Sponsored Stories on Facebook

Sponsored Facebook Stories for PhotographersWhen you advertise a business on Facebook, whatever it may be, you want the visitors to click on your ads, like your fan page and comment your content. But the goal is to make them do this without perceiving you as a business. You want to be liked for who you are and what you do.

Before we get into detail about how to become a likable business on Facebook, let’s look at the site’s advertising opportunities.

A bit simplified you could say there are two types of ads on Facebook: Ads with no social context and ads driven by users’ actions.

The first category is the standard external-website ads on the right-hand side of your Facebook page. These are usually directed to another web page to which the advertiser wants to drive traffic and make people convert. It’s classic online advertising that works much like the paid results in Google.

In the second category we find social ads also known as sponsored stories. With these you turn people’s actions into ads. If someone likes your page, makes a comment or checks in, this can become an ad shown to the person’s network of friends.

For most business, there’s a lot more potential in using the second type. In fact, if you do it successfully, people won’t even know that you advertised.

People Don’t (Think They) Click on Ads

Cnbc.com recently reported that a large majority of Facebook users rarely or never click on ads:

57 percent said they had never clicked on ads or sponsored content when using Facebook. Widening the group to include those who hardly ever clicked on advertising content would include 83 percent of respondents.” – Source: Facebook’s Challenge

Personally I don’t believe in these percentages. I think that people who answered only refers to ads with a clear business pitch, a stock photo image and copy that says something like “lose weight now” or “buy an iPhone for $29,” and of course only a fraction of the Facebook users clicks on these ads.

But if you think about how you use Facebook I bet that you’ve taken part in some form of advertising. Perhaps you’ve checked in at a restaurant, liked a page promoting a concert, play or book that you like or posted an article from a magazine.

Chances are that this has been turned into sponsored story which has been spread to your friends and chances are that a similar story from a friend of yours has appeared in your feed.

So while people don’t think they click on ads, in reality, many of them are both advertising for businesses and clicking ads.

How to Successfully Advertise Your Photography Fan Page

If you have a limited advertising budget, it will be hard to get a decent ROI from traditional Facebook advertising. I think there is more to gain from being active on the fan page posting interesting and sharable content.

In doing so, people who are happy with your work will like you for what you do and who you are.

When you post great content, turn this into a sponsored story once in a while and you will see your fan base grow. And when it grows, your page will get more and more visibility and you’ll get even more fans.

With a great page, the snowball is soon in motion and your fans will be there because they’ve chosen to, not because they were “tricked” into clicking on a stock photo.

Photo credit: Jamie Allred Photography via Facebook. Make sure to follow Photography Web Marketing on Facebook for more opportunities to get featured.


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