Facebook is having quite a week. On Friday they are expected to go public, but today the news came out today that GM will be dumping Facebook Ads and spending the $10 million in advertising elsewhere. Their main complaint seems to be that the Facebook Ads are not effective. Unfortunately we are not able to look at their Facebook ad campaign to see where they might be able to improve. So we will do the next best thing which is to look at their Facebook page and do a social media evaluation, which is what we do for free for any of our prospective customers.
The first step is to establish their goals. The goal of GM is pretty simple. GM sells cars.
The second step is to understand how people buy cars. Buying cars is pretty simple, you go through a few different steps to arrive at a purchase decision:
- Dreaming and Exploring - How many times have you dreamed about a new car and then went online and explored that care and all the ways you could trick it out.
- Research and Buying - Once you start to figure out what you want you start to research it against other cars and other dealers for the best deal out there and then you buy the car
- Experience and Driving - Once you purchase, you show off your new car to your friends...possibly on Facebook?
Once we have the main goal and buying pattern established we can use them to evaluate the page. Are they talking about their goal? Helping people dream or explore? Sharing new driving or experience stories?
In a word....No
Here is where GM's Facebook page falls down and most likely where the Facebook ads well down as well.
- There aren't any links to the CARS! Sure there are links to press releases or human interest stories but no links to the CARS.
- There is WAY too much text on this page and very few pictures of CARS. Why would anyone click on these stories when all they want to see is CARS
- There are no apps - no contest to win a car or even trick out a car.
- No links to a dealer network to schedule a test drive
Not only is the GM page like this but so is Chevy, Chevy Volt, the only page that actually helps refer people to a sell is Buick Facebook page. It's no wonder they only have 486,000 fans. My guess is that the Facebook advertising either lead them to a website or lead them to some of these boring Facebook pages. So it's easy to understand why their advertising was ineffective, it lead consumers to something that was uninteresting. Why continue to purchase if you can't even get a good dream going?
So while GM is pulling its advertising, we would suggest that they take a look at one of the better Facebook pages we have seen in a related industry, Harley Davidson, which sells bikes
- You see lots of pictures of BIKES!
- Interspersed within the Facebook pages are blogs about things like "how to ride a motorcycle" which take you to the Harley Davidson website where you can try out a bike
- Some pretty cool apps where you can submit your own photos of you and your bike.
- A find a dealer app...so people can buy a BIKE!
Harley does a great job of showing people living the dream (riding Harleys) and giving them the ability to go to the website to purchase and then share those pics back onto Facebook so other people can start to dream. Not surprisingly...Harley has 3.6 million fans.
The bottom line is GM is really the reason their Facebook ads don't work, not Facebook ads.