Facebook answers questions on ‘Sponsored Stories’

Keeping up with their previous live webinar on answering questions about Facebook Pages, Facebook did another live webinar to explain ‘Sponsored Stories’. Facebook had launched ‘Sponsored Stories’ at the end of January this year, which at first was available only to premium brands but was later launched globally.

The webinar was hosted by Helen Min (Product Marketing Manager) and Kyle Rocco (Product Specialist). The broadcast was live on the Facebook Live page. For the benefit of our readers we have transcribed the interview below.

Question: Are sponsored stories viable for small businesses?
Answer:
Sponsored stories alone wouldn’t benefit small businesses. It is better if it is used in conjunction with Facebook Ads. This would result in a great advertising product and a campaign for small businesses.

Question: Which users will be shown sponsored stories?
Answer:
What a user can see on their news feed, will be visible on their sponsored stories section as well. This could be from a place, page or an application. Also, your privacy settings are respected in the sponsored stories as well. Anything that you have blocked, will not be visible to you as a sponsored story and anything which you don’t want to share, will not be visible to others either.

Question: Will the advertisers be able to see the metrics?
Answer:
Yes, statistics of ‘Sponsored’ Stories would be visible just like it is for Facebook Ads. It would be made visible as a single line item.

Question: Will Sponsored Stories have editing capabilities or will they pre-populate?
Answer:
Sponsored Stories will populate on its own. The text and image pulled will be used in its original form as posted. The difference between Facebook Ads and Sponsored Stories is that no text or image can be added or edited. It is meant to be more as a social conduct. The main criteria for it is the message from friends and thereafter, word of mouth activity that begins.

Question: Are ‘Sponsored Stories’ good for non profit organisations?
Answer:
Yes, ‘Sponsored Stories’ have been effectively used by some of our partners such as UNICEF, Product Red. (Ed: See case studies of brands which have successfully used Facebook as a platform)

Question: Can I select single post to show from multiple days?
Answer:
‘Sponsored Stories’ can in a way control only the page post story. Through it, only the recent post is made visible to the users. This can continue for multiple days as long as it is the last post on the page. As and when a new post comes up on the page, it will be pulled automatically and used as a ‘Sponsored Story’.

Question: Can page likes and page ads exist simultaneously?
Answer:
Yes. ‘Sponsored Stories’ helps in surfacing organic activity and it is good for word of mouth activity. Whereas, Facebook Ads is a message from a business to the users. Sponsored Stories is an interaction which is made visible in a different fashion.

Question: What are the costs of Sponsored Stories and its pricing structure?
Answer:
It follows the same pricing structure and format as Facebook Ads. It has the same bidding and auction models as used in the past. It would be based on the target audience and other metrics that are considered.

Question: Is there a budgeting pattern for ‘Sponsored Stories’ or minimum spend required?
Answer:
It follows the same structure as Facebook Ads. Therefore, the same bidding and auction process used in Facebook Ads. Sponsored Stories is based on the social activity of the application/page/place, hence no minimum budget is required. We suggest bidding within the suggested limit at the time of the creation of the ad.

Question: Which markets are sponsored stories available in?
Answer:
Sponsored Stories are available globally. Initially they were launched to premium brands in January. By February they were launched to everyone across the globe.

Question: Don’t I already see these updates and stories on my news feed?
Answer:
The news feed is very dynamic. It keeps changing and based on our algorithm it has undergone various changes over the years. Also, a user may miss activity since you can’t be in front of a device all the time. Therefore, this offers a great way for businesses and advertisers to use the information for showing to their target audience.

Question: Can multiple sponsored stories show up simultaneously?
Answer:
Yes. Upto five advertisements can show up at the same time. This is a combination of sponsored stories and Facebook Ads. Sponsored Stories appear above Facebook Ads as social integration is more important for us and also for businesses to be made visible to the users.

Question: Do I pay for clicks or for impressions?
Answer:
It is upto you. You can choose to pay as per the cost per click (CPC) method or by cost per 1000 impressions (CPM). Pricing and the suggestions at the time of formation will change accordingly.

Question: Can a non fan see a sponsored story for a page?
Answer:
Sponsored Stories for page posts is unique. It is visible only to people who like your page. This goes with the product behaviour which shows only the content that is also visible on your news feed. Therefore, a bigger reason for brands to use sponsored stories and Facebook Ads simultaneously to reach more people. A suggestion, use page likes sponsored stories and page posts together with ads for maximum effect.