30 January 2014

Make It Worth Sharing – Facebook Ads

I've said it before and I'll say it again. The power of Facebook (and Social Media) is in its REACH. If you share content on your Facebook Page, and one of your fans shares it to their own personal network, you've already reached outside of your fan base. If any of that fan's friends share the post, whether they've liked your page or not, it will reach that person's network. So if you have sharable content, it can be seen by an extended network of people who are not even fans of your page yet.

1 fan of your page has a huge extended network.
Recently there have been articles and blogs about Facebook removing Sponsored Stories in April, 2014. While this is true, there is no reason to panic. Focus on creating interesting content for your niche demographic and you will succeed at Social Media. These stories have come out of a post to the Facebook Developer's blog where it states it will "sunset Sponsored Stories", meaning they will be put to rest forever.

Every year, and sometimes sooner, Facebook updates its Ad Manager. This usually happens in the spring. The updates are based on many things: usability, user feedback, and of course Facebook's business operations.

Last year Facebook announced that it would bring social context to all ads, not just for Sponsored Stories. So as of April 9th, any Sponsored Stories will cease to run. But all ads, at that time, will have social context built in. 

Social context refers to the sharing, commenting, and liking of content on Facebook. If you create an ad, and I like the ad or share it on my News Feed, of course my friends will see that. Making your ad sharable is the key to getting your best return on investment. 

This is directly from an announcement Facebook made in June last year:
"[We will] ...include the best of sponsored stories in all ads. Previously, to get the best social context available, advertisers had to purchase sponsored stories in addition to ads. In the future, for example, when you create a Page post photo ad, we will automatically add social context to boost performance and eliminate the extra step of creating sponsored stories."

At the time of the announcement, a lot of people were focused on an idea that Facebook was removing "offers" but when you read their actual announcement it says "It also means removing the online Offer product because marketers have found that using a Page post link ad is a more effective way to drive people to deals on their websites." The key to that sentence was the word "online". Offers are still there, Facebook just simplified it to focus on in-store offers rather than online offers.

Forbes is suggesting that removing Sponsored Stories could be a result of a class action law suit against Facebook due to privacy concerns. If this is true, then Facebook's shift from Sponsored Stories to "social context" may take a different form than they initially intended. 

Social context will always be a part of Facebook advertising, no matter how things change. It's the entire reason these ads work in the first place. 

Get in touch if you have any questions or need help creating social ads.


My sources for this information:

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