Facebook Sponsored Stories Case Study

I have been doing quite a bit of advertising on Facebook lately. I am still waiting for them to release their offsite ads network, but for now I am seeing some success with advertising my fan pages using Sponsored Stories. In this article I am going to explain what Sponsored Stories are, how you can use them to advertise your own fan page, and how effective they are in building up engagement, which will help you make money from your fans!

Sponsored Story exampleWhat is a Sponsored Story?

A Sponsored Story is ad placement you can purchase from Facebook which will give special advertising space for your fan page and help you get engagement from both your current fans and the friends of your fans. As you can see in the example on the right, I am getting shown a Sponsored Story from a fan page that apparently one of my friends likes. I am friends with a lot of affiliate marketers on Facebook, so it’s easy to see how this can be very targeted. Typically, you have similar interests as your friends so the response rate can be pretty good.

Setting up a Sponsored Story

Setting up a Sponsored Story is pretty much the same as setting up a regular paid Facebook ad. Go to the Create an Ad page, select the fan page you want to promote, and choose these settings:

Sponsored Story ad settings

You can then choose more specific targeting of the friends of your fans (gender, age, etc.) and create your ad. The one big difference you will see is that you cannot select whether you want to bid CPM or CPC and you cannot choose your bid price. This is because Facebook automatically bids CPM for you and you will pay an Optimized CPM. This is the major difference between setting up your own ad advertising your fan page and creating a Sponsored Story. So, is it better to setup a Sponsored Story or create your own ad? Let’s take a look at my numbers:

Ad Impressions Clicks CTR Actions Likes Spent
Regular Ad 1,031,386 1,437 0.139% 1,667 945 $98.34
Sponsored Story 345,729 4,347 1.257% 16,001 2,271 $165.84

I have spent a bit more with the Sponsored Story because I am very happy with the results so the numbers don’t match up perfect, but if we consider cost per click and cost per Like, this is how it looks:

Ad Cost Per Click Cost Per Like
Regular Ad $0.068 $0.104
Sponsored Story $0.038 $0.073

Pretty impressive numbers. My regular Facebook ad performed pretty well and I ran it for awhile (over a million impressions), but the Sponsored Story is easily doing much better. I’m getting new fans cheaper and when you consider the other actions users can make (view a photo, like a page post, etc) the engagement is much cheaper and effective. For example, here are some statistics specifically for the Sponsored Story from my traffic last week:

Sponsored Story stats

I’m gradually increasing my spend on this campaign as well because I’m seeing a profit from engagement with my fans. Last month I made about $700 off these fans and this month I’m on pace to make over $1,500!

Make Money Off Your Fans

The important thing with monetizing your fan page is to be creative. You can’t simply spam your fans with affiliate links or they won’t be fans very long. I have had a lot of success with building a mailing list from my fans. AWeber has an awesome Facebook Page plugin that makes it really easy to setup a subscribe page using Facebook Connect. You can do this both within a tab of your fan page or by driving them away to Facebook to your own hosted page. I am doing both, but I’m seeing the best results by pushing people to my own site designed around the theme of the fan page. This also opens up new avenues to monetize because you are not limited by Facebook’s terms.

PeerFly stats

I have seen a lot of mixed reviews on Sponsored Stories and I really think the success of your campaign will be determined by the content of your fan page and the effort you give in making it successful. I’m going to continue to scale the fan page used in this case study and within the next few months I should be making $2,500+ a month from it. It can be done, but like anything else, it takes time and patience. Let me know if you have any questions 🙂

You cannot promote our offers on PeerFly directly on your fan page. If you want to push traffic to our offers you will need to funnel your traffic away from your fan page. Directly linking PeerFly offers on Facebook is considered spam.


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