Introduction of Sponsored Stories

For this second project, DuBose and I researched Facebook’s newest, interactive way for companies and pages to gain exposure and connect friends at the same time:
Sponsored Stories 

Let’s take a look at what Facebook is saying:

Facebook implemented “Sponsored Stories” early in 2011. Simply put, “Sponsored Stories” works like “word of mouth”. If a Facebook user likes your page as a company, uses your app, or checks in at one of your locations, then that story will appear on the news feed. Unfortunately, there is so much content that the information will often be overlooked. “Sponsored Stories” tries to increase visibility of these particular stories by placing them on the right-hand side of your screen. Facebook also has seven different types of Sponsored Stories for companies to choose from, and allows a new aspect to Facebook mobile called “check-in stories”. Sponsored Stories also allows companies to consistently edit their target audience and criteria, however only the friends of the individual who has liked your company page can see the story on the newsfeed. This creates a level of trustworthiness between the company and the potential client because the Facebook user trusts the friend of liked the company.

What type of Facebook interactions can be turned into Sponsored Stories?

  • likes
  • check-ins
  • actions within custom applications
  • page posts

What are social media experts saying?

Facebook Turns Friend Activity Into New Ad Format by Ben Parr
Basically, Facebook has taken activity that already goes on with Facebook profiles and news feeds and is not using it to bring in revenue.  According to Jim Squires – Facebook Product Marketing Lead – Sponsored Stories are “a way for marketers to sponsor activities that happen throughout the News Feed.”  Businesses can now pay to have x percent of the specified activities show up in the right-hand section of the Facebook News Feed.

“Sponsored Stories has a lot of similarities to Twitter Promoted Tweets. Both are trying to use content from within their networks and turn them into advertising dollars. There is one key difference between Sponsored Stories and Promoted Tweets, though: The user defines the advertised content in Facebook’s format, not the advertiser.”
– Ben Parr, Mashable.com

Facebook Sponsored Stories Are 46% More Effective Than Standard Facebook Ads by John Paul Titlow
According to ReadWrite Biz, Facebook’s Sponsored Stories had a click-through rate that’s 46% higher than the standard Facebook advertisement. In addition, TGB Digital reported that over ten days there were two billion advertisement impressions.

What’s the difference between Sponsored Stories and Ads?

How much do Sponsored Stories cost?

Companies/businesses can set a daily budget that Sponsored Stories are not to exceed.  They then choose how they want their Sponsored Stories to be viewed, and this depends on three things:

  • Pay for Impressions (CPM)
  • Pay for clicks (CPC)
  • Action-optimized CPM

In Summary…

Facebook Sponsored Stories have proven to be almost 50% more effective than Facebook Ads.  They have taken everyday interactions among users – likes, check-ins, custom application usage, and page posts – and turned them into a way to promote companies and businesses.  Although some people fear that these stories will become too intrusive of News Feeds, the stories have been successful thus far.

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