Have you ever wondered how Facebook ads work? What types of ads do they show you, and how much do those surprise notifications cost? Here are a few things you might not know about the world’s largest social media site.
Facebook Ad Types
In order to understand what a Facebook ad is, it helps to break it down into its component parts. There are four main types of content that appear on your news feed: normal posts, photos and videos shared by friends and family members; links shared from websites outside the apps; sponsored posts from advertisers; and ads (also called “promoted posts” or “sponsored stories”). So, the four types of ads on Facebook are:
Most people relate advertising to televisions and billboards. But in terms of how they’re delivered, Facebook ads are quite different from other types of ads broadcast on TV or printed in newspapers. They don’t appear constantly in your field of vision like TV ads, or interrupt your attention like a billboard does. Instead, Facebook ads work by looking at online activity from your friends and family on the site—the ones who you’ve allowed click “I’d Like To Be Informed When The New TV Show Comes Out” on that “My Feed” tab on the left side.
Facebook Ads: Which Ones To Expect?
How would Facebook ads know what type of content to show you? Well, it could be a promoted post from your sister about her new baby, or from one of your friends about how awesome Game of Thrones is. You may also see sponsored posts from brands you’ve already liked on Facebook, such as promoting a brand’s page or event. Over the last few years, these types of ads have been the most common in users’ news feeds. But Facebook has introduced new types of ads, with more to come, so you can be sure to see some options that are likely to resonate with your interests.
So what’s on offer right now? Here’s a rundown:
Sponsored Stories: Promoting Pages & Events
Sponsored stories work the same way as all others—you can describe the content of these ads using a unique URL shared by your Facebook friends. Here’s a quick breakdown of what these types of ads look like:
A Promoted Post For Your Event From Your Company Or Brand Sponsored By A Page You Like
As an event organizer or brand, you might want to promote your event or product in the news feed. You can be pretty specific about which of your friends you want to see the content. This is a great way to reach out to existing fans and get them excited about an upcoming event or product release.
A Promoted Post from Your Brand’s Page You Like
Any post created by a brand page (and only pages) can be promoted in this manner. If you visit your favorite brand’s page and see cool photos or videos, Facebook will now promote those posts so that more people can become aware of them. In other words, the brands that you like can share their news with more of their existing fans.
This is one of the newer ad types, and it’s a real boon to the many organizations and businesses that have a Facebook presence but don’t have the budget (or manpower) to create original content for their pages.