Around the web and on Facebook, users are interacting with the people and things they care about. When these interactions happen on Facebook, or on websites and applications that have integrated with Facebook, they are shared as stories on Facebook via the News Feed, Ticker, and on users’ Timelines. These interactions also create connections that are captured on the social graph. When a user friends another user, likes a page, comments on a photo, listens to music, or plays a game, a connection is written to the Social Graph in a standardized format: Users perform actions on objects.
This standard format of capturing connections between users, actions, and objects form the underlying foundation of the social graph. All of these stories and the subsequent connections create valuable and compelling marketing opportunities for businesses on Facebook.
For more information on open graph, go here.
A story is concise description about an action that someone or something has taken on Facebook or on the Open Graph. When stories occur, they are eligible to appear in News Feed, Ticker, and Timeline. In each of these channels, a story may appear to a user strictly if that user or his/her friend is connected to the page, website, or application that created the story. For example, if you are a fan of the Facebook Marketing page, its page posts are eligible to show up in your News Feed. Also, if your friend is a fan of the Facebook Marketing page but you are not, its page posts are also eligible to show up in your News Feed. Users have the ability to manage the stories that are eligible to appear in their News Feed by changing their News Feed settings. Users may also manage the visibility of stories in which they are featured by changing their privacy settings.
Examples of stories that would appear in your News Feed, ticker, or Timeline include:
In each of these channels, a story may appear to a user strictly if that user is connected to the user or object featured in the story. For example, if neither Joe nor Sally is connected to the Facebook Marketing page directly or through friends, they would not see any stories generated by the Facebook Marketing page. However if Joe likes the Facebook Marketing page, Sally may see stories from that page in her newsfeed.
Users have the ability to manage the stories that are eligible to appear in their news feed by changing their news feed settings. Users may also manage the visibility of stories in which they are featured by changing their privacy settings.
Examples of stories that would appear in your newsfeed, ticker, or timeline include:
While stories may appear in News Feed shortly after they have occurred, the connections that are established by these stories are persistent. These connections are captured on the Open Graph and are used to:
People rely on their friends to make decisions, discover new things, and consume news and media. A user is more likely to be interested in story told by a friend than content from someone or something to which the user has no connection. That’s why the News Feed is such a central part of Facebook. News Feed gives friends an easy way to share stories and connect with the people and things they care about.
Facebook enables you to publish stories about your business and build valuable connections with users who can also create and share these stories. Rather than broadcasting to a wide audience a message that will be irrelevant to most users, you can use tools such as Pages, Applications, and Social Plugins to publish relevant stories about your business that get shared through News Feed, ticker, and Timeline or to spark the creation of stories among friends. The primary tools to publish stories and build connections include:
Stories about your business are the most valuable asset you can leverage on Facebook. In fact, stories are the currency of Facebook. Using stories, you can engage in ongoing conversations with fans and users. You can build social experiences around your products and services and enable users to share these stories with their friends. Users can express themselves by creating stories that associate their identity with your business. Using pages, applications, and social plugins, you can create these stories and distribute them at scale.
News Feed is core to the user experience at Facebook because it shows timely and relevant stories about the people and things to which you are connected. However, not all stories that are eligible for your News Feed are shown to you. Each story competes with every other eligible story for relevancy. For example, on average, a page will reach ~16% of its fan base in News Feed through the course of a month through its page posts.
Sponsored Stories enables you to increase the visibility of powerful News Feed stories that relate to your business. You can select specific stories such as Page Likes, Check-ins, and Page Posts and feature them more prominently in the News Feed or in the column on the right hand side. As with News Feed stories, Sponsored Stories are engaging, social, and compelling. They also align with users’ intent to share and connect on Facebook. Similar to organic stories, Sponsored Stories create additional stories from user engagement that are also shown in News Feed and are eligible to be sponsored.
There is a key difference between Ads and Sponsored Stories. Ads can only be shown in the right hand side and are not eligible for News Feed. Sponsored Stories, because they originate from organic content, are eligible to be shown in both the News Feed (desktop and mobile) and right hand side and are therefore benefit from significantly higher engagement.
Sponsored stories are relevant to the average user, and more likely to be clicked on, than traditional ads. Sponsored Stories may appear to a user strictly if that user or her friend is connected to the page, website, or application that created the story. Sponsored stories abide by the same privacy settings as organic stories in a user’s News Feed.
Sponsored Stories only appear in the news feed for published page posts. Unpublished page posts allow for posts that can be promoted as sponsored Page posts, but they don't show up on the Page's timeline. Such promoted page posts appear only on the right hand side column, and not on the news feed.
For more information on sponsored stories, go here.
While stories are critical to your business, not all stories are created equal. The quality of the stories you publish directly impacts the value these stories generate for your business. Poorly designed stories may have very little or potentially negative impact on your marketing objectives. In contrast, engaging stories that relate to your business and are relevant to users have the potential to generate significant and lasting value.
Whether you’re publishing stories through your page or through an application, here are some guidelines for publishing and sponsoring effective stories on Facebook
If you are using a page to publish stories through page posts:
If you are using an application or social plugins on a website to publish stories:
Publishing high quality stories is a critical component of building a successful marketing strategy on Facebook. Once you’ve published engaging stories, you can use the Action Spec to get the most value from these stories.
To learn more about Action Specs, go here.