A while back, Facebook launched Sponsored Stories, an offering that allows brands to create ads from updates posted by a user’s friend or a page they are connected with. Similar to Twitter’s Promoted Tweets, this particular offering is designed to help marketers increase visibility and snag the attention of the people they are trying to reach without appearing too aggressive in the process. Facebook has made Sponsored Stories even more attractive to social marketers with a new feature designed to maximize its potential.
Facebook recently announced the action spec preview tool. It is essentially a new feature that will give developers and marketers the ability to preview how their Sponsored Stories look before going live. The idea behind this new concept is that it will offer a way to create more targeted content and in turn, generate a better response from users.
According to a post on the Facebook Developer blog, the new action spec preview tool will work in two ways:
Drop-Down Menu – Social marketers will have the option to use a drop-down menu that allows them to preview updates made in the news feeds of their fans or pages they have “liked” or maintain. After making the selection, they can see how their stories will look to the user when it shows up in their news feed or on the right side of the page.
The action spec preview tool also draws on the power of Facebook’s Open Graph platform. For those actions, the drop-down menu allows you to choose from a variety options associated with the spec you want to use. These customization possibilities give you the ability to play with several different combinations that can further optimize your sponsored content before sending it out.
Action Spec – You can get even more advanced when digging into the meat of the new tool with the actual action spec. With this method, you are choosing a specific spec for any update across the graph that you would like to preview for your story. Not only does this element of the tool show you how your content will be displayed, it also provides various other relevant details that can be used to make sure you are targeting the right audience, with the right content.
Taking a test drive
Facebook suggests that developers play around with the action spec preview tool to get familiar with it before using it to deploy live Sponsored Stories. We make the same recommendation. This tool is pretty extensive and requires a level beyond basic computing skills to get the maximize potential. The last thing you want to do is rush and screw up the content you are hoping will engage your audience. That would be a waste of investment and opportunity.
The good thing is that the action spec preview tool has a lot to offer social marketers who want to get the most from their Sponsored Stories. If that sounds like you, we advise getting together with your developer team and taking the new feature for a test drive.