Last week, two colleagues re-directed emails to me regarding the pull-out of General Motors from Facebook. Along with the attached ‘insane graphics’ file, were the words – ‘Great Laugh’. Since, I’m a social media advocate and they aren’t so much, I took this to mean… “see even GM has seen the light on social media”.
I did scan the online social media sites, to see what others thought and the consensus seems to be that GM might be leaving Facebook but they aren’t leaving social media altogether.
Even if GM is leaving Facebook, there are still several large companies left. If I look into my crystal ball, I don’t see an exodus. It might be as simple as GM reviewing their budget and deciding that they wanted to spend those advertising dollars elsewhere? The total Facebook budget of $10M is significant, but I wonder what it represents in terms of the entire GM advertising budget (print, TV and radio to start).
I do agree with the social media pundits who think that the real reason GM is pulling out of Facebook is that they are annoyed that Facebook pays more attention to it’s users than to those that are helping Facebook monetize. And I agree with GM on that one too. Business pages are not that user-friendly and Facebook metrics are incomprehensible.
But what does this all mean for small business?
Agreed, social media is confusing but no more than any other type of media. It’s merely a matter of finding which social media platform works best for your company. Choose two, and do them well. Don’t listen to those that preach the latest hype of the newest and brightest social media launch, it might not necessarily be the best fit for your business. And consider how many social media flops there have been. Keep it simple. Any platform that is confusing and time consuming isn’t worth your effort.
Social media is but one tool in your marketing toolbox and it does serve a purpose.
It’s useful for driving real-time search results. How many times have you noticed in a a social media site such as Linked-In or Facebook appeared in the search results along with the company website? Some social media sites such as Linked In and YouTube have become search engines on their own.
There’s absolutely no better way to connect with customers than through social media platforms. Social media also allows you to say things that you can’t easily say on your website – such as post a new event or access to your newsletter.
In my estimation, using social media with specific objectives is beneficial to your business. But whichever social media platform your business decides to engage, make sure that the site is active and well cared for.
While GM has stopped buying ads on Facebook, I doubt that they are going to shut down all their free pages.
My real question? Who is the poor Facebook sales rep that lost the account?