Why Sponsored Stories matter

Facebook for Business platform
Facebook released its business portal early last week. I find it particularly interesting that the platform designates Sponsored Stories, a separate ad platform than Facebook’s standard advertising, as one of the four main starting points for businesses getting started, opting to omit other popular features such as Places or Insights in its place.

Basics of Sponsored Stories
Facebook acknowledges the power of social ads in their intro video on the Facebook for Business homepage saying in the homepage video:

Personal recommendations offer the strongest kind of endorsement and result in a dramatic increase in brand lift.

However, Sponsored Stores take the “personal recommendations” a step farther by tapping into user’s personal social graph to harness the recommendation. That is, Sponsored Stories promise to cultivate “organic interactions” between people and a brand.

That is, Sponsored Stories takes current fans’ actions that would typically be incorporated into the News Feed (such as liking a page, liking or commenting on content on the page, using or sharing an app, or checking-in to a place) and highlights the story with more prominent visibility to other friends within their network.

Here are the basics according to Facebook for Business platform:

  • Someone likes your Page, interacts with your application, or checks-in to one of your locations
  • A story about this activity is generated on their friends’ News Feeds, which may or may not be seen
  • Sponsored Stories increase visibility of these stories by surfacing them on the right column of Facebook pages

There are seven different types of Sponsored Stories: Page Like, Page Post, Page Post Like, App Used/Game Played, App Shared, Check-in, and Domain stories.

Facebook excellently captures the power of and the seven types of Sponsored Stories in their how-to .pdf.

Sponsored Stories show results 

Most importantly, Sponsored Stories receive a higher ROI and response than the standard Facebook advertising. Specifically, Facebook’s Sponsored Stories ad units provides a 46% higher click through rate, a 20% lower cost per click, and an 18% lower cost per fan than Facebook’s standard ad units according to Inside Facebook.  

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