The Facebook IPO is producing a large number of news stories, including how General Motors plans to stop paying for Facebook ads.
Rolfe Winkler in his May 17th Wall Street Journal article “Three Fears for Facebook as IPO Approaches” really hit the proverbial nail on the head.
He points out that GM in 2011 spent only $10 million of its $1.8 billion U.S. ad budget on advertising on Facebook.
Now here is Winkler’s truly pertinent comment:
And that it was seeing poor results may have been mostly its own fault. The posts on GM’s Facebook page, from which its ads would have been drawn, don’t seem particularly compelling.
There is this from April 1: “Happy April Fools’ Day everyone! What’s the best prank you’ve pulled?” It isn’t clear how that would help sell cars.
This GM comment is unbelievable! With all the history of GM and the interesting components of making its cars today – info that car fans would surely enjoy – this is what GM posts?
Winkler goes on to say:
GM will likely have to figure out Facebook at some point. Considering that roughly 13% of the world’s population is an active user of Facebook, it is hard to see how advertisers can avoid it.
Figuring out Facebook for brands or people is not that difficult if one understands how to be social in the context of what one is about. (Winkler says: “Ford, for example, says Facebook advertising works great.”)
What can we learn from GM’s cluelessness?
Whether you have a $1.8 billion U.S. ad budget or no ad budget, taking the time to understand effective participation on social media is important.
(On the other hand, at least it does not appear any GM top execs have gotten fired for inappropriate use of social media as did the CFO of fashion retailer Francesca’s Holdings Corp.)
Bottom line? Social media can be very effective – whether paid or free – if it is used strategically for one’s brand, business, book or cause. Learn how to use it effectively so you do not lose out to your competition.
(c) 2012 Miller Mosaic LLC
Phyllis Zimbler Miller (@ZimblerMiller on Twitter and @ZimblerMiller on Pinterest) has an M.B.A. from The Wharton School and is the co-founder of the online marketing company www.MillerMosaicLLC.com, which helps clients with effectively using social media to connect with prospective target audiences.
Visit her author site www.PhyllisZimblerMiller.com to find out about the three-book series HOW TO SUCCEED IN HIGH SCHOOL, COLLEGE AND BEYOND COLLEGE.