Last week, we blogged about Facebook's mobile ad shortcomings and this week, some more untimely news has befallen the company in the midst of its IPO: General Motors is pulling its ads (all ads, not just mobile ones) off Facebook.
The Wall Street Journal reports that GM has decided paid Facebook ads have little impact on consumers' car purchases: "The move by GM, one of the largest advertisers in the U.S., puts a spotlight on an issue that many marketers have been raising: whether ads on Facebook help them sell more products. On Friday, Facebook is expected to sell shares in an initial public offering that could put a market value on the company of as much as $104 billion.
"Executives have spent the last two weeks trying to convince investors that its advertising business makes it worthy of a sky-high valuation."
GM has said it will continue to promote its products on Facebook; it's just not going to pay for any ads.
TheNextWeb: GM's Problem Isn't The Medium; It's Their Message
"I’ve spent quite a few years of my life working with companies to produce advertising that is effective and if there’s anything that I’ve learned, it’s a simple truth –- ads don’t matter; campaigns do," wrote TheNextWeb's Brad McCarty, of GM's move away from Facebook advertising.
McCarty points out that while critics of social marketing argue it isn't as effective as other forms of advertising, companies like Ford (GM's primary rival) "are seeing great response from their social campaigns."
He suggests a strategy of managing expectations of campaigns -- social should just be a piece of the greater puzzle.
"Nobody is going to see a car ad a single time on a website and then rush out to buy the car. That's foolish thinking," he writes.
GM shouldn't abandon Facebook; rather, it should create ads that help further a campaign and build TOMA (top-of-mind awareness), "to cut through the noise and to make certain that buyers think GM when they think of a new car or truck."