Five Reasons Why Pulling Facebook Advertising For GM Was a Bad Idea

GM will be cutting its Facebook advertising moving forward

Facebook has been receiving plenty of negative publicity recently. Their stock (FB) has plummeted since the initial public offering on May 18th and lawsuits keep piling up against the social networking giant based on the fact that they misled investors. General Motors recently cut all of their Facebook advertising budget ($10 million) after deciding that paid ads on the site have little impact on consumers’ car purchases. Mark Zuckerberg won’t be pressing the “like” button on any of the news above.

As of late, bashing Facebook has become the norm. While not all companies are well-suited for social networking websites, General Motors will now be stuck in neutral with its social marketing strategy. Growing a following on social networking sites organically is becoming more competitive then ever. GM might have a solid strategy for organic social marketing growth, The Media Captain however believes that GM took a wrong turn in its decision to cut Facebook Advertising:

Brand Awareness

  • Every time a fan would “like” the General Motors Facebook page, they are basically signing up to receive messages from the Detroit, Michigan based company for years to come (unless they “unlike” the page). Consumers would become more knowledgeable and aware of their new makes and models, which could certainly have an impact on their car purchasing decision at some point down the road.  Not only that, but keeping your brand top of mind is always important.

Bad Publicity Stunt

  • In addition to pulling advertising dollars on Facebook, GM also announced that they would no longer be running Super Bowl commercials. General Motors has been all over the news with these two announcements. Considering that the company spends $4.5 billion globally on advertising, this could be no more than a masterful PR stunt by Paul Edwards, their executive director for global marketing strategy.  If both of these decisions are actually long term choices, they could backfire. While GM generated amazing exposure over a short time span with these two moves, they will not be delivering their brand message to the masses in two of the most watched/visited avenues of media.

Competitor Advantage

  • With GM having 383, 000 “likes” on Facebook, competitors already have and will continue to grow a larger social following and have an advantage in the automotive social landscape. Each time one of their rivals generates a new “like,” that could be a missed opportunity for GM to be promoting their product to that specific individual. A strong social presence builds a strong loyalty among fans online and General Motors is missing this opportunity.

Messaging and Web Traffic

  • Facebook and social media sites are a great way for companies to promote their products and messages while driving users to their website. With more followers on the General Motors Facebook page, additional people would have gone to their website or seen a new commercial spot they were trying to push. Social Networking sites are also becoming more significant in regards to search engine exposure.


  • General Motors spends about $30 million on content created for Facebook, including the agencies that manage the content and daily maintenance on GM’s pages. Facebook is ultra competitive in terms of organically generating new “likes.” If the company still plans on pushing high quality content (which Marketing Chief Joel Ewanick suggests) then the game plan to stay stagnant on “likes” is a decision that doesn’t make much sense.

Jason Parks is the Owner of The Media Captain
The Media Captain is a Corporate Video Production and Online Marketing Company