Dan Wilkerson is a social media project manager at LunaMetrics, a Google Analytics certified partner that also specializes in social media, search engine optimization, and PPC. You can follow him @notdanwilkerson or @
The sizing changes that Facebook rolled out a few months ago were a big deal to brand page managers, but I would argue that they’re a bigger deal to Facebook advertisers. The reason I say this is that those changes also directly affect your Sponsored Stories ads. Sponsored Stories get much more real estate in the right-hand column, and Facebook has made it clear that this is the paradigm they want to pursue. Here’s how to make the most out of it.
Start by optimizing your post’s content. Have you taken a look lately at your insights to see what kind of content is getting you the most engagement? Take that into consideration when constructing your Sponsored Story. This is doubly true if you’re planning on retargeting current followers. Some good metrics to look at here are the Engagement metric, which lumps together all interactions and clicks, and the Negative Feedback metric, which you can find in a downloaded csv or xls of your page’s Insights. Those numbers will tell you what people like and what people hate, respectively.
After you’ve gotten some appropriate content, it’s time to optimize the sizing of the images. Images will show up sized 398 x 296 in the feed stand-alone, and they come in a few different varieties in albums. (Check out our Social Media Sizing Cheat Sheet for an in-depth look at the different image sizes.) You want to size these appropriately so they get delivered with maximum effect to your following and encourage organic interaction.
These interactions will be highlighted at the bottom of your Sponsored Story and can help drive further engagement with your ad. They also can confirm the value of the content you’ve chosen to share. As ads, they’ll be resized to a maximum of 118 x 90 px. (Larger advertisers appear to have access to ad images up to 128 x 168 in size.)
If you plan on using video in your ad, I would suggest uploading the video to Facebook as opposed to YouTube. This way you keep potential new followers in the ecosystem you captured them in – and hopefully convert them to fans in addition to whatever goal you had for your ad. Additionally, videos uploaded to Facebook get a much bigger preview than linked-to YouTube videos, which can lead to increased engagement in the feed before the post is promoted to an ad. Take a look at the difference in size between the two.
Make sure to remember when you create the original post that after 90 characters, Facebook truncates your body copy with ellipses. Try and include a call to action in that space. This can be tricky since you’ll be showing this not only to potential new fans but current fans as well, and asking someone to like your page whose already liked it might seem a bit awkward. You can include hyperlinks in this space, however. But you can’t do anything sneaky like target the original post at your single fan in Armenia and then use it for ad targeting outside of that area.
Follow these practices in conjunction with the best practices you’ve found for your brand, and you should see success with these new ad units. (Don’t forget other ad types, like Promoted Posts.) You also have the option of using the Power Editor to target ads directly to places like mobile devices or into desktop users’ streams.
What creative ad buys have you placed? Tell us about them in the comments!