Facebook advertising: General Motors announcement and what it means for your brand
General Motors announced yesterday that they are discontinuing their paid advertising efforts on Facebook. As one of the largest advertisers in the country, this may cause marketers to pause for a moment to reflect on their current Facebook advertising efforts. Before any knee jerk reactions, you may want to consider the following when thinking about your current Facebook campaigns:
- Have we decided or proven that our target audience is on Facebook?
- Have we clearly outlined what we want them to do?
- Do we have a clear offer or messaging strategy to cause them to act?
- Do we have mechanisms in place to measure those outcomes?
- Have we defined what success looks like?
If each of those answers is Yes, then you should be confident in your decision to advertise on Facebook. If any of those answers is No, then there is room for improvement in your campaign overall; however, it doesn’t mean that Facebook should be eliminated from your marketing mix all together. With the nascent nature of Facebook and its advertising platform, it’s easy for naysayers to disparage Facebook as an advertising medium, especially on the eve of its IPO. At Zocalo, we have a deliberate channel planning approach for social media programming. Considering the specific roles and frameworks of platforms, we set strategies based upon the power they have to deliver ROI against very specific marketing objectives; awareness, engagement, action and recommendation.
In our experience, the most successful engagement programs on Facebook happen only as a result of both very engaging content strategies coupled with interesting and relevant Facebook advertising campaigns. Both to reinforce the message to existing fans, as well as acquire new fans.
In General Motors’ case, they may not have outlined what success looks like or how necessarily to measure it, and as a result they are making this decision based on the data on hand. Our assumption is that General Motors will eventually come back to Facebook, once they see their audience engagement levels drop off, but for now it appears they are taking a brief hiatus. As Facebook approaches nearly 1 billion registered users, its sheer audience size and their levels of engagement make it one of the top 5 largest properties on the web and nearly impossible for any marketer to ignore for very long.