Thursday, May 17, 2012

Does GM’s Facebook decision impact your association?

You may have read that GM (General Motors) has decided to stop buying ads on Facebook. (They have been spending about $40 million on Facebook ads in the last 18 months.)

Because Facebook’s IPO was pending when the GM decision went public, some commentators jumped to the conclusion that Facebook might be in trouble.  The commentators seemed to put the focus on the value of Facebook rather than the value of Facebook ads.

And, this emphasis may lead some association executives to ask “If Facebook doesn’t work for General Motors, why should our association get engaged with Facebook.”

Please read the story deeper.

It appears that GM decided Facebook ads were not working as well because their “engagement with Facebook users through its content” seems to work better (my words after the quotes).

In fact, GM’s spokesperson said “GM remains committed to an aggressive content management strategy on Facebook involving sharing images, videos and comments with users.”

Thus, GM's decision is not a reflection of the value of Facebook as much as it is a signal of the declining value of ads.

Thinking as an association professional, this suggests again the value of engagement through content and that you can’t really buy love with ads, even online ads.

Developing and implementing a content management strategy that engages members and prospects should be a key priority for associations as we go forward.

1 comment:

  1. In my opinion, it still works if traditional advertising is adapted alongside engaging your target market (although at a much reduced scale than it used to be). It will be like still posting ads for jobs manila-based companies, but alongside (and with greater emphasis on) twitter and facebook posts.