If you are on Facebook chances are you’ve seen Facebook Ads pop up on the right side column of your News Feed. The ads are impossible to miss. Facebook advertising has become a prominent piece of many social media strategies. Facebook has generated $872 million in total advertising revenue in 2012 thus far, an increase of 37% from 2011. Until recently most of the advertising revenue came in the form of Facebook Ads. Now Facebook is driving revenue from Sponsored Stories, too. So what’s the difference?
With Facebook Ads, the marketer has control over every aspect of the advertising content, from creating the title, design, and content (135 characters of text). Sponsored Stories, on the other hand, piggyback on actions Facebook users take; highlighting them and making them more visible to others. To put another way, if a restaurant wants to gain visibility on Facebook and it sees a guest named John Doe has just checked-in on Facebook, the restaurant can choose to “sponsor” John’s check-in. When John’s check-in becomes a Sponsored Story, there’s an increased likelihood of John’s Facebook friends seeing his check-in and it now serves as John’s endorsement of the restaurant to his personal network.
Seeing that a friend has Liked a Page or checked-in to an establishment gives the brand a personal connection, and people are more likely to take similar action. Once the marketer has chosen which “story” to advertise, the demographic options and pricing structure are the same as with Facebook Ads. Similar to other Internet advertising options, marketers pay-per-click on Facebook. When selecting your pricing options, you must indicate the maximum price you are willing to pay for each click, and Facebook will distribute your advertising according to your set demographic target, and bidding budget.
Marketers are also using Facebook’s Mobile platform to promote Sponsored Stories. Because Sponsored Stories slip into News Feeds more seamlessly than other Mobile Ads, users have been more receptive to Sponsored Stories. Mobile Sponsored Stories are getting over 13 times the click through rate (CTR) and earn 11.2 times the money per impression (eCPM) on mobile over Facebook desktop ads. Facebook is projecting $300 million in mobile ad revenue alone each quarter in 2013.
Here are some ways to Sponsor a Story:
- Promote when someone likes a link posted on the Business Page, linking back to your website.
- Promote when someone likes your Business Page.
- Promote when someone “checks-in” to your establishment.
Good luck marketers!