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Sponsored Stories On Facebook: The Lowdown

At digital marketing agency Intergage, I will never forget the day that I changed my Facebook profile settings from “Engaged” to “Married” – there was an almost instantaneous change in targeted adverts from lovely wedding venues and spa packages – to depressing weight loss advice and tempting plastic surgery special offers! Such is the ironic brilliance of Facebook’s targeted advertising!

Fast forward several years and there is now a new jewel in the crown of Facebook’s targeted advertising which has been named Sponsored Stories. The whole point of Sponsored Stories is firstly to avoid showing users these completely irrelevant (!!) adverts based on their personal settings and also to help advertisers increase their presence on the social network.

This form of advertising relies solely on user activity rather than profile settings – let’s say you were to check in to a place or post a comment about a business – Sponsored Stories will detect this activity and then covert it into an official advert, hence giving more lasting visibility to a business. If a user has a multitude of friends then posts and similar actions will quickly become lost and buried in the depths of Facebook history – Sponsored Stories will appear on the right-hand side of the page in a separate box rather than sitting solely in the users news feed.

Furthermore, where space is already sparse in the cluttered Facebook layout, at least Sponsored Stories will be far more relevant to a user’s particular group of friends as their very existence is based on an actual activity and logic would suggest that friends attract friends based on mutual interests and activities!

Based on this theory, there is a strong likelihood that a Sponsored Story advert is more likely to generate business for a company than a standard targeted advert as users will be encouraged to take action based on a friends experiences and choices.

Sponsored Story adverts will be seen only by friends of the person who made reference to the brand or company in their news feed – however, perhaps a flaw of this new product is the fact that users cannot yet opt out of the service. Research firm eMarketer has released data recently to suggest that Facebook’s advertising revenue will bring in $4.05 billion this year – if Sponsored Stories adverts are received well then who knows how high that figure will soar!

Would you like to know more about Facebook advertising or any other aspect of digital marketing – feel free to call our friendly team on 0845 456 1022 today and we will be delighted to help.

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