Presidential Hopeful to Try Facebook Sponsored Stories

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Republican candidate for the 2012 presidential election Tim Pawlenty has his eyes on Facebook to spread the word.

The former Minnesota Governor made the announcement last Sunday that he was putting his name into the hat for President and his digital team, ready to campaign, was seeking out Sponsored Stories on the popular social networking site.

Sponsored Stories is “a way for marketers to sponsor activities that happen throughout the News Feed,” Facebook Product Marketing Lead Jim Squires told Mashable back in January.

Sponsored Stories combine content that’s earned, owned and paid for and complement other types of advertising and marketing on Facebook. This allows businesses and brands to approach users in multiple ways at once.

"Anything we post on Tim Pawlenty's page shows up as an ad," said Mindy Finn, partner at Engage, the agency handling digital ads for Pawlenty for President.

Other units called "Like Stories" alert friends that someone has liked a post. "Page Post Story" ads show friends when someone likes a post on a page.

Page Post Story, which promotes News Feed stories about your Facebook Page updates helps Pages drive extra clicks to an outbound link, such as to vote in a poll, sign a petition, visit a e-commerce store or get more people to follow another call to action. If the post includes a photo or video, users can click through to see the photo, or watch the video inline.

Engage has been optimizing the campaign throughout the week, and is working with the Facebook advertising team to test newer formats. "Facebook has been much more aggressive recently in pitching their ad products to the political market,” said Finn.

The campaign also ran event ads, allowing people to RSVP to the Townhall. "Those definitely helped drive up event attendees," said Finn.

One Facebook advertising platform provider has found that Sponsored Story ad units have click-through rate that's 46% higher than standard Facebook ads, according to a post on Inside Facebook.

TBG Digital conducted a test over the course of ten days and 2 billion ad impressions, which showed that the Sponsored Story ads performed better in terms of click-through rate and cost per click.

Facebook still makes more money from their traditional social ads, but these early data suggest that there may be a future for the Sponsored Stories ads.


Michelle Amodio is a TechZone360 contributor. She has helped promote companies and groups in all industries, from technology to banking to professional roller derby. She holds a bachelor's degree in Writing from Endicott College and currently works in marketing, journalism, and public relations as a freelancer.

Edited by Rich Steeves

TechZone360 Contributor

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