How Facebook can Impact your Sponsor Relationships


It's been about two years since Facebook first launched Sponsored Stories advertising, but I didn't really pay much attention to them until about a year ago, when one of my friend's wall post turned into a Sponsored Story ad for underwear. That was probably not what he envisioned when he made a simple post about an obvservation he made at work.

From there, I started paying closer attention and noticed more sponsored story ads popping up in my news feed, as more companies realized that peer endorsement ads really work- Fred likes Ford, Daryl likes Dodge, etc... The concern for anyone who is sponsored by a company (or has a working relationship with a company) is how Facebook uses our Likes in advertisements. Some folks have been on Facebook for so long, that they've forgotten many of the companies and businesses that they've Liked in the past, but Facebook is still keeping track.

When Facebook decides to use you (or the fact that you Like a page) in an ad, they'll never tell you, but the people who are connected to you on Facebook will see the ad in their news feeds.

Phishing scams where people are supposedly contacted by a friend who is stuck in a foreign country have convinced many to hide their list of friends in their Facebook profile, so their list of friends cannot be accessed by others for nefarious purposes. How much does the act of Liking a Facebook page really mean to someone and should we be concerned enough to limit who, if anyone, sees that information?

We're friends with many of the folks we sponsor on Facebook, which means we see a lot of Sponsored Story ads featuring those folks and we imagine that would be the case for their other sponsors as well. Would it create an embarassing or uncomfortable situation for a sponsored angler, if they appeared in a Sponsored Story ad for Boat Engine Brand B, when they were being sponsored by Boat Engine Brand A? Perhaps. Is it worth the risk? That probably depends on the parties involved.

One thing is certain- we should all be paying closer attention to the information we provide to Facebook and how they use it.