GM, Facebook and the Future of Social Ads.

Why GM and Facebook parted ways, and why others may follow suit

While the talk is all about Facebook’s IPO, there’s another Facebook related newsworthy item that has escaped the attention of most.

Following a review of their advertising budgets and strategies, General Motors is cancelling its $10 million Facebook advertising budget.

Ordinarily, this would be hot Social Media news.  Possibly luckily for Facebook, it’s gone somewhat unnoticed in the shadows of the Facebook IPO.

General Motors stressed that they were not removing their presence from Facebook altogether, and that they still regard it as a key part of their ‘aggressive content strategy’.  They are simply going to channel that chunk of advertising somewhere else for the foreseeable future.

Forrester Analyst, Nate Elliott, almost predicted this back in November 2010.  He’s been a vocal critic of the Facebook platform and its shortcomings as a marketing tool.  As recently as last Monday, just before the IPO, Elliott was again voicing his concerns about Facebook’s marketing abilities.  Elliott’s main criticism was that Facebook focuses more on the end user’s experience than it does its paying business customers.

While it may sound that Elliott thinks businesses should be put ahead of end users, that’s not the case.  He was simply trying to point out that businesses paying for Facebook advertising weren’t really getting any sort of service or value for their financial outlay.  And he’s not alone.  Forrester have been privy to talk among globally recognised brands who are of the same opinion, even going so far as to consider if they too should be continuing with their Facebook advertising.

While Facebook as a Social Media platform of choice for engaging with users and potential customers is highly successful, maybe the paid advertising system needs a bit of attention.

GM has been the first to turn away from the great and powerful Facebook.  It will be interesting to see if any other brands follow suit, if they are in fact as unhappy with the customer care, support, and value for money that they are receiving from Facebook.

The real reason GM left Facebook

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