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.

ClickZ Live Toronto Twitter Canada MD Kirstine Stewart to Keynote Toronto
ClickZ Live Toronto (May 14-16) is a new event addressing the rapidly changing landscape that digital marketers face. The agenda focuses on customer engagement and attaining maximum ROI through online marketing efforts across paid, owned & earned media. Register now and save!*
*Early Bird Rates expire April 17.

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

ion Interactive Marketing Apps for Landing Pages White Paper

Marketing Apps for Landing Pages White Paper
Marketing apps can elevate a formulaic landing page into a highly interactive user experience. Learn how to turn your static content into exciting marketing apps.

eMarketer: Redefining Mobile-Only Users: Millions Selectively Avoid the Desktop

Redefining 'Mobile-Only' Users: Millions Selectively Avoid the Desktop
A new breed of selective mobile-only consumers has emerged. What are the demos of these users and how and where can marketers reach them?

Jobs

    • Contact Center Professional
      Contact Center Professional (TCC: The Contact Center) - Hunt ValleyLooking to join a workforce that prides themselves on being routine and keeping...
    • Recruitment and Team Building Ambassador
      Recruitment and Team Building Ambassador (Agora Inc.) - BaltimoreAgora, www.agora-inc.com, continues to expand! In order to meet the needs of our...
    • Design and Publishing Specialist
      Design and Publishing Specialist (Bonner and Partners) - BaltimoreIf you’re a hungry self-starter, creative, organized and have an extreme...