The Wall Street Journal announced that General Motors planned to stop advertising on Facebook. The article cited that the suits at GM said Facebook’s “paid ads had little impact on consumers’ car purchases.” However, GM plans to continue to utilize Facebook pages which are to this point, still free.
With click thru rates reported at 2 in every 10,000 (for those of you playing at home, that’s awful), Facebook is about to cash in on a huge IPO for a model based on volume, not results.
Some of our clients advertise on Facebook, but typically no more than $50-$100 a month, highly targeted and on a cost-per-click only. Doing anything else is basically throwing away money.
GM’s announcement will no doubt precede many more to come. And with the impending Facebook IPO, expect investors to become priority – not you or your brand(s). Here are four ways to use Facebook effectively, in the short term, and how to plan for your brand’s inevitable divorce from the Book.
1. If you advertise on Facebook, stick to a cost-per-click model only. Read that again. Only CPC. And make sure your targeting is actually targeted. Go beyond geography, look into lifestyle and keywords that truly identify your ideal customer. If you don’t know who your customer is, take a look at the people who “like” you on your Fan Page. Then, make sure your CPC ads are actually driving the specific results you are looking to achieve.
2. Expect the Goldman Sachs relationship to make data of Facebook users more easily accessible for marketers. Now on the surface this sounds pretty good for your brand. But deep down, you’re going to be marketing to a bunch of people, that while highly targeted, don’t want to be marketed to in this way. A piece of meat cooked up by different pieces of data unique to them. And by diving into the Facebook data abyss, you risk alienating potential targets who hate Facebook’s methodology but are basically stuck because, well, everyone is on Facebook.
3. Expect Facebook pages to soon come with a price. Maybe not now, maybe not next year, but at some point, there will be a charge for this. Enjoy it while it lasts and maximize it while you still can.
4. Consider this 3A, because when those Facebook pages go away or you stick to your guns and decide not to pay for them, you’ll lose those customers. Find a way to move these valuable brand advocates away from Facebook and onto your own “Owned” platform. A blog, email list, a magazine, a direct mail list, a newsletter. If you control the platform, you can truly “own” the audience.
We’d like some comments on how you plan to go about Facebook marketing in the next few years. Are you staying to course or wishing you signed a prenup?