Mere days before Facebook goes public, General Motors announced that it will pull $10 million in advertising from the social media site. GM execs told the Wall Street Journal they're not getting appropriate bang for their buck from Facebook's paid ad content.
GM also told WSJ that it plans to continue using services Facebook provides free of charge, such as the company's profile page. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his cohort are undoubtedly displeased with the timing of the General's decision, as it could potentially affect the price of their IPO on Friday. While $10 million is a mere fraction of the $3.7 billion Facebook raked in last year, it just looks bad to have the world's largest auto manufacturer to say paid advertising isn't working out.
Then again, as Business Insider's Jim Edwards pointed out, Zuckerberg may have plans to focus his energy on revenue streams other than advertising.
"So far, Facebook's advertising platform hasn't kept pace with the explosive growth of its social network, and it remains to be seen if CEO Mark Zuckerberg even wants to focus on advertising as a source of revenue. In his 2,500+ word letter to shareholders this month, he mentioned advertising just once," said Larry Kim, Founder and CTO of WordStream.
Maybe he just doesn't care about GM's withdrawal. Plus, as Edwards notes, Facebook is probably more effective for small companies than behemoth corporations. And GM is the king of behemoths.
GM critics and Facebook defenders all say that GM's Facebook page was poorly laid out, contained lame apps, and didn't really follow Facebook's suggested format for engaging content. Here's another take on GM's Facebook fail from All Things D:
GM never seemed persuaded of the value of social media in general and Facebook likes in particular. In a sales-driven culture, it is very hard to wrap your head around putting money in places where you don't see immediate results in an uptick in sales.
Another reason why GM wasn't able to walk the walk on Facebook might have something to do with the American carmaker's connection with the Facebook demographic. It's a younger crowd. GMs are nice looking cars nowadays, but why would someone want to buy something you can most certainly (and often do) get as a rental car?
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