I have to admit...I was a bit hesitant about sponsored stories ads on Facebook. Wouldn't you want a compelling line of copy (even if it is only a few characters long) and your picture of choice in your ad? That way you could ensure you'd win people over as customers and fans. But alas, much like everything else in social you have to shove your ego aside and give people what they want...which isn't your copy writing genius. Having hosted ad campaigns for a variety of businesses large and small, I can tell you what works best over and over again. It's the sponsored story.
There's something about the personal recommendation that is far more legit than any ad copy you or I could write. And I've seen it not just perform better once or twice. It's every time, most of the time performing 10X better than a standard Facebook display ad. (I usually always run them side by side, just to be certain).
It's essentially word of mouth marketing, but you don't have to wait for someone to tell their friends because sponsored stories do it for you. For example, when you like Nike's page it goes into the newsfeed once. It's up to Nike then to pour a few dollars into a sponsored story ad campaign to make that "Like" work as hard as possible. Now that "Like" is being shown to all of your friends multiple times a day in the form of a sponsored story ad. Good news for Nike, especially if you're an influencer among your circle of friends. If you want the biggest bang for your buck on Facebook ads, go sponsored stories and save your copy writing skills for another day. It took me awhile to become a believer, but I got there eventually. You should too.