gain a following, build your little musical empire, and earn a living making music.” – @metalmotivation [0:02:18]

“You can get millions of views on YouTube and it not make a single dent on your bank account.” – @metalmotivation [0:04:03]

“YouTube is a search engine. Facebook is a share engine.” – @metalmotivation [0:05:20]

“Unless somebody is specifically sitting down and looking for you, it’s not likely that they’re going to stumble upon you.” – @metalmotivation [0:05:45]

“Facebook is true social media. Social media, it’s the broadcasting of person to person.” – @metalmotivation [0:07:12]

“The first step now to building a successful online music business is going to be connecting with your ideal superfans, and the best way to do that is going to be with Facebook.” – @metalmotivation [0:10:03]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

The Online Musician 3.0 — https://explodeyourfanbase.com

Book a Call With Us — http://www.CallSMA.com

The Inner Circle — https:savvymusicianacademy.com/innercircle

Click For Full Transcript

00:21 CJ: Welcome to The Savvy Musician Show. This CJ Ortiz. I’m the Branding and Mindset Coach here at the Savvy Musician Academy. Thank you again, man, for joining me for this music marketing podcast, where we are preparing musicians for the new music industry. In case you haven’t gotten the memo, the music industry has changed yet again. Again, things have always been schemed against the musician. The creative person is the one who’s always left holding the tab. And so what we seek to do here at the Savvy Musician Academy is empower and equip you, today’s musician, to create an online music business.

Now, a year ago, even six months ago, saying the online musician or saying building an online music business just sounded like something weird, something off the beaten path. It’s just something for DJs or somebody who does electronic music to do. That serious musicians aren’t really concerned about the online music business. They’re trying to get signed or they’re trying to build up their local followings, play in venues. Well, the whole world has changed yet again. With COVID-19, the world has been on lockdown, live music venues are closing all over the place, bars are closed. It’s harder and harder today to even get the live events. So now more and more people are rushing into the online space. But guess what? They don’t really know how to prepare an online music business. So suddenly, the Savvy Musician Academy becomes a that much more valuable source.

So excited about the times in which we live because of what’s possible for more and more musicians. And you have to look on the bright side. You have to look on the upside because so much seems to be against us circumstantially, so much seems to be against us. And it takes personal strength, it takes a strong mindset, but even that is not enough. You need a plan. You need a strategy. You need a way forward to how you can find your place in this online busy world, stand out, gain a following, build your little musical empire, and earn a living making music. That’s right. You can actually earn a living making music if you’re prepared to do the work, if you’re prepared to be consistent, if you’re ready to do something maybe you’ve never done before, but something that musicians just like you have learned and are doing right now.

So listen, before we get into today’s podcast, do me a favor. Please leave reviews for this podcast. It’s a great way for other musicians and artists like yourself to discover this informative show. Also, it is a great way for us to hear what you think, to get feedback from you. We read every review in our team meetings here at the Savvy Musician Academy. So go to your favorite podcast player and do that for us.

But today, I want to talk about Facebook or YouTube. Which is the best platform for the online musician, Facebook or YouTube? And I often pit these two against each other. I understand that there’s Spotify out there, and we can talk about Spotify on another show. But I think what happens is a lot of musicians look at YouTube much the same as they looked at the traditional music industry, or much the same as we looked at the internet. So for example, if something is successful on the internet, we say that that thing is viral. Their video went viral. So that means if millions of people happen to see your video, then you’re all set. Not at all. You can get millions of views on YouTube and it not make a single dent on your bank account.

You see, YouTube continually changes as well. And most professional, full time YouTubers could make money with not massive followings. They could still make pretty good money on YouTube. But YouTube has changed. YouTube is now favoring mainstream media, and that’s who’s getting the search rankings, that’s who’s getting featured, that’s who’s being listed in suggested videos. And so the original YouTubers, the creative people who helped build YouTube, are now being driven to platforms like Patreon to have to get their followers or their fans to actually pay for them to do their music or do their art. Whereas what it used to be, you could get the views and then you’d get money off of advertising. You can still do that, but it’s minimal and it’s becoming more and more competitive.

But there’s a simple way to distinguish the two that I think is the most important and I think will answer the question for you, Facebook or YouTube? And I say it this way. YouTube, which is owned by Google, is a search engine. Facebook is a share engine. That’s a big difference. YouTube is a search engine. Facebook is a share engine. If you need to fix your sink, you go to YouTube. Need to fix something in your car, you go to YouTube. I had to fix my vacuum cleaner. Guess where I went? YouTube. Need to learn how to do dead lifts or lift weights? Go to YouTube. You need to find out something about nutrition? Go to YouTube. YouTube is a search engine. So unless somebody is specifically sitting down and looking for you, it’s not likely that they’re going to stumble upon you. So thinking that your YouTube video is going to go viral is wishful thinking.

So YouTube, again, owned by Google, which is the biggest search engine in the world, is a… And it’s a powerful search engine. It’s amazing. I absolutely love YouTube. I’m a premium member of YouTube so that I don’t have to watch any of the commercials. I pay a fee to YouTube every month just so I can get YouTube commercial free. I love YouTube. But I love YouTube because it’s a search engine, and I don’t do the same things myself on Facebook that I do on YouTube. I don’t search Facebook for how to fix a toilet. I don’t put in hashtags into Facebook or put in keywords or searches to find how to fix this or how to make that, et cetera. I don’t do it. If I go to Facebook to look for anything, maybe it’s for a restaurant that I went to in town, I want to see if they have a Facebook page. Or if I come across another influencer or something, I want to see their Facebook page as well. That’s about it. Or maybe search for a friend or someone, connect with someone. That’s about it.

Facebook is not a search engine. It is a share engine. So if I’m not looking and searching for things on Facebook, then why am I on Facebook? Why do most people spend time on Facebook? Because Facebook is true social media. Social media. It’s the broadcasting of person to person. Therefore, you have people, individuals, communicating with each other. I like to say it this way. Facebook is the internet contained. Facebook because the internet contained.

I remember before Facebook and I was looking at something, I believe it was called classmates.com. And it was a paid subscription service that was online and that you could potentially find old high school friends. So this was back in 2000, I don’t know, 2004 or 2005. And I thought, wow, that’s great. But the problem was you were wishful thinking if you were thinking that some of your other high school friends would even know what Classmates was and be willing to pay a subscription to be on it. So that didn’t work out.

Well, guess what? 15 years removed now, I’m in contact with high school friends, grade school friends, grade school teachers, high school teachers, junior high, you name it. Why? Because of the advent of Facebook. Because prior to Facebook, if someone was goofing off online, you would typically say they are surfing the web. Now if someone is wasting time on the internet, they’re usually checking their newsfeed, checking Facebook, seeing what’s going on, looking at other people’s stuff. So it is now true social media, social broadcasting, where the news is coming from person to person. Whether it’s personal news or mainstream media news, it’s being shared person to person.

Facebook is a share engine. YouTube is a search engine. What do you think is the better platform for you to use? Now, I’m not saying don’t use one or the other. I’m just asking the question, based these definitions, which is the better platform for you to use? Because if you’re going to attract a market to yourself, if you’re going to attract super fans to yourself, you’ve got to be able to find them. What’s the best way to find them? If you had to find people to like your music today, which platform would you reach for? It’s going to be Facebook, because Facebook has individuals on there who are signed up. Therefore, it’s the internet contained.

Before social media, the internet was ubiquitous. We were just anonymous people out there using search engines to visit websites. That was the internet before social media. Now that social media has come along, if you’re going to be on Facebook or Instagram, you have to have a personal account. Therefore, everybody… It’s like everyone being on the same airplane. People contained in an individual place, that’s what Facebook is. Facebook and Instagram are the internet contained because you have to have a personal account to be on them.

10:23 CJ: So again, the first step now to building a successful online music business is going to be connecting with your ideal superfans. And the best way to do that is going to be with Facebook. Why? Because Facebook, despite the protests by privacy and security advocates, Facebook keeps a track of what we like, what we’re interested in, what we follow, et cetera. All of those posts that you like, certain recipes or products or certain entertainers or movies or football teams, all of it, whatever it is that you like or are interested in, your behaviors online are tracked by Facebook. Okay, that’s just the reality.

But is that altogether bad all the time? Well, the only upside to it, you can say, is there are times when there are ideal products or services literally placed on your newsfeed. And you might sit there and think to yourself, how in the world would anybody know that I’m actually interested in that? Well, because you’ve shown interest in other places by following certain pages or people. But Facebook keeps a track of that. And because Facebook keeps a track of that, then if you want to, as a marketer, you can go to Facebook’s database and get people who match your music. If you have fans who follow people who like music, stuff that’s similar to yours, well then, obviously you can reach those very same people.

But you can get that targeting down even more and more and more because it may be that your particular musical genre also has with it a very distinct culture or lifestyle. I could use Leah as a great example. You know that Leah does Celtic fantasy metal. So she’s not only targeting comparable artists, comparable bands as a way to target her audience, she’s also targeting things related to the culture. So Game of Thrones and Dungeons and Dragons or the Hobbit, what have you. Things that are similar or are of interest to her potential audience. Because Facebook keeps a track of all of these things, then she’s able to find those people. And as she runs her ads and does her promotions, she can narrow that down even more and more and more, where she can literally just turn on the Facebook ads and get the results that she wants because she knows her audience. She knows her audience. That’s very difficult to do on YouTube.

The other upside to Facebook is that because Facebook knows who these people are and can lead them to your page or what have you, then Facebook will also do you another solid by keeping track of the people that engage with your content. So you can be posting things on your page, and if you get a good response, good engagement, Facebook will track all that engagement. Engagement would mean likes, comments, shares. So Facebook keeps track of that. Facebook also keeps track of who watches your videos. So if you’re posting a music video or doing a live video to your fans, Facebook keeps a track of all of those. Not just who watched it, but how long they watched it. Because sometimes Facebook will say you got so many views on your video, but it’s counting as a view people who watch 10 seconds or less. Well, I wouldn’t consider somebody who watches 10 seconds of a five minute video as really a serious viewer.

So Facebook will keep track of people who watch certain percentages, like up to 50%, 75%, 95%, 100%. And so you can then later put into the Facebook ad manager, hey, Facebook, give me the list of people who’ve watched 95% of all of my videos. Not just one video, all of my videos. Now, you’re interested in those who watched 95%, because those are more potential people to be an ideal superfan. So Facebook will keep track of those, so you can go back as far as 365 days, a full year. If you’ve been posting videos and doing live videos all year, you can literally get a detailed list of every Facebook person who watched upwards of 95% of all of your videos over a single year. That could be thousands and thousands of people. They may be wanting to listen to more from you. They may want to hear more about your business, more about the merchandise that you have.

So again, Facebook is a share engine. YouTube is a search engine. So because it’s a share engine, then people on Facebook can share your content. How does somebody really share on YouTube? Very difficult to do. And since Facebook doesn’t favor third party links, meaning links embedded in Facebook from another site like YouTube… Remember it used to be years ago, you could place a YouTube link and the video would be playable right there in Facebook. Well, you can’t do that anymore. If you put in a YouTube link, that means you’re taking somebody off of Facebook and Facebook doesn’t like that, so Facebook is going to limit the reach of your video from YouTube if you try to post it on your Facebook page. But if you upload the video directly to Facebook, Facebook knows that videos are popular on their platform. It keeps people on the platform longer because they’re watching something instead of just looking at a meme.

So because of that, the algorithm will favor your content, and you’re giving also then your fans something to share. So if your music video is good, then your fans are going to share it. And again, Facebook is going to keep track of everybody who likes it, comments on it, shares it. It doesn’t matter that they even follow your page. It can be a cold audience completely, and Facebook will still keep track of that.

Why is that important, CJ? Well, in the age of online businesses, an audience is capital. An audience is capital. The the large following that you have on Facebook is greater capital than the large following you’ll have on YouTube. In order to make money from advertising on YouTube, the numbers have to be off the chart. Very, very difficult to do. But with a small following on Facebook, you can start making money almost immediately. That’s such a huge difference.

So again, I’m not saying don’t be on YouTube. YouTube is a place to be. It’s another platform. It’s another storefront. Why not just post the videos there? If you’re making videos, you might as well post them there. But if you’re going to reach your ideal superfan, it’s better to use a social media platform that requires people to have that personal account and that newsfeed. And Facebook and Instagram are the better platforms for that. And I’m sure you know that Facebook owns Instagram, and so the upside also there is you can connect the business account that you have on Facebook to your Instagram profile. And so once you turn your personal profile Instagram to a business profile, you can connect them together, and Facebook is also going to track the content there as well. And so you can run ads from Facebook that will also go to your Instagram following. And so again, you are targeting people, you are reaching people, so you can do this directly. And that’s the tremendous upside to that.

All right. Now, somebody can think, well, but YouTube is free. If I post a video to YouTube, if it gets out there, I don’t have to pay anything for it. Right? You’re right. You’re right about that. It’s just not going to do much for you. I would rather put a little money… You can advertise with a boosted post on Facebook for as little as $1 a day. I would rather run a boosted post of a video on Facebook for $1 a day than I would to just upload it organically to YouTube. Because if I can target the people, then I have a better chance of not just getting people to watch my video, but then taking action. They’ll like my page or maybe go to some offer or what have you.

So I think there are advantages there. Yes, you can add cards and links and things at the end of your YouTube video or in your comments. Yes, you can do that. But again, your ability to specifically target people is limited. You have to depend on people to be searching for something like you in order for them to stumble across you. So when you’re going to start building an online business, the way you’re going to invade that space is going to begin on the most prolific platforms for audience targeting, which is going to be Facebook and Instagram because they are share engines, whereas YouTube is a search engine.

So if you don’t have a Facebook business page, I encourage you to start one today. If you have a Facebook business page but you don’t really get much action on it you’re spending all of your time posting on your personal profile, it’s time to change, because the same problem is there on your personal profile. I know you like getting the feedback. I know you like getting the love. It feels good. It’s just not a smart business move because you can’t really do any business on your personal profile. You’re limited to how many friends you can have, you can’t do any advertising. Facebook is not keeping track of who likes or comments or shares your video or anything that you post. It’s basically useless. It’s vanity metrics. It’ll do wonders for your ego, but nothing for your business. Plus if you try to do business on your Facebook profile, you could get flagged and your account could get shut down. You want to have a business page. So if your Facebook business page hasn’t been getting any love, then it’s time for you to up your game on your Facebook business page.

Now, I know that’s a lot. There’s a lot of details, there’s a lot of unanswered questions, but you can go deeper if you would like. One of the best ways that you can do that right now is to join our Inner Circle, the Savvy Musician Inner Circle, which is something that I’m overseeing. So I’m the coach working with the Savvy Musician Inner Circle, which we just changed. And it is in a private Facebook group, which I’m administrating. We do a live video with question and answer each Friday. Plus we’re posting in there all kinds of articles, information that you’ll need, tips, tools, and things that you can resource to help you build your online music business.

21:55 CJ: So if you want to learn how to post on social media, how to build your following, how to do a lot of this stuff, the Savvy Musician Inner Circle is the best place to start. And because of the way we’ve designed this, we’re able to keep the cost really, really low. We know that not everybody is ready for our Superfan System Elite program, and maybe not ready for the Online Musician, but this is a great place for you to exist. And if you are in the Online Musician or our Elite program, still, the Savvy Musician Inner Circle is a great place to be. Because again, questions are getting answered, and it’s really, really helping a lot of people to build their online business. Just $27 a month and you can quit any time. Just $27 a month. So imagine that. Getting a full marketing education for just $27 a month. Meet other musicians just like yourself, positive people that are building their online music business. So let’s grow and learn together. Go to savvy musician.com/innercircle.

I mentioned also the Online Musician, and 3.0 version has just come out. You can go to theonlinemusician.com to learn more about that. And if you are more advanced and you’re ready to take it to another level because you’ve plateaued in your business, you may want to check out some more about our Elite program. For right now, we don’t have the coaching element. So you can buy just the curriculum if you want. Learn more at our website, savvymusicianacademy.com. But take advantage of the great resources that we have. We’re working overtime to help you, again, build a successful online music business. So again, thanks for joining me here on The Savvy Musician show. We will see you next week with more. Have a great week.

Leah McHenry

Leah McHenry

It's become my absolute obsession to find out what will make musicians successful today. In the face of many obstacles, and in the vast sea of the internet, we have an opportunity that has NEVER been available to us in the history of the music business.