In January this year, Facebook unveiled a new advertising and content management system called ‘Sponsored Stories.’ Sponsored Stories allows regular Facebook users to see what brands or companies their friends are ‘liking’, what games they are playing, where they are checking in, plus a number of other regular Facebook activities, and allows companies to promote their brands via a non-traditional advertising method.
These Sponsored Stories appear on the right hand side of a user’s Facebook page and in essentially turn regular News Feed content into subtle advertising. The Stories allow users to find companies, places and services that they may not have otherwise come across, and allow businesses to promote their brands more effectively. People are far more likely to accept recommendations from friends over regular advertisements for a product.
So how can you, as a business owner or marketing representative, make Sponsored Stories work for your company? The system is quite simple. For example, if your company is called Super Company and you wish to increase your exposure on Facebook, you can pay to sponsor a certain number of all check ins to your store, or ‘likes’ on your page. Then, when users interact with your page or check in to your store or space, it will show up in their friends’ Sponsored Stories feed; the user is not doing anything different, but you are successfully promoting your brand.
A recent study by TBG Digital revealed that since January, Sponsored Stories are proving to be up to 46% more effective than regular Facebook ads. This is primarily due to the fact that the user is not Facebooking any differently or clicking on ads, but are rather finding the brand in a more organic way.