3. Sponsored Stories

In Lesson 1, you learned about the Standard Ad options. In Lesson 2, we created a variation of that when we promoted a post. Now it’s time to dig into Sponsored Stories!

Ready? Let’s go!

What You Are Going to Learn Today

Today’s lesson is Sponsored Stories. We’re going to focus on the following:

  • What is a Sponsored Story?
  • What are the types of Sponsored Stories?
  • How do you create a Sponsored Story?
  • The Future of Sponsored Stories

The Lesson

A Sponsored Story is one of the easiest ad units to create, yet it’s often reported to be one of the most successful. This needs to be part of your strategy!

What is a Sponsored Story?
Taken literally, a Sponsored Story is the promotion of a friend’s social interaction with a Page, Place, App, Domain or Event.

Sponsored = Ad

Story = What is shown to friends when a user likes, comments, shares on a post; likes a Page; checks in to a Place; uses an App; shares a link from a Domain; or RSVPs to an event.

Stories are generated naturally, but a user will only see it if they are online at the time it is generated. By promoting specific story types (like users liking your Page), you can leverage that social proof and make sure that as many friends of Fans see the story as possible.

Also note the important distinction here: Sponsored Stories can only be shown to friends of Fans. Otherwise, there is no context to a person you don’t know interacting with something.

What are the Types of Sponsored Stories?
There are a bunch!

You can create one of these ads by selecting Sponsored Story within the Type drop-down in the Creative & Placement section of ad creation.

You then have the following options…

About a Page or Place

Facebook Power Editor Sponsored Story Page or Place

You can promote any of the following actions:

When a user’s friend…

  • Likes your Page
  • Checks into your location
  • Posts on your wall

The most common of these three is “Likes your Page.” This is commonly referred to a Page Like Sponsored Story, and you undoubtedly see several of these every day. I keep at least one running all the time since they are so easy to create and so effective.

About a Page Post

Facebook Power Editor Sponsored Story Page Post

Not to be confused with a Promoted Post (which can be promoted to anyone, regardless of the activity that post receives), these Sponsored Stories allow you to promote the following actions associated with your Page post:

  • Liking a specific post
  • Liking any of your posts
  • Commenting on your post
  • Sharing your post

About an App

Facebook Power Editor Sponsored Story App

If you created a stand-alone Facebook app (not a tab), you can promote actions associated with users who have interacted with it:

  • Stories published through your app (like accomplishments, level ups, etc.)
  • People playing your game or using your app

About People Attending Your Event

Facebook Power Editor Sponsored Story Event

This is a really good way to get more people to attend your event. By sponsoring it, an ad can be generated that will be shown to the friends of those attending.

About People Sharing Links to Your Domain

Facebook Power Editor Sponsored Story Domain

Also known as a Domain Sponsored Story, this is one of my secret weapons that I use to drive more traffic to my website. It is not at all associated with your Facebook Page and promotes any interaction of users with your domain (sharing links from your website).

I’ve found these to be extremely effective. More on this in a future section and lesson!

The Future of Sponsored Stories
An important caveat here. Facebook has said that they will be simplifying their ad options, and there have been rumors that this includes eliminating Sponsored Stories. However, it’s not clear if and when this is going to happen, whether it will impact all Sponsored Stories or if it will impact Power Editor.

In other words, use these while you can!


What did you learn today?

1. What Sponsored Stories Are

2. Differences Between Types of Sponsored Stories

3. The Future of Sponsored Stories

Your Assignment

Action Items:

  1. Create a Page Like Sponsored Story
  2. Create a Sponsored Story that promotes shares of a Page post
  3. Create a Sponsored Story that promotes names of friends using your app

Related Reading

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