Most people don’t know it, but it’s actually been against Facebook’s terms of service for some time to promote other brands in your Facebook posts. You see, most of the social world doesn’t like overt endorsements in their social feed, so Facebook decided the best way to deal with such things is to have publishers tag the brands that are promoted in the posts, so instead of being underhanded about it, the publishers can say “hey! we have these great partners and we’re going to feature them in our posts!”
So… a few months ago Facebook decided to allow branded posts on publisher pages through their Branded Content feature. This is the name Facebook uses now to define posts by publishers or rights holders that feature or are influenced by a business partner (usually brands) for an exchange of value, which is an overly-complicated way of talking about sponsored posts.
These posts are relatively easy to spot. They include “with” plus the name of the brand right next to the name of the content creator, linking back to their Facebook page, like a mention. For example, if we see a post that has “Everton with EA SPORTS FIFA” at the top, we know that it’s content posted by Everton and sponsored by EA SPORTS FIFA.
What’s the difference between this and a regular old mention? Well, the main advantage of branded content over mentions on Facebook is that both the content creator’s page and the tagged brand’s page will get performance insights, which is always nice to have for both parts.
We try to be as accurate as possible in our tracking of engagement and earned media value, so Branded Content has, of course, made its way to our reports and dashboards. Take a look at the example above to see how we are currently showing this kind of content on Blinkfire Analytics. Notice the “with Kalas Sportswear” text just next to the British Cycling name.
On Blinkfire, branded posts are now counted just as another type of engagement. This means that Branded Content is included in our Sponsorship report tables together with all the different types of engagement we use to value posts, that is, visual mentions, video mentions, mentions, and hashtags. Cool, right?
We worry about keeping up with all this stuff so you don’t have to. We don’t like to inform you that your spreadsheets are woefully out of date, but yes, they are. And for those of you still using TV methodologies to value your social content…pfffft, really???