Early in 2011, Facebook launched the addition of Sponsored Stories to its advertising platform, and two months ago, the social network introduced the real-time Ticker to the Facebook sidebar. If it wasn't at all obvious from the title of this blog post, can you guess where we're going with this?
Today, TechCrunch reported that Facebook began sprinkling Sponsored Stories ads into users' Tickers, which had previously only shown organic -- not paid -- Facebook updates.
Understanding Sponsored Stories and the Ticker
If you're not hip to the Facebook lingo, Sponsored Stories are a form of advertisement on Facebook that generate more distribution for organic News Feed stories and business pages within Facebook. So, if you posted an organic update to your business' Facebook page, for instance, you could create more exposure for that story by supporting it with paid (or 'sponsored') promotion. Until now, Facebook had only been displaying these ads in the Facebook sidebar and the Games Ticker visible to those using Facebook canvas apps and games.
The Ticker is the scrolling, right-hand sidebar that follows you through Facebook and displays News Feed-like updates in real time, enabling users to quickly identify, jump in, and comment on a story as the conversation is happening.
Leveraging the Power of Social Advertising
The release of Sponsored Stories is great news for marketers, since it leverages the concept of social advertising as well as the powerful role of content in inbound marketing. Promoting organic content instead of ads helps to generate more attention for your content offers on Facebook's advertising platform, and it's a great way to extend the reach of your business' organic social media content. In fact, Sponsored Stories have been shown to generate a 46% higher click-through rate than standard Facebook ads.
Now that Facebook is starting to sprinkle these types of ads into users' tickers, they will generate even more exposure, which is even better news for marketers leveraging Sponsored Stories as a tool to promote their content.
Have you experimented with Facebook's Sponsored Stories? Will you leverage them more now that they're being included in the Ticker?
Image Credit: Steven Depolo