By Magnus on Wednesday, April 11, 2012 -
With Facebook set to go public this year they have increased the number of ways advertisers can reach their target audience. Long gone are the days of untargeted, one dimensional banner ads.
Sponsored stories can influence consumer’s decisions by using the power of word of mouth. If a friend of mine ‘checks in’ to a store or restaurant on their Facebook page that information appears on my news feed and the advertiser's ad also appears on my sidebar as a sponsored story. This is a very powerful tool, combining both the ad space and also a visible presence on my personal news feed as we like to make purchase decisions based on our friends’ recommendations. In a recent study provided by eMarketer.com 37% of US social media users trust what their friends and family members say about a brand or product on social media, compared to only 10% who trust what strangers say.
Here are some different ways Facebook advertisers can use sponsored stories to their advantage:
The aim of the Domain Story is to drive users from Facebook to your website. This is great for advertisers who want to generate new leads through social media. When a user visits a company website and likes the page, the action generates content which appears on the user’s news feed. For example, if I like Nike, this will show on my news feed and it could in turn encourage my friends to look at Nike’s company page and like it too, which can then lead to people visiting the advertiser’s website for extra information. This type of ad aims to drive traffic to your website, so if you have an internet shop, using the Domain Story will lead to an increase in sales and as a bonus, an uplift in brand awareness on both Facebook and also in the public domain.
Page Like Story
Similar to a Domain Story, a Page Like Story involves a link to a company’s Facebook page appearing on an individual’s timeline after they have “liked” the page. That link will then be seen on the user’s friends’ news feed and is very valuable to an advertiser as it generates positive brand awareness. Since the development of brands Facebook pages increases exponentially there are soon no limits to what might be possible on a Facebook page. We can already print exclusive Facebook pictures, buy from exclusive Facebook shops, so building brand awareness through Page Like Stories could also build Facebook specific purchases. A very powerful feature.
Page Post Story
Advertisers can use Page Post Story to broadcast favourable customer reviews and comments from their Facebook fans. For example, if I submit a post on IKEA’s Facebook page telling them how wonderful their furniture is, they can make it a Page Post Story and it will be broadcast to IKEA’s Facebook fans, making it a very powerful advertising resource. Here the brand can get positive brand awareness with a consumers own word, which we mentioned earlier is seen as a more reliable source than if the brand themselves just state how good they are. The brand can self choose to post comments about certain products which would hopefully lead the prospective customers to the website and to a potential purchase. In this way, Page Post Stories can be used as a type of direct response advertising.
Facebook check-ins on your mobile allows people to check into places on Facebook so that their friends know where they are. If I checked-in when having a drink at the pub, along with my check in that says I’m at The Lamb and Flag, the check-in will also show the pub’s logo and a link to the their Facebook page. The direct response aspect of it is to attract customers to come to the pub, either straight away if they are nearby or later if they see a friend who they know has good taste in pubs checking into a specific location. A pub that gets a lot of check-ins can also of course get a lot of brand awareness and will get talked about as the place to be.
The change in Facebook’s advertising model highlights how far the digital world has come. It wasn’t long ago when the only way to advertise online was to spam untargeted and irrelevant banners across the internet. In today’s world with the growth of social media, advertising is far more targeted and integrated into our daily lives.
If you’re interested in doing some Facebook Advertising, then feel free to get in touch with us.