How to Make the Most of Sponsored Ads on Facebook

Recently, I detailed the best use of boosting your Facebook posts; however, you can also create sponsored posts on Facebook that work a lot differently.

Most people think all Facebook ads are Sponsored stories and don't really understand that it is a very specific branch within Facebook advertising. Here's what you need to know:

What is a Sponsored Story?

Sponsored is obviously the easy part to understand. It means an advertisement. The story part gets a little more complicated. A story is basically any action someone takes on Facebook.

You see stories on your Facebook News Feed all the time. When anyone likes a Page, likes, comments on, or shares a post, checks in to a business, uses an app, plays a game, RSVPs to an event, etc.

When your Facebook friends take action on Facebook a story is generated for you to see on your News Feed. Similarly you can pay Facebook to generate stories from your business Page onto the News Feed of your target audience.

What types of Sponsored Stories can you create?

This list will probably be inaccurate in another couple of months because Facebook is constantly changing what types of ads you can create. But for now you can sponsor any of the following stories:

  • Page Post Engagement: Promote your Page posts
  • Page Likes: Get Page likes to grow your audience and guild your brand
  • Clicks to Websites: Get people to visit your website
  • App Installs: Get people to install your mobile or desktop app
  • App Engagement: Get people to use your desktop app
  • Event Responses: Increase attendance at your event
  • Offer Claims: Create offers for people to redeem in your store

Here’s an example of a Page Like Sponsored Story (I've blacked out the names for privacy reasons):

 
 

There is barely a difference between this and an organic Page Like story. The ad includes a “Sponsored” label.

Why Should You Create Sponsored Stories?

So I'm sure you've seen Sponsored stories before, and now you know that you can use them for your business. As I mentioned before, these ads are user generated so you have no control over how they display. The images and the content come from your Facebook Page, so you have somewhat of a say but it's limited.

In fact, even the targeting options are limited since the ads will only display to friends of the user creating the story (privacy settings come into play as well). Keeping all these limitations in mind, I still recommend utilizing Sponsored Stories and here's why:

  1. They are SUPER easy
  2. They are VERY effective

It makes sense that Sponored Stories would be effective because we naturally trust our friends' opinions. If a business owner who you've never met says, "buy my product" or your friend says "this business's product is cool" which statement would mean more to you?

This is called social proof. Your friend likes a Page, comments on a post, shares a post, and you should too.

How do you create Sponsored Stories?

 
 

Just make sure when you're selecting your audience you choose friends of people who like your Page. (See below image for an example)

 
 

That should help to get you started if you're not already using Sponsored Stories. I'd love to hear about your experience with Facebook ads in the comments!