Some Companies See Great Success With Sponsored Stories

By Justin Lafferty 

Though sponsored stories may be controversial and costly to Facebook, some companies are loving the social network’s ad feature.

According to statistics released by Facebook, a few big brands have seen gains in both fans and revenue.

Electronic Arts, a video game developer, reported $12.1 million in sales in its latest combat game — Battlefield 3 — from Facebook. The company also noted that for each dollar they spent marketing through Facebook, they saw $4.38 in revenue. Prior to the launch of Battlefield 3, EA spent several months (and $2.75 million) promoting the game via Facebook, then started rolling out sponsored stories once the game was available for sale.

After 1-800-Flowers made a sponsored stories push leading up to Mothers’ Day, the floral company reported a 300 percent increase in transactions spawned by Facebook activity, compared to last year’s marketing effort. 1-800-Flowers posted videos of celebrities, such as singers Justin Bieber and Jason Mraz, rapper Trey Songz and baseball player Nick Swisher,  talking about which bouquets they planned to give their mothers, prompting users to do something special — and scentful — for their moms, as well.

Procter & Gamble also paid tribute to moms through Facebook. The company used a timeline app, allowing users to thank their moms. More than 26,000 submissions have come through. P&G used sponsored stories to surface who was watching their “Best Job” video, which has been viewed more than 13 million times and is now the third-most viral TV spot of the year so far.

GE tapped into the Olympic spirit to gain more social media sway. Through the app HealthyShare, GE promotes health tips from Olympic hopefuls such as Kevin Durant, Michael Johnson and Alex Morgan.

Readers: What companies have you seen take advantage of sponsored stories on your timeline?