Home  › Social › Social Media

Facebook Debuts User Generated Ad Option

  |  January 25, 2011   |  Comments

Coca Cola, Levi's, and Anheuser Busch are already running "Sponsored Stories."

Facebook has launched "Sponsored Stories" ads, which let marketers utilize messages from their "likes" community for paid promotions on the site. The ads contain word-for-word Facebook user posts, while appearing in the right-hand column with other paid promotions on the website.

A bevy of launch partners have already readied campaigns involving the new ads. They include Coca Cola, Levi's, and Anheuser Busch, as well as nonprofits like Amnesty International, UNICEF, Autism Speaks, and Women for Women.

Jim Squires, marketing products manager for the Palo Alto, CA-based social giant, told ClickZ that Sponsored Stories will be available on the site's self-service platform in a comparable manner to other ads. They will be purchased on an impression- or per-click basis, he said.

For a brand like Starbucks, an endorsement that looks like this:

starbucks-sponsored1

May appear in an ad unit like this:

starbucks-sponsored

"Essentially, the recommended approach is to use [them] in conjunction with a campaign you are already running," Squires said. "So, you say, 'I want to add Sponsored Stories to this.' In that case, when a Sponsored Story is able to show, it is showing [instead of] the controlled advertiser message."

As is the case with other Facebook.com ads, Sponsored Stories can only be targeted at users who have allowed it in their privacy settings. For instance, if users have their wall posts set to "Only Friends," those messages could not be served in ads to anyone but their friends. "You only see a Sponsored Story if you are already eligible to see it in your newsfeed," Squires explained.

There are four types of "stories," from Facebook's perspective: "Like stories" involve when users choose to "like" a brand; "page post stories" entail users' wall posts; "app stories" include messages between app users, such as video game players; and "check-in stories" consist of posts via the geo-social platform Facebook Places.

Facebook hopes marketers will be intrigued by the potential of combining user-generated content with ad-copy-based messaging in Facebook.com campaigns. "We view this as an extension of the marketing that's happening on the platform and a way to plan for that, while [tying] it into your holistic strategy," Squires said. "Sponsored Stories allow you to take those endorsements and recommendations that are happening…and feature them in the right-hand column and sponsor them."

Meanwhile, eMarketer's recent report estimated Facebook sold $1.86 billion in ads during 2010. And Zuckerberg and Co. are not easing up on the monetization gas pedal. They have been testing a fifth ad placement after implementing a fourth ad last fall. And earlier this month, Facebook added a feature that has the potential to enrich its geo-targeting capabilities.

Tags:

ClickZ Live Chicago Join the Industry's Leading eCommerce & Direct Marketing Experts in Chicago
ClickZ Live Chicago (Nov 3-6) will deliver over 50 sessions across 4 days and 10 individual tracks, including Data-Driven Marketing, Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email. Check out the full agenda and register by Friday, Oct 3 to take advantage of Early Bird Rates!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Christopher Heine

Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get ClickZ Social newsletters delivered right to your inbox. Subscribe today!

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

IBM: Social Analytics - The Science Behind Social Media Marketing

IBM Social Analytics: The Science Behind Social Media Marketing
80% of internet users say they prefer to connect with brands via Facebook. 65% of social media users say they use it to learn more about brands, products and services. Learn about how to find more about customers' attitudes, preferences and buying habits from what they say on social media channels.

Marin Software: The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising

The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising
Latest research reveals 68% higher revenue per conversion for marketers who integrate their search & social advertising. In addition to the research results, this whitepaper also outlines 5 strategies and 15 tactics you can use to better integrate your search and social campaigns.

Resources

Jobs

    • Digital Marketing Analyst
      Digital Marketing Analyst (GovLoop) - Washington D.C.Are you passionate about audience acquisition? Love effective copy and amazingly effective...
    • Product Specialist
      Product Specialist (Agora Inc. ) - BaltimoreDescription: The Product Specialist is hyper-focused on the customer experience and ensures that our...
    • Partnerships Senior Coordinator
      Partnerships Senior Coordinator (Zappos.com, Inc.) - Las VegasZappos IP, Inc. is looking for a Partnerships Senior Coordinator! Why join us? Our...