When General Motors pulled its advertising from Facebook back in May of 2012, just days before the social platform’s initial public offering, many saw it as a vote of no confidence. The automaker reasoned that Facebook ads were “ineffective” and “had little impact on consumers,” according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. Less than a year later, GM is changing its tune completely.
GM announced its intentions to return to Facebook advertising via a test program for the Chevrolet Sonic. But it won’t only be Facebook. GM says it will also be using other mobile advertising solutions for its new “Find The Roads” campaign, which is a mobile-only pilot program.
GM’s return could also be attributed to the advertiser-friendly features recently released on Facebook, most notably Graph Search and the plans for the more visually rich news feed that focuses on high-quality photos and videos. As previously reported, Graph Search allows for easier searching within Facebook, connecting users with pages that their friends associate with most whenever they submit a search.
However, the most likely reason is the branding of the Chevrolet Sonic itself. The subcompact vehicle is part of GM’s strategy to target young, urban, “connected” car buyers, and having an advertising presence on Facebook would help reach that demographic. More to that point, the Sonic and the similar platform Chevrolet Spark are the first vehicles to hit the market with Apple’s “Eyes Free” Siri integration, which allows the driver to control his or her phone and certain vehicle functions with voice command.
There is no word yet on how much General Motors plans to pour into Facebook ads this go around, but before cutting ties last may, the automakers had spent $10 million dollars in Facebook advertising. GM reportedly spends $40 million alone on maintaining its Facebook presence, but none of that money goes to Facebook.
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