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5 Tips for Expanding Facebook Reach with Sponsored Stories Ads

By Dan StasiewskiJan 31, 2012

facebook sponsored storiesAre the “Likes” on your Facebook Page plateauing? Even if you’re mixing up the content and finding new ways to encourage sharing, it’s still possible to experience slow growth. Why? Because there are 800 million active users on Facebook, sharing 4 billion ‘things’ per day. That’s a lot of ‘things’ that can drown out your Page’s content. While posting great content is still the most effective way to keep your community engaged, your Page can still use a leg up through Sponsored Stories advertisements.

Facebook’s Sponsored Stories, launched last year, engage friends of fans by showing them the brands and products that their friends “Like.”  So if your Page has 1,000 “Likes,” there’s an average of 130,000 people that you can engage with through Sponsored Stories. And because the ads that appear include friends names and even profile pictures, you can achieve a click-to-connection rate of 40-60% with a properly managed campaign... just because their friend already approves of your Page.

Here are 5 quick tips to get your Sponsored Stories off the ground and expand your Facebook Page’s reach:

  1. Be Precise: You can easily advertise to a broad swath of Facebook’s population, but precision targeting is better. Facebook allows you to target people based on anything from age or location to a user’s favorite store or band. Even if your Sponsored Story only targets 1,000 Facebook users, you’ll get more “Likes” by focusing on a smaller population that is within a targeted group.
  2. Think Outside Your Likes: Sponsored Stories allow you to engage with populations who are not currently represented in your “Likes.” A 65-year-old woman can be connected to her grandchildren and a 22-year-old man can be connected to an older coworker. Determine which population you can potentially engage with and setup multiple versions of Sponsored Stories ads targeting specific groups. This allows you to do something that was once difficult and costly to do: testing different groups who may be potential fans and determine whether that group is willing to become customers.
  3. Budget Small, Bid Big: If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a Sponsored Story campaign, no problem. Even a budget of $5 per day allows you to reach friends of fans. But be sure to bid above the suggested amount. A high bid increases the frequency of display, but it rarely means you’re going to pay that amount per click.
  4. Adjust Your Campaign Daily: You may be tempted to start advertising with Sponsored Stories and just let the campaign go on, unchecked. To get the most out of your Sponsored Stories, you should look at the performance of the ads at least once a day and adjust the bids based on ad performance. The goal is to find the optimal price per “Like.” The closer to $1 per new “Like” you can get the better.
  5. Look for New Engagement: Because Facebook’s Sponsored Stories are more about the fans of your brand, then the brand itself, you should check your Page for new engagement. If a piece of content you’ve posted engages a newly targeted group, use that post in a new ad campaign outside of your Sponsored Stories.

Sponsored Stories can help a Page with just a few “Likes” grow quickly. And the best part is, as your Page “Likes” grow, so does the number of people who can be targeted through Sponsored Stories.

Have you used Sponsored Stories to expand your Facebook Page’s reach? Leave a comment below and tell us about it.



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The Author

Dan Stasiewski

When he's not talking about marketing data and trends, he's probably in a movie theater... or randomly breaking into song.
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