General Motors and Facebook

Posted by on May 16, 2012 in Facebook for business, Wing It Blog | Comments Off

Catherine Taylor whose blog, Social Media Insider, is one of the more savvy media dedicated to social has a piece today questioning what she sees as GM’s premature decision to pull out of advertising on Facebook. GM was spending ten million a year on Facebook Ads (not including their creative for Facebook Pages and other promotions on FB) which, when you have a marketing budget in the hundreds of millions, is not a huge buy for them. The timing of this announcement, coming only a week before the IPO, is a little suspect but definitely not the story Zuckerberg and company want out there right now.

Taylor’s contention is that GM is folding too early and I tend to agree. Facebook Ads are highly trackable and measurable, which means multi-variate testing is very effective in determining what works and what doesn’t. She questions whether GM’s agency and marketing people worked at realizing the full potential of the medium. She also questions why they wouldn’t at least leave some small money there to keep their hand in. This is complicated by the fact that both Ford and Chrysler announced that they were continuing to advertise with Facebook. Ford even noted that with the right kinds of offers and promotions, Facebook has been very effective for them, a direct jab at the marketing savvy of their competitor.

Local Businesses May Have An Advantage With Facebook Ads

So what does this mean to a small advertiser considering Facebook ads? First, verification that big money is looking at this medium and experimenting with it. Second, that creativity is still a big factor in creating ads that work. It’s not just the ad, it’s the offer, the landing page, etc. My take is that local businesses with local markets can do very well with these ads. At this point, Facebook serves micro-communities that often share some kind of geographical unity. Though my Facebook friends live all over the place, they generally have some kind of Rochester connection via jobs, school, family, etc., a connection that makes them pre-disposed to support local businesses. And I remember when Google Adwords first came out- many small businesses that used their ads early on made a killing- before the big guys came in and monopolized the bidding for local keyword phrases. There may be an opportunity here that the GMs of the world can’t leverage to their required volume. But your business might do just fine.

If you want to learn more give me a shout.