Let me get my reaction immediately onto the table:
1. Is this sour grapes, or what?
2. Are you flippin’ kidding me? Since when do people buy a car by clicking on a Facebook ad? Really?
3. What kind of cover story is this just prior to the Facebook IPO when a publicly traded company attempts to downgrade stock price and pose ponderings about a $104 billion valuation by a start-up with a CEO under 30-years-old?
4. Do GM investors want to snap up more shares for less price per share?
Now let me read the story; hang on a minute.
K, I’m back…here is the gist of the article:
1. GM spent “only about $10 million in 2011 to advertise on Facebook; a fraction of GM’s total 2011 U.S. ad spending of $1.8 billion.”
Uhmm, if that paltry percentage is being spent on Facebook advertising, then naturally someone isn’t going to click on a car ad on Facebook and buy the vehicle from the website…right? I mean, don’t you buy your car direct from a website, sight unseen without the lovely dealer experience?
2. “General Motors plans to stop advertising with Facebook after deciding that paid ads on the site have little impact on consumers’ car purchases, according to a GM official.”
Love the timing of this; just before the Facebook IPO in a few days and it helps get GM some extra publicity. I wonder what GM will do with its $10 million not being spent on Facebook ads? Will it go to charity? Or, maybe they’ll use it on Pinterest where women can click on the picture of a car and go buy a car from a website!
3. “GM’s decision raises questions about the ability of Facebook to sustain the 88% revenue growth achieved in 2011. Facebook said last month its first-quarter ad revenue was down 7.5% from the previous three months.”
I have no idea how to respond to this; it’s got to be the reporters (three of them) playing both sides of the fence. Should the timing of GM’s announcement affect Facebook’s IPO? Will it? Should it even matter? I seem to recall an auto industry bailout that put the U.S. economy into a downward spiral. I don’t recall reading that Facebook ever strayed from its growth goals, so why should it quake in its boots because GM is playing chess? (Although $10 million is likely not chump change to Facebook.)
So, a few disclaimers here – I’m not in advertising. I’m not a Facebook shareholder (but, I’d sure like to get my hands on a few of those on Friday). I’m not a financial analyst or investment adviser.
What I am is this:
A Business-to-Business Social Media Marketer with a Public Relations core (how’s that for key word attention?). I probably should be applauding the GM investor relations team for its smarts to push such a story on the cover of today’s national financial paper. But, it stinks putrid to me (I said to me) in my rantings above.
What do you think?