Published On: Wed, May 16th, 2012

GM tackles Facebook over Ads

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Some ackward news hits the wire days before Facebook’s historic $105 billion IPO; General Motors said it plans to stop advertising on the social media site, concluding that its paid ads don’t have a big impact on consumers.

GM spends about $40 million a year on Facebook marketing, according to the Wall Street Journal, about $10 million of which is for paid advertisements. It will continue to post relevant content about the company and its brands on GM’s Facebook pages.

In a statement GM said:

“In terms of Facebook specifically, while we currently do not plan to continue with advertising, we remain committed to an aggressive content strategy through all of our products and brands, as it continues to be a very effective tool for engaging with our customers.”

Although the timing of this message seems plain mean, GM’s statement does provide a clue for all brands that are active on Facebook or social media in general.

Social media is about ENGAGING people in your brand, not selling them a product. What companies need to realize that Facebook may not be the right social media platform for their particular campaign. I think GM is beginning to learn this.

However, Facebook, the ultimate provider of ‘share-ability’ has failed to meet the ROI expectations of a major brand owner like GM. And that’s something we should all think about carefully.

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About the Author

- As a creative strategist I work on complex (digital) communications issues for international industry leading companies, organizations and agencies. I'm interested in how technology integrates with (and influences) traditional marketing, media, human behavior, society and culture.

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