GM Makes a Return to Facebook Advertising (Maybe)

gm returns to facebookThe general public often makes an assumption that every company must be on all of the social media platforms that are available. However, agencies and businesses have known for years that sometimes it’s best to focus their marketing efforts on a single platform and media. In 2012, GM made the surprising move to no longer advertise on Facebook. However, it looks like they may now be coming back to advertising on Facebook.

Testing the Waters

While GM never gave up on Facebook, they did stop advertising in late May of last year. The move got a lot of press for GM and Facebook alike, and many were worried about the impact it would have on Facebook’s IPO. It looked as if GM would focus on their own content to draw customers and continue to promote their brand. Twitter was a major focus for GM since they stopped Facebook advertising, and each of their brands has its own individual account.

Apparently some of the more recent changes to Facebook’s API and ad services have piqued GM’s attention again. As Stuart Elliott writes on the NY Times, GM “[has] begun a test program of paid ads on facebook.com aimed at consumers who check Facebook on their mobile devices.”

Aha! Those last two words show us exactly why GM has come back to Facebook after a year long advertising absence: mobile devices. Mobile marketing has been booming in the past few years and has shown no signs of letting up.

Additionally, this appears to be a greater move by GM and its brands to start advertising on a wide range of platforms. Dale Buss at Forbes writes that Chevrolet “is testing a number of mobile advertising solutions…as part of its ‘Find New Roads’ campaign.” They’ve even decided to run a pilot campaign based entirely on mobile for the new Chevrolet Sonic.

Why the Break-up? Why Back Together Again?

One of GM’s main problems with Facebook last year was based on as Dale writes, “months of wrangling with Facebook executives” about the website’s tracking and analytics capabilities. Apparently they weren’t up to par for GM, but now it looks like the recent and frequent changes Facebook has been making to the news feed, its advertisement API, and other areas of the site have improved enough that GM is willing to give them another shot.

Has Facebook finally done enough to convince the bigger advertisers that it means business and that it can reach the all-important mobile market? While the company has certainly improved its mobile offerings, the whole Facebook Home offering shows that it’s completely serious about mobile marketing as well.

I don’t see the improvements from Facebook stopping any time soon. They have to continue to monetize and make advertising easier, more effective, and more attractive for businesses (as small as a brick-and-mortar and as large as GM) and agencies around the world. If it’s good enough for GM to give it another shot, and if you aren’t already advertising on Facebook, maybe it’s time to give it another (or a first) try.

What do you think about GM coming back to advertise on Facebook?

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Patrick currently lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, where he is studying for a Master's Degree in Intercultural Relations. Upon graduation from Penn State in 2008, he spent two years overseas in Kyrgyzstan with the U.S. Peace Corps. While writing is currently his chosen way to put food on the table, he loves fitness and exercise, which he believes makes up for his avid computer gaming habit.

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