Integrating Facebook Comments into Facebook Ads

Posted on Thursday, January 27th, 2011 by Print This Post Print This Post

Categories - Featured, News, Social Media

Facebook recently announced a new ad format that complements the popular “Sponsored Ads” listings.  Called “Sponsored Stories”, the new feature enables marketers to integrate user-generated content related to their brand within the ad, or what Facebook calls a “story”.  This is a significant step forward for Facebook which has the opportunity to harness social media interaction in a “push” rather than “pull” method.

The advertiser may use one of four means by which to create a “story”:

1.       “Like Stories” – created based off a user “liking” a brand.

2.       “Page Post Stories” – created from a wall post on a brand’s page.

3.       “Check-in Stories” – created from posts via Facebook’s local product, Facebook Places.

4.       “App Stores” – created from messages between users on an app

For example, an interaction such as this:

Could appear in an ad like this:

While social recommendations aren’t new to Facebook ads, the format and degree by which the ad drives personalization could lead to large gains in ROI for advertisers, but not without potential controversy.

A video announcement on the Facebook Marketing Solutions page, uses the term “Word of Mouth” marketing extensively and suggests that the interactions are currently posted through the users’ feeds anyway but just get lost in the noise of many interactions.  Currently, an end user opt-out feature does not appear to exist.

While I believe that users should have a right to raise their hand and opt out, there is some risk that the advertiser may not be able to control what is said in that post – e.g. a potentially negative promotion of a product.  I believe that the personal/in-network recommendation will be a big win for advertisers that manage an engaged social media program.  Relevancy and recency of recommendations/interactions should be the priority in leveraging engaging content to use in “Sponsored Stories”.

Currently the feature is available to a handful of big brand advertisers and should be rolled out to the standard system soon.

What do you think about your social actions being pushed by advertisers to your network?

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3 Responses to “Integrating Facebook Comments into Facebook Ads”

  1. Matt says:

    Despite the incredible wealth of data it could use to serve more pleasing ads, Facebook seems intent on angering its users with intrusive advertising. I can’t imagine too many people will be happy finding out they’ve become unwitting (and unpaid) spokespeople for brands they may have only a fleeting relationship with.

    I suppose this announcement neatly fits Mark Zuckerberg’s proclamation last year that sharing information, as a social norm, is “something that has evolved over time”–and there’s certainly some truth in this–but I’m not sure Internet users are quite ready to give up control of their privacy, even to Facebook.

    • Keith Wilson says:

      Spot on, Matt.

      I do believe that FB marketing solutions team feels that since they are re-purposing an action, comment, or communication related to a brand that the consumer has already committed to the concept of being a spokesperson.

      However, the danger again is on always interpreting the meaning of the comment made by the consumer. What if a user was checking in to a fast food joint’s restaurant location and commented, “I’m about to est something unhealthy and fat.” Not necessarily the type of endorsement the advertisement may want.

      Leaves me to believe that the bulk of “control” on this feature will be developed to support the advertiser first to protect their ad $’s and not the consumer.

      Thanks for the comment!

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