Content Marketing Blog

General Motors opts for content rather than ads on Facebook

One of the world's largest car manufacturers has withdrawn its Facebook campaigns, questioning the effectiveness of the social network's paid advertising over that of fresh content.

According to reports from the Wall Street Journal yesterday (May 16), General Motors has pulled the plug on its US$10 million social media marketing deal with Facebook – just days ahead of the social network's launch onto the stock market.

"This happens as a regular course of business and it's not unusual for us to move our spending around various media outlets – especially with the growth of multiple social and digital media outlets,'' GM spokesman Greg Martin said in a statement.

This idea was echoed by GM marketing chief Joel Ewanick, who told the WSJ that the marque "is definitely reassessing our advertising on Facebook, although the content is effective and important".

The focus on content is becoming more common among large corporations, as they learn more about how to utilise online resources more effectively.

GM reportedly spends a total of US$40 million on its Facebook presence, three-quarters of which goes towards creating and maintaining original content.

Media monitoring service Kantar Media ranked the US auto giant as the third largest advertiser in the United States with an expenditure of $1.8 billion in 2011, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

Industry rival Ford hit back at GM's decision, reaffirming its own support of the world's largest social network.

"It's all about the execution. Our Facebook ads are effective when strategically combined with engaging content and innovation," the company tweeted.

The advertising backdown could not have come at a more crucial time for Facebook, as it prepares to generate US$19.85 billion in its first day of trading when it launches on the stock exchange on May 17 (local time).

Posted by Elise Ferrari