GET BLOG UPDATES VIA EMAIL
3 Recommendations for GM to Realize the Impact of Facebook Advertising
It looks like General Motors is back at the table with Facebook to talk about resuming advertising. Frankly, I can’t say I’m too surprised. Something just didn’t add up when they pulled their Facebook Ads budget in the week leading up to the FB IPO. GM had announced that their decision was due to paid ads “having little impact on consumers’ car purchases”. My take was that General Motors was not using the social network in the right ways to make their ad spend truly effective. Now that the two companies are talking again, I thought it would be a good time to make some recommendations on the changes GM can make to ensure that their ad spend has greater impact on car purchases.
1. Go for the Like
According to the Wall Street Journal, GM spends $30 million just to manage their various Facebook pages. GM has about 5 million likes across their biggest pages including, Chevrolet, Cadillac, Corvette, GMC, General Motors, and Buick. That means GM is spending about $6.00 per each of their Facebook fans. GM could acquire new likes/fans using Facebook Advertising at well under $2.00 per connection. It makes economic sense to continue to build the fan base for each of their pages when GM is already committing $30 million just to manage the pages. It makes even more sense knowing that GM only spent $10 million on all of their Facebook Advertising efforts last year.
2. Use Landing Tabs
The majority of GM’s Facebook Advertising budget should be spent on sending consumers to car specific landing tabs on their existing pages. This allows each dollar spent to serve the purpose of getting a new fan along with giving the consumer an in-depth interactive experience that teaches them about the car and brings them to the next step of the conversion funnel. This interactive conversion/lead collection is not something that can easily be done with traditional forms of advertising.
3. Leverage Precise Targeting
One of the biggest advantages of Facebook Ads is the ability to target your exact audience. People who are interested in buying Buicks are going to be a different age and education level than those who are interested in buying a Chevrolet Spark. Unlike television, Facebook gives you the ability to only pay for the exact audience that you want to reach. It also gives you the ability to target by interests. GM could send race fans to their V-Series tab and send environmentalists to their Volt page. Geographic targeting could help GM send people directly to dealers in their area. Lastly, GM could show different ad creative to people of different genders and ages in order to sell the same car more effectively.
It’s hard for me to understand how Facebook Ads could have less impact per dollar spent than more traditional forms of media if GM was already leveraging these tactics. Sometimes marketers make rash decisions about new media before they have gotten the opportunity to really understand how to leverage it. I think GM should give Facebook another try. Especially when $10 million is just half a percent of their overall $1.8 billion yearly ad budget!