Now You Can Monetize Your Facebook Fans By Promoting Their Likes

Facebook Sponsored Stories Could Be Next Big Ad Hit

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Facebook has a new ad product that may be its most promising ad unit yet – the sponsored story. These ads are simply brand-related stories that users have already shared, but then paid for by the brand mentioned to appear in the ad space, as to attract more attention and engagement. 

Will you be promoting your fans’ engagement with your brand? Let us know.

For example, if one of our Facebook fans likes an article that we posted or likes our Facebook page in general, we could pay Facebook to promote that, and that story from that fan would appear in the column to people who would have already seen it in the first place. 

"So, my friend Joe goes, and he checks into Starbucks," explains Phil, a Facebook engineer. "That will appear on my news feed, and I may or may not see it, and what we’ve seen is that a lot of impressions do get lost because there’s so much content coming through. Starbucks can come in and say, ‘I want to promote check-ins to our locations’, so when I come to the site, I see a story that my friend checked into Starbucks. Now, I can click through. I can like the Starbucks page from that story, and when I like that page, it creates more organic content." 

Sponsored Story for Starbucks on Facebook

"When we make decisions about the products we want to buy or places we want to go, we’re basically looking for cues from our friends about what those things should be, and all us aren’t out there trying to market ourselves or try to influence people to go somewhere or do something, but the reality is when we make a decision, we’re looking for information, and we want that information to come from people we trust," says product manager Kent.

If you’re worried about how Facebook is using your content, the company says it will never show it to somebody who’s not your friend. The only people who will see it are the people who would’ve seen it in the first place via the newsfeed. 

According to AdAge, there is no opting out of the feature (that could change if enough people complain about it). The publication also says, "The way that the product is today, a check-in post will show up in the ad feed exactly as the user wrote it. So if a user checks into Starbucks with a ‘I hate this place, but it’s the only coffee around’ then that’s exactly what the ‘ad’ turns out to  be." Advertisers can limit their sponsored stories to likes though, if they want.

According to recent estimates, Facebook took in about $1.86 billion in ad revenue in 2010. I expect that will increase significantly this year. 

These ads could prove to be extremely effective, as they’re not really ads at all. They’re real stories from friends – at least that’s how they start out. Like Phil says, "It’s your friend saying, ‘Look, I did this, and I want to tell you about it.’" 

Ning, a Facebook engineer, says that in the pilot cases, sponsored stories increased brand lift and the likeliness to recommend the product to another friend. 

If nothing else, it’s a clear cut way to monetize Facebook fans. More in this video from Facebook.

Add Sponsored Stories to Facebook’s already powerful ad platform, targeting users based on their profile information, and Facebook is becoming a more and more attractive place to spend online advertising dollars. I still haven’t ruled out the possibility that they’ll eventually launch an AdSense-like network that will send targeted Facebook ads out across the web, but they’ve still given no indication that they’re going that direction. It still seems like an obvious choice though. 

Do you think Sponsored Stories will be a hit? Tell us what you think

More discussion on our Facebook Page.


Now You Can Monetize Your Facebook Fans By Promoting Their Likes
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  • http://www.nerdstogo.com NerdsToGo

    … and friends. The only “real” benefit goes to the Brands. Do you really take your friends advice on what kind of coffee you should like or drink?

    • Chris Crum

      I think there is potentially some value to users. Since they’re drawing from real posts from your friends, it’s a second chance to see something you may have missed, which may not always be helpful, but could be in some cases. If you’re the person who posted the update, it’s a second chance for your post to be seen by friends who may have missed it. Again, this may not always be helpful, but if you didn’t want people to see it, why did you post it in the first place?

      While the feature is clearly about much more than just coffee, I would probably be more apt to try a new coffee place my friend just raved about on Facebook than another option I’d heard nothing about.

    • http://www.jacksononthemoon.com SharonJ

      I agree with Nerds to Go. I use my Facebook personal page to keep in contact with friends from other parts of the world. I could not care less if they had a great time at Bob’s Coffee Shop in Milwaukee. It is just another way for Facebook to make money off its users. It will definitely annoy me and I have no intention of bugging my friends, either.

    • http://www.facebook.com/Bigdoggpinc Bigdoggpinc

      It is a known fact that we buy based on our friends or those we respect, opinions. On many occasions I would sit in the break-room and the big boss would come back off of a vacation. I am talking about that really cool boss that has 2 kids and a awesome spouse and anytime you need to come in late or work extra hours that boss helps out.

      That is the boss when they come back and come in the break-room you engage in small talk and find out the trip and the food and the steps they took to go on vacation and you do the same steps. Thing is the boss does not get a cut of the action. He just gets the satisfaction of you and them enjoying the process. This is going on out there all the time. No matter how much we think this might be just the brands or services benefitting. This is the norm out there. From coffee to travel to what beds or appliances to buy.

  • http://www.feelfree.co Guest

    I hope to monetize on this in the nearest future

    • Chris Crum

      I’d say many brands will be salivating at the opportunity.

  • http://seogeneration.co.uk SEO Consultant London

    Typical of MarkZ. It’s just a numbers game, facebook already hAve the numbers. Equate that to revenue and u see why that will work.thanks for sharing

  • http://www.facebook.com/Bigdoggpinc Bigdoggpinc

    Now You Can Monetize Your Facebook Fans By Promoting Their Likes is a very interesting article. I have been on Facebook for years just being myself and sharing my time and effort as a affiliate marketer. This article is fantastic because as I have seen there are more common intergrating effort to have customer join many of the top online major stores on Facebook. I have kept my reputation clean and I do not, will not, slam anyones inbox with what I am associated with. You do not have too if you are engaging in conversations and enjoying what all your friends are posting. This makes being here on Facebook the most enjoyable. Facebook took in about $1.86 billion in ad revenue in 2010, I am not even close to that volume, but my friends make it worth being here on Facebook and posting all the wonderful companies and services I am associated with.

    • Chris Crum

      I think the fact that these posts are just natural posts from friends will make them more clickable to a lot of people.

  • Guest

    At the same time, they have taken out the “Suggest to Friends” feature from Facebook Pages.
    Check their FAQs section: http://www.facebook.com/help/?faq=19713

    I have no word to express my disgust towards Facebook move… They are going the wrong way! I’m starting to predict that facebook will be a victim of their own success and power. Digital monopolies can die in few days

    • Chris Crum

      Interesting about the suggest feature, though the share link is still available.

  • http://www.GODHEADPRODUCTIONS.com R. C. Beckom

    this is really interesting to know about, I hope I can master some/any part of the subject on monetizing becoming cash, my attention is tuned here for now.

  • http://yupilesmana.blogspot.com YUPI

    I have bad English…

    I am in Indonesia, please send me an article for this article with Indonesia Language….

    I waiting for…



  • http://www.presentation-animation.com/ Gloryrose Dy

    I certainly don’t like this. This would be the start of facebook‘s end. the idea of virtual friendship would be lost because everyone would be making money out of it. Facebook is the hub for old friends to reunite afterall right? Not for friends to make money out of each other.

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