Posted by Steve Parker, Jr. (@sparkerjr)
GM was scrutinized when it infamously declared that the company would no longer be running Facebook ads. Instead, GM said, its social content strategy would shift focus to creating conversation among communities across all of their brand pages (Chevy, Buick, GMC and Cadillac). GM cited Facebook advertising’s lack of lead and sale attribution measurement (this is possible, by the way, but just not with Facebook Insights as it is today) as one reason for why it was pulling the $10 million account. The company was not seeing the appropriate ROI.
So where does GM’s social media budget go now? It seems the company still plans to fully use Facebook’s organic features to connect with fans. Facilitating conversation has now become the number one goal of GM’s social communication strategy. This speaks to a broader shift in social media, especially in automotive industry marketing. Typically, automotive isn’t “sexy” or thought of as inherently “social.” Therefore, automotive marketing pros have had to come up with innovative and fun ways to connect with their audiences–the audiences that know everything about cars and the audiences that know nothing about them. According to a recent study, there are a few foci that the auto industry is trying to capitalize on: reputation management and sales (and closing the gap between the two).
The bottom line: the automotive industry sees social communication as an impactful medium and a powerful one to make money on. It is important, however, for companies like GM to feel like they are spending their money in the right way. Only time will tell if this non-paid social content strategy works for the auto giant.