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Cintia Miranda Cintia Miranda
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Website: pulsemarketingagency.com

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Using Facebook sponsored stories to promote your brand

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In today's increasingly social media-driven world, user endorsement is key. Sure, a well-targeted and attractive advertising campaign can increase your brand's exposure and promote growth, but nothing inspires action in a person as well as an endorsement from their friends, family or co-workers. In fact, it's one of the primary ways people differentiate between truly valuable content and spam in an online realm that has become saturated with promotions, promises and often-desperate sales pitches. This is the principle behind viral marketing and business growth: Users share content through social networks and content aggregators, and that content becomes popular because of already-established trust between the people sharing and the people seeing what their friends have shared.

Facebook, understanding that user-driven connections have the potential to produce more successful advertising campaigns (and therefore happier advertising customers) than general targeted ads, expanded its feature set to include what they call Sponsored Stories. But how do they work? How can you best use them to promote your brand? In order to answer those questions, we need to take a look at the four types of Sponsored Stories Facebook offers: Domain, Page Like, Page Post, and Check-In stories.

Domain Stories are intended to drive traffic to your business's website. When a user is logged into Facebook, visits your website, and 'likes' it, Facebook generates a sponsored news feed (or sidebar) story announcing the 'like.' Because Domain Stories take users directly to your website, they are a great way to boost online sales and generate leads.

Page Like Stories drive traffic directly to your business's Facebook page. When a user 'likes' your page, the sponsored story appears in the news feeds of that user's friends, encouraging them to visit your page. Because Page Like Stories promote content that is on Facebook, they occupy prime spots in the news feed, and are a great way for companies to boost their presence on the network and encourage user interaction.

Post Like Stories take Page Like Stories one step further: They allow you to promote specific content that users have posted to your business's Facebook wall (such as positive product reviews, customer service success stories and personal anecdotes that support your brand). Because Post Like Stories display endorsements written in your customers' own words, they are great for building loyalty and inspiring confidence in your products and services.

Check-In Stories are activated when a Facebook user 'checks in' to your business's physical location (whether a retail store, office, local outlet, etc.) using their mobile phone. Check-In Stories are great for driving traffic directly to your business, and are particularly useful for companies with a strong local retail presence although their effectiveness can be difficult to analyze, since any resulting sales are likely to occur offline.

The bottom line: Facebook's Sponsored Stories help you harness the loyalty of existing customers and fans to inspire action in their colleagues, family and friends exactly the sort of behavior that effective social media marketing campaigns are built around.

Cntia Miranda is the president of Pulse Marketing Agency. Learn more about her work at www.pulsemarketingagency.com.

Last modified on Friday, 01 June 2012 16:06

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