Signal in the GM Facebook Noise
GM announced today that they’re pulling their $10 million advertising spend from Facebook. It’s created quite a bit of conversation online, but here’s some signal in the noise:
GM is pulling paid ads, not abandoning Facebook
Much of the conversation is questioning the overall value of Facebook. This misses the mark. GM is saying emphatically that they believe in the platform, they just don’t believe paid advertising on Facebook works for them. Keep in mind that much of Facebook paid advertising is built to acquire, not retain fans. If GM has already done much of that heavy lifting, they may not be seeing the returns they want. That certainly doesn’t bode well for Facebook’s advertising business model, and is a sign that they need to figure out other ways to monetize the platform. I’m surprised GM wouldn’t still be interested in Reach Generator.
$30 million in content
I thought the most amazing number was that their total social spend was $30 million outside of paid media. Where’s all this money going? Apps, content, resources, etc… That’s the big story here, it’s a harpinger that engagement can’t be bought. Most agencies can’t do it, many in-house departments can’t do it - there’s a burgeoning content industry on the horizon!
Social isn’t the marketing department’s job?
If this move is all about how important content is as opposed to paid ads, we have an organizational problem. Marketing departments, and GM is certainly no exception, are built for paid advertising, not earned media. Might be time for some reorganizing.
I look forward to having conversations about this topic with our clients and within our agency. If anything, it’s an opportunity to question standard approaches to social, and a shift in budgets to investment in digital platforms rather than digital ads.