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General Motors: "Facebook Ads Aren't Worth It"

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the could-be-no-one-wants-your-cars dept.

Advertising 400

Fluffeh writes "General Motors spends around $40 million per year on maintaining a Facebook profile and around a quarter of that goes into paid advertising. However, in a statement, they just announced that 'it's simply not working.' That's a bit of bad news just prior to the Facebook IPO — and while Daniel Knapp tries to sweeten the news, he probably makes it even more bitter by commenting 'Advertising on Facebook has long been funded by marketing budgets reserved for trying new things. But as online advertising investments in general are surging and starting to cannibalize spend on legacy media, advertisers are rightfully asking whether the money spend is justified because it has reached significant sums now.'"

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400 comments

Whaaaa???? (5, Funny)

crazyjj (2598719) | about a year ago | (#40016457)

You mean my loser friend from high school who spends all day in front of his computer posting updates on his shitty life *isn't* the perfect person to target with an ad for a $40,000 new car?!?!?

Re:Whaaaa???? (4, Insightful)

TWX (665546) | about a year ago | (#40016539)

Mmhmm...

At least videos that manufacturers and marketers put up on Youtube, if they're good, can get a lot of attention. That Honda ad with Matthew Broderick, the Scion ad with the babes in bikinis eating donuts while one drives the new car doing donuts, etc... Plus the ads can be longer than fifteen, thirty, or sixty seconds, and if they're quality ads where they're amusing or informative beyond the normal "THIS IS OUR PRODUCT LOOK AT OUR PRODUCT" that you get in a minutes, they can be much more effective.

Putting an ad video on Youtube (not as an ad, as a video) allows anyone to view it and allows references to it to be pushed through any number of means, not just through Facebook. This means more vectors for the ad to become "viral", and the more that see it, the better it is for the company.

Re:Whaaaa???? (5, Informative)

AngryOldGuy (2639471) | about a year ago | (#40016691)

The problem isn't so much Facebook users (this includes pretty much everyone), but too high prices for non-targeted users. Yes, you can target by age and gender and such, but unlike with Google and AdWords you cannot target to specific interests or queries. Yet Facebook charges almost kind of prices per click than Google does.

I was actually surprised when I was looking at the prices the first time. I had the idea that I could advertise and get people much more cheaper from Facebook. But the prices are ridiculous. It's much better to use AdWords or Bing's AdCenter for some actual targeted queries if the price is going to be the same.

Re:Whaaaa???? (4, Insightful)

Magic5Ball (188725) | about a year ago | (#40016755)

The problem is that Facebook is optimized for narcissistic _self_-promotion through _telling_ your echo chamber how great you are, not for _showing_ others your status even through the usual consumption displays that are required to promote _others_.

Re:Whaaaa???? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40017023)

The problem is that Facebook is optimized for narcissistic _self_-promotion through _telling_ your echo chamber how great you are, not for _showing_ others your status even through the usual consumption displays that are required to promote _others_.

Nobody, and I do mean nobody, buys pointless shit like narcissistic people do. They are the ones who post up the most personal information about every last thing. They are the ones who just have to make sure everybody sees what location they're "logged into" at the moment. So in that regard, Facebook is a Utopia for advertisement.

The problem as I see it, is how the ads are actually displayed. I honestly hardly notice them at all, myself, and even if they were interesting and noticeable there's no way in hell that I trust clicking on it. Clicking ads in my mind is like saying "Why yes, I think I will take some Malware for my computer, now that you mention it. Thanks! Boy that really fucked my plan up. Got any more?"
Contrast that to something like Youtube, where they get annoying, but not only do you have to do nothing, you also aren't actively jumping through random, unknown web sites.

If FB was smart, they'd require advertisers to have a FB group, and eliminate outside linking entirely.... ads would link to the FB page of the ad purchaser. And here's where they throw in the bait- add the long-coveted 'Dislike' button on the ad pages and company groups. Streisand Effect would make more eyes hit those ads than anything in history... and I'm not exaggerating.

Re:Whaaaa???? (0)

crazyjj (2598719) | about a year ago | (#40016777)

How dare you post an informed and reasoned argument on slashdot, sir!! I demand your membership be rescinded immediately!

Re:Whaaaa???? (1)

gshegosh (1587463) | about a year ago | (#40017063)

I haven't seen the Scion commercial and I'm not native English speaker, but is the babe really doing donuts, not making them? :-)

Re:Whaaaa???? (0)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#40016561)

You sound like you don't have an MBA. So what could you possibly know?

Re:Whaaaa???? (1)

geekoid (135745) | about a year ago | (#40016729)

I know you are being sarcastic, but you are right. Someone with an MBA would have actually looked at the demographic before making an opinion; which explains why that poster example is wrong.

Re:Whaaaa???? (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#40016823)

Point taken. Except that doesn't seem to be happening, until after the fact of spending money there.

Glad at least someone got that I was being sarcastic.

Re:Whaaaa???? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40016569)

Because the stereotypical facebook user and the average facebook user are definitely the same thing.

Re:Whaaaa???? (5, Funny)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | about a year ago | (#40016605)

If GM wants to target their demographic they need to advertise on late night AM radio, not the internet.

Re:Whaaaa???? (4, Funny)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#40016703)

Late night? These folks go to bed by 9pm, I think you meant dinner time AM radio.

Re:Whaaaa???? (3, Insightful)

6ULDV8 (226100) | about a year ago | (#40017021)

Dinner time? If I watch your ad after 4:30, I'll miss the early bird special. Save 75 cents or watch a commercial. Not a tough choice. Not going to watch it after dinner either. I have to get my nap in before bedtime or I'll be tired tomorrow.

I already know who GM is and when I'm in the market for a new car I go look at the dealer lot. Commercials are just irritating. It's the same on CNN videos. If an ad plays, I click away and find the same video from another source.

Tunnel Vision (3, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | about a year ago | (#40016613)

You mean my loser friend from high school who spends all day in front of his computer posting updates on his shitty life *isn't* the perfect person to target with an ad for a $40,000 new car?!?!?

Probably not. Although convincing him that the 2011 Chevrolet Aveo [rankingsandreviews.com] (with an MSRP of $12,000) is the best investment he could make now that his rusted out junker needs a new transmission might be worth a few bucks to GM. If he has income and can get an auto loan from a bank, they're interested in him. America is full of losers like your friend that still need cars to go to their shitty job so they can afford their shitty food, pay their shitty rent and make shitty car payments. Transitioning these sales strategies of "most dependable" or "safest in its class" from TV to online hubs of entertainment isn't too far of a stretch, is it?

Re:Tunnel Vision (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#40016735)

I think they would want to sell a 2012 Sonic, which replaced the Aveo.

Not sure how shitty it is, but I am going to be test driving one as it is a car I can buy in cash and comes in hatchback and stickshift.

Re:Tunnel Vision (1, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | about a year ago | (#40017027)

I think they would want to sell a 2012 Sonic, which replaced the Aveo.

Isn't that a hedgehog?

Re:Tunnel Vision (1)

war4peace (1628283) | about a year ago | (#40017057)

Yes, because high school dudes with shitty lives can *totally* spend 12K bucks on a brand new car. NOT.
And 40M USD? Damn!
Here's an instant idea on what to do with that money: give every buyer a discount of 400 USD when buying a car and tell them you're going to install a sticker on their car advertising GM in a funny or witty or aggressive or stupid way (they can choose from a selection of stickers), and that sticker should stay there for a year. That's 100K cars being driven around and boosting your visibility as a company. You "spend" the same amount of money but man, it's going to be way more effective.

Re:Whaaaa???? (5, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | about a year ago | (#40016717)

It's nice that you don't understand th demographics of Facebook, and still not let your ignorance prevent you from writing a post.

Well done.

You know who is a large demographic of Facebook users? Married Women 25-33. The second largest is men in the same age range.
Your example is the minority.

That's not the problem, the problem is that it's global. The majority of users are outside the US. So, selling 40,000 dollar car to someone in turkey isn't exactly going to work.
Here is a breakdown.

http://www.kenburbary.com/2011/03/facebook-demographics-revisited-2011-statistics-2/ [kenburbary.com]

Re:Whaaaa???? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40016767)

One of the attractive aspects of Facebook advertising is that you can specify quite precisely the demographic that you wish to target. For example, you can very easily target a particular age range in the US (or in a state in the US).

Re:Whaaaa???? (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | about a year ago | (#40016889)

So you are saying Facebook is so bad at advertising, they would put an ad for a US car company which is more or less completely unavailable in Turkey on a Turkish user's page in the first place?

I wouldn't call ~1/3 of the US population a small number of people, nor a problem for advertisers. It doesn't matter that the majority of Facebook users aren't in the US: it matters that Facebook is a poor place for ads in the first place (perhaps because Facebook isn't very good at targeting them, or because people just ignore them completely). Facebook has the US users to be a huge marketing base. More so than just about any other channel. The problem isn't in the demographics.

Re:Whaaaa???? (2)

AngryOldGuy (2639471) | about a year ago | (#40017035)

Advertisers can choose the countries they want to target. But I agree, Facebook demographics isn't bad. In fact, they're the best ones to advertise to (and I mean largest demographies, as Facebook pretty much has users from all demographics).

The problem is that you're basically limited to brand advertising with no way to target users who search for specific keyword, like with Google. This makes Facebook advertising much less valuable. Of course, they could help this by trying to lower advertising prices.. but it seems like it works for them anyway, so why would they do that.

The funny thing is that Facebook has much better "advertising" feature that is free, fanpages.

Re:Whaaaa???? (2, Insightful)

thrillseeker (518224) | about a year ago | (#40017003)

Who needs to advertise when your checking account has unlimited overdraft protection courtesy of the taxpayer?

NPR Looked at Pizza Delicious (5, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | about a year ago | (#40016487)

If you're perhaps wondering about how this works out for smaller businesses, NPR built an anecdote out of a small locally owned pizza joint in New Orleans [npr.org] trying their hand at targeted social advertising. For $240 they doubled their Facebook fans (at the cost of nearly $1 per 'like') and weren't so sure they'd see the return on that money after asking customers one evening where they heard about Pizza Delicious.

Re:NPR Looked at Pizza Delicious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40016575)

But so what. Did these people buy more or even any pizza from this restaurant. I'm not on Faceborg and so I admit I'm biased but if there's no return, from a revenue generation perspective, it's money down the drain.

Re:NPR Looked at Pizza Delicious (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#40016603)

That story doesn't ask or answer the question: Was there more business coming in after the Facebook ads?

They just asked if the people coming in the door were there because of Facebook.

Which one is more important?

Re:NPR Looked at Pizza Delicious (4, Informative)

jitterman (987991) | about a year ago | (#40017053)

They don't believe so (I also heard the story this morning), as they asked people who came into the store if they had done so because of the FB exposure. No one had (though one generous soul donated $10 on line because of it). Not a great way to spend $240 on advertising.

Re:NPR Looked at Pizza Delicious (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year ago | (#40017091)

So what if no one *said* they had come in because of FB?

Did more people come in or not? If yes, then the advertising worked. Whether the customers remembered Facebook or not.

Re:NPR Looked at Pizza Delicious (1)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | about a year ago | (#40016675)

I heard that this morning. Finally someone said they would *donate* $10 to their cause. I doubt many bigger companies will have that kind of response.

The thing I think Wall Street is missing is that people tune those ads out or block them. Maybe Facebook has come up with some new methods to lock people into getting the message but if they make it too onerous, people will simply quit Facebook.

I also heard an analysis on NPR yesterday that talked about how the price to earnings was sky high and to actually be worth what the IPO is intended to go for, Facebook will have to soak up a huge percentage of the entire world's advertising dollars.

Maybe Facebook has some secret plan up their sleeve, but I won't be buying any.

Re:NPR Looked at Pizza Delicious (1)

NeverVotedBush (1041088) | about a year ago | (#40016759)

Also, with more employers using Facebook to spy on employees, as well as spouses spying on spouses, etc, there is a disincentive for users now building.

And as Facebook tries to cash in on the associations and data mining, users will have to be forced to look at even more ads.

I wouldn't bet on it being a good investment.

Re:NPR Looked at Pizza Delicious (2)

bitingduck (810730) | about a year ago | (#40016795)

The thing I think Wall Street is missing is that people tune those ads out or block them. Maybe Facebook has come up with some new methods to lock people into getting the message but if they make it too onerous, people will simply quit Facebook.

I tune them out so well that I still can't picture where the ads are on facebook.

Re:NPR Looked at Pizza Delicious (1)

localman57 (1340533) | about a year ago | (#40016921)

Or, you're tuned in, and don't even know it. Like subtle product placement in movies. You're being advertised to, and you don't even know it... The best advertising is advertising that makes you think that you developed a desire for the product independently, rather than being advertised to.

Re:NPR Looked at Pizza Delicious (4, Informative)

Baloroth (2370816) | about a year ago | (#40016923)

I also heard on the radio this morning that one survey said 50% of Americans think Facebook is a fad. That doesn't bode well for their future, even if most Facebook users aren't American.

Re:NPR Looked at Pizza Delicious (4, Informative)

wcrowe (94389) | about a year ago | (#40016917)

I'm not a fan of Facebook -- deleted my account last year -- and I am inclined to believe that they are overvalued. However, I don't think NPR's experiment is valid. Let's say there's this place I know called Bob's Bar where they also serve pizza. A number of my friends know about Bob's Bar too. Let's say Bob's Bar has a Facebook presence, and buys some advertising targeting myself and some of my friends. Then, while on FB, me and some of my friends (some of whom have never been to Bob's Bar) decide we're going to meet at Bob's Bar for drinks and pizza on Friday night. If someone interviewed us at Bob's Bar, neither me nor any of my friends would say we had heard about Bob's Bar via FB. But that doesn't mean the advertising didn't pay off. We could have met up anywhere for pizza and drinks, but because Bob's was on our collective FB radar, we went to Bob's.

Re:NPR Looked at Pizza Delicious (1)

AngryOldGuy (2639471) | about a year ago | (#40017099)

If they want to do proper analysis, they should hand out coupons or similar in the Facebook page. You can't still figure it out 100%, but it's much better than asking where people heard about the place.

Neither are Super Bowl Ads... (4, Insightful)

Xphile101361 (1017774) | about a year ago | (#40016503)

but that doesn't seem to stop anyone. I've found that marketing rarely has ever been able to prove that the money they spend actually generates returns.

Re:Neither are Super Bowl Ads... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40016723)

Well, with google you at least somewhat translate click rate into revenue (e.g. say 3% of site users make a purchase, and you increase/decrease number of visitors with the dollars you give to google---it's a bit less ambiguous, as you're not pouring millions into something nobody may even see or notice).

Re:Neither are Super Bowl Ads... (2)

Maximum Prophet (716608) | about a year ago | (#40016769)

but that doesn't seem to stop anyone. I've found that marketing rarely has ever been able to prove that the money they spend actually generates returns.

Most of the "Proof" is kept secret. Companies all the time try an ad campaign in just one market before going national. That, and hiring people to view ads while eye tracking and what is essentially a polygraph to monitor their responses to specific ads.

The problem is, even if the marketroids do science, it's a master marketer that sells his ads to the company. (internal or external) Even if the science says one thing, he's going to spin it so that he gets paid the most he can get.

Yes, the Marketing Department does science. No, that science will not help you unless your well being coincides with the well being of the marketers.

Re:Neither are Super Bowl Ads... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40016789)

Super Bowl adverts are for brand recognition, just as much as selling their wares.

Re:Neither are Super Bowl Ads... (4, Interesting)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about a year ago | (#40016793)

Well that's the case with all advertising, it's hard to know if, or how it ever directly pays off. For some things (like cars) you don't seriously expect someone is going to buy a car because they saw it on TV or Facebook or because GM owns a sports stadium. You're trying to create some hard to define 'brand awareness' so that when people think of cars they think GM, and give them enough of a sense of what you offer that they'll show up at a showroom.

It sounds silly to say 'think GM' when buying a car, but it isn't. You want people to think GM is doing well enough that they can afford advertising, that they're in tune with whatever market facebook connects to (1/7th of the planet, and probably half the people in the world who are able to drive), in the case of a stadium you're creating the false impression they're being good corporate citizens, that sort of thing. If people don't see you advertising but they see someone else's then they assume you don't really have anything worth selling.

In terms of internet advertising in general I think this is tricky. Just because you don't click on an ad doesn't mean you didn't see it, and doesn't mean it isn't contributing to your 'think GM when buying a car'. But if people are using ad blocking software they may not even be seeing your ad, so you get nothing out of it. Some people are completely overwhelmed by 'computers' and trying to advertise to them is about as useful as sending out GM fliers to nursing home patients. So I could see that facebook ads for cars may be worthless. That doesn't mean facebook ads for everything are worthless, or if they maybe need to use a different advertising approach on facebook (different size or style of ads, celebrity pitches, that sort of thing), but my guess is that Facebook ads don't have a lot of return for things that aren't related to Facebook, which is why, at least around here, it has only been this year that we finally started seeing ads that weren't extremely sketchy, and right now we don't see very many ads for things that aren't facebook related (although right now it's showing me a Diablo III ad).

Re:Neither are Super Bowl Ads... (5, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | about a year ago | (#40016857)

More precisely:
I've found that marketing rarely has ever been able to prove that the money they spend actually generates returns that exceed the oney spent.

Ironically the except IS superbowl ads.

" Earlier research by some of the same scholars also found that films advertised during the Super Bowl see as much as a 40 percent boost at the box office."
http://www.slate.com/articles/business/moneybox/2012/02/i_paid_4_million_for_this_.html [slate.com]

Of course, their are other factors as well. If I buy an ad, that mean it's harder for my competitor t buy an ad, pop culture benefits, etc:
http://money.cnn.com/2011/02/03/news/companies/super_bowl_ads/index.htm [cnn.com]

But is does seem superbowl ads are worth it in many cases.

Pffft.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40016509)

Facebook aint worth it unless your a 10 year old girl.

What a crock.

It's not working! (4, Funny)

conner_bw (120497) | about a year ago | (#40016517)

A new generation of young adults who don't want cars in the face of an oil crisis, austerity, and environmental concerns...

On a more serious note I totally feel for you GM. I spent 20 million advertising my "INVASIVE ANAL PROBE CONSULTING" business and it's just not working. Must be Facebook.

Re:It's not working! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40016667)

Why would I buy that, when the aliens do it for free?

Re:It's not working! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40016695)

On a more serious note I totally feel for you GM. I spent 20 million advertising my "INVASIVE ANAL PROBE CONSULTING" business and it's just not working. Must be Facebook.

Facebook is not your target audience. You should try direct marketing to the TSA.

Re:It's not working! (1)

bhcompy (1877290) | about a year ago | (#40016765)

I know of no young adults that don't want cars. They're just too poor to verbalize their desire.

Re:It's not working! (1)

flirno (945854) | about a year ago | (#40016897)

I don't know of any that pay attention to ads on facebook however -- younger generations are just as good at screening out visual noise as I am and I am pretty good at it.

Re:It's not working! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40016993)

Now you know one, I can afford a car and choose not to buy one, software developer and I bike to and from work

$30 million dollars?!?!? (5, Insightful)

sglewis100 (916818) | about a year ago | (#40016549)

Wait... $40 million dollars, a quarter of which ($10 million) was advertising. The rest was $30 million dollars of which $0 went to Facebook (accounts are free). Where did the rest go, does it really take $30 million dollars of payroll expenses to have a couple of people post status updates and photos? I realize they probably had review teams, photographers, marketing folks, customer service, etc - but $30 million dollars seems absurd.

Point of fact (0)

arcite (661011) | about a year ago | (#40016749)

$30 million isn't as much as it seems when taking into account operating costs, salaries, consultant fees, and other expenses.

Re:Point of fact (4, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | about a year ago | (#40017097)

$30 million isn't as much as it seems when taking into account operating costs, salaries, consultant fees, and other expenses.

OK divide it out. I'm not on FB so I can't directly comment, but a good metric might be posts per day. $30M is $82192 per day. I can't imagine following a feed with more than 10 posts per day, unless its a pr0n star posting pics or something, too spammy. So thats $8219.20 per post.

Someone in India would make spam posts for maybe $0.01 each, but they would be terrible. So stand on a street corner at a university with a stack of $20 bills and give one to each marketing major who makes a decent post. That leaves $8199.20 per post for executive bonuses.

I checked some graphics artist freelance rates and they seem to charge about $75/hr. 10 posts per day is 2.4 hours work per post. So one dude (more realistically you need 5 dudes for 24 hour 7 day week coverage of a slot) could do all the work for $180 per post. That leaves a mere $80392 per day left over for the office slush fund, foozball tables, exec bonuses, etc. Honestly I think they're earning their $75/hr if they can think of ten interesting things to post, 365 days per year. I really like my ancient Saturn, but I'd run out of ideas the first week if not sooner.

Re:$30 million dollars?!?!? (5, Interesting)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#40016785)

For $40 million it would have been better to give away cars worth that much. Gets them on the street for people to see, gets folks talking about GM giving away cars. I bet giving away cars would generate some buzz on facebook without all the extra work and cost.

Re:$30 million dollars?!?!? (4, Interesting)

localman57 (1340533) | about a year ago | (#40017005)

For $40 million it would have been better to give away cars worth that much. Gets them on the street for people to see, gets folks talking about GM giving away cars. I bet giving away cars would generate some buzz on facebook without all the extra work and cost.

Most marketing guys would take exception to this. Giving away your product is very dangerous, as free and worthless are concepts that the brain tends to lump together.

Re:$30 million dollars?!?!? (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | about a year ago | (#40017081)

This is a fantastic idea. Make a drawing where everyone who "likes" your page on Facebook has a chance to win a car (say, 10 standard cars and 1 supercar: the supercar especially would draw a lot of people). It wouldn't require much initial work on their part: after a few people see it, millions would flock to "like" the page spreading it everywhere on Facebook.

Re:$30 million dollars?!?!? (1)

kooky45 (785515) | about a year ago | (#40016819)

They'll have spent a ton of money reprinting content to include their link to Facebook. All their TV, radio, press and web adverts will have been changed to report it too. You could argue that's a one-off cost though.

Re:$30 million dollars?!?!? (3, Interesting)

Bogtha (906264) | about a year ago | (#40016833)

Some of it probably went towards building Facebook apps. I've seen a lot of big brands build pointless Facebook apps to promote things via games, competitions, etc. They've got big advertising budgets and not much imagination, so they throw a tonne of it at digital agencies to come up with this crap. The agencies are more than happy to keep quiet and take their money instead of telling them they shouldn't be doing that.

Heavy social media users are typically losers. (1, Interesting)

Barbara, not Barbie (721478) | about a year ago | (#40016559)

Narcissistic, insecure, low self esteem [dailymail.co.uk], they're on facebook to "be seen" and try to feel that their lives are worth something.

Social media is a failure.

Re:Heavy social media users are typically losers. (5, Insightful)

catseye (96076) | about a year ago | (#40016687)

You know who else are losers? Slashdot users: Freetard neckbeards who only want to talk about Linux, hate all end users, and have poor hygiene.

Am I doing it right?

Re:Heavy social media users are typically losers. (1)

Barbara, not Barbie (721478) | about a year ago | (#40016965)

You won't get an argument from me wrt foot-cheese-eating RMS and his zealots.

I'll revisit the question when they can produce a distro that doesn't end up crapping out after a few updates. In other words, probably not before we hit the Y2k38 bug.

Re:Heavy social media users are typically losers. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40017101)

Your inability to be critical of what you read and discern the actual meaning of it points to a problem.

You couldn't identify sarcasm if it came up and hit you upside the head.

You were being mocked.

Re:Heavy social media users are typically losers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40016867)

>Daily Fail

Yeah, reputable paper there, Barbie.

Do you get your cancer research from the Sun too?

Idiot.

Re:Heavy social media users are typically losers. (2)

JazzHarper (745403) | about a year ago | (#40016907)

Quoting the article that you cite, "Researcher Soraya Mehdizadeh from York University in Canada asked 100 students, 50 male and 50 female, aged between 18 and 25 about their Facebook habits."

Clearly, that is not a representative sample of 900 million people. Your unwarranted generalization is rejected.

Re:Heavy social media users are typically losers. (0)

Barbara, not Barbie (721478) | about a year ago | (#40017061)

Rather than reject the study, why not show a study that contradicts it?

Oh, wait - you can't, because the study only confirms what everyone has already experienced - that "social media" is b.s.

I've seen too many "social media directors" outright lie as to how effective facebook is. They'll have just finished wasting an hour on it, and I'll ask them "what was the last post you read?" "I don't remember." "How about the one before that?" "I don't remember." "The one before?" "I don't remember." "Any of them?" "Well, um ... you're being unfair!!!!"

All they remember is the s*** they posted. If that ...

Facebook fans are worth 1/5 of a cent apiece - that's how much you pay when you buy them in bulk if you know where to look.

Facebook, twitter, SEO, it's all G.I.G.O.

False. (1)

geekoid (135745) | about a year ago | (#40016989)

Yes, a selected article from the daily mail the meets your bias. yes, how thoughtful you are. And by 'thoughtful' I mean 'wrong'.

http://www.kenburbary.com/2011/03/facebook-demographics-revisited-2011-statistics-2/ [kenburbary.com]

Did you even read you link? gosh, people between the age of 18 and 25 are insecure and narcissistic? wow, what a finding. Of course, it's not even the largest demographic on Facebook, and Facebook is larger then 1 Canadian college, and the tested 100 people.

So..nothing really.
in fact, the study was more focused on self presentation.
http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/cyber.2009.0257?journalCode=cyber [liebertpub.com]

I'll Beat Their Price! (5, Funny)

Kagato (116051) | about a year ago | (#40016585)

Hey GM, I'll maintain your profile for $2 Million a year. By Grabthar's Hammer, oh what a bargain!

Marketers: 1, Press: 0 (5, Interesting)

Hadlock (143607) | about a year ago | (#40016587)

Marketer 1: "hey, we don't have enough budget to advertise on Facebook"
 
Marketer 2: "how do we reach the facebook crowd without spending money?"
 
"Marketer 1: I know! Let's do a press release that says we can't afford advertising on Facebook, but spin it as us not wanting to advertise on facebook"
 
Marketer 3: "that's a great idea! let's announce it just days before facebook's public IPO for maximum impact!"

It's not numbers, but time (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40016611)

Facebook has many eyeballs, but those eyeballs don't on average stick around as long as they do for television, or even print media.

If you're a business and you're looking for real bang-for-buck, you're talking Hulu -- the 'middle ground'.

Facebook IPO'ing now is a cash out, not a strategic move. If you remove Zynga from Facebook, it's not really worth anything.

One day a social network will become something permanent, but Facebook won't be that network.

Re:It's not numbers, but time (0)

sycodon (149926) | about a year ago | (#40016821)

I've never clicked on any Facebook ad. Never.

Re:It's not numbers, but time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40016905)

I didnt know facebook even had ads, thanks adblock! :)

Re:It's not numbers, but time (2)

rgbrenner (317308) | about a year ago | (#40017085)

Businesses do not care about 'eyeballs' when it comes to online advertising. That was the way old media sold ads - the number of tv views; radio listeners; etc. Because there was no way to track the response from the ad.

But online media has tracking. You can tell exactly what % purchase; how much each customer is worth; etc, etc etc. And any ads that don't have a clear ROI eventually die. Banner ads didn't disappear because of the number of 'eyeballs'.. they disappeared because they have terrible metrics.

Google adwords has 44% of the total online advertising market [searchenginewatch.com]. Guess why?

So how long before Facebook stockholders demands.. (1)

BMOC (2478408) | about a year ago | (#40016625)

...cause facebook to start renting/selling their information for profit?

/pull out

no shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40016669)

Facebook is the most useless thing out there- its only good for data on consumer habits and possibly trends. advertising does not work on facebook the only thing it could be good for is maybe selling your handicrafts to your friends- owner/operator type small business. What is the compelling reason to
"like" a brand besides showing off, ooooohhhh you like bmw - big deal. All of the majors have scaled back or pulled their e-comm stores in facebook, the ipo is coming and it is going to be the biggest scam ever. Social networking's primary currency is privacy, the more they have on you, the more revenue. Its is not traditional ads that companies should be targeting, its the information- health information post you are sick too many times your health insurance goes up, run with speeders, car insurance premiums are higher, smoke dope-or any of you 5000+ friends do- no job, like radical ideas- to cuba with you. Facial recognition in pics- more intelligence on you. Combine this with credit/debt card info and cell phone tracking you are tagged and tracked 24/7.

Ya control is what facebook is- total class slavery and no privacy- people don't even get paid to post or give away their privacy.

History repeating itself... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40016683)

Remember when banner ads were paying dollars per 1000 impressions, then it was cents, and now it's essentially fuck all.

Takes the marketing types a while to realize there latest advertising channel isn't quite the atomic powered selling machine they pitched it to their boss as, and quietly adjust their spending downwards i the hope no one notices. Not too long now before the facebook fairydust wears off, Zuckerberg needs to get those shares out on the market ASAP.....

If they spent it on engineering ... (4, Insightful)

hherb (229558) | about a year ago | (#40016689)

If GM had spent that money on a bit of engineering to get their cars a bit closer to the efficiency of European cars, perhaps people would buy them more? No amount of avertising money will get enough people to buy yesterdecades technology cars

Re:If they spent it on engineering ... (0)

bhcompy (1877290) | about a year ago | (#40016949)

European cars largely use the same platforms. The only reason they're more "efficient" is because they have poorer air quality and safety standards in many European countries than they do in the US.

Re:If they spent it on engineering ... (2)

aclarke (307017) | about a year ago | (#40017043)

ABSOLUTELY. If GM made better cars, more people would buy them. My truism is that GM makes cars for people who hate cars and hate driving.

Some of their cars might be getting better, but if so, I haven't seen sufficient evidence of that that based on my occasional rental car. GM needs to make better cars, and then somehow convince the rest of us who have given up on them that they make better cars. Not just better cars than they used to (I'm sure this is true), but better cars than Toyota, Kia, and BMW.

GM's general problem seems to be that they rely on people buying their cars either because they're "domestic", or because they genuinely just don't know that there's better out there. They make cars based on what they think people wanted 5 years ago, not what people are going to need in 5 years. There are exceptions, but that's the rule.

possible explanation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40016713)

May be GM doesn't know how to use it for profit?

The Old Marketing Adage Applies Double for GM (4, Insightful)

LordNicholas (2174126) | about a year ago | (#40016727)

"I know that 50% of my ads are effective, I just don't know which 50%"

Attributing conversions (ie, purchase of a new car) to ads is tricky for any business, let alone one like GM where the eventual purchase takes place offline. You can track leads from Facebook ads to your website, but how can you be sure the ads contributed to a purchase down the road? And even if you ask someone who comes into a car dealership "Did you see our ad on Facebook?" or give them a coupon to print and bring with them, how can you be sure how much of that purchase was driven by that ad vs the ads she saw on TV vs the radio vs print?

Facebook ads command a hefty premium over more mainstream online ads because of the ability to finely target specific types of people (ie, people who have "Liked" GM, people who have listed "cars" as an interest, people who have mentioned the Chevy Volt in a conversation...). It's a big problem for Facebook if brands can't attribute this premium ad spend to a measurable increase in sales.

Costs soaring? Why? (1)

i_ate_god (899684) | about a year ago | (#40016733)

Where is all this money going? You would think online advertising would be significanlty cheaper than "legacy media".

Re:Costs soaring? Why? (1)

DogDude (805747) | about a year ago | (#40017103)

It should be cheaper, but legacy media has no way of measuring the actual number of viewers/listeners, so the numbers have been grossly inflated for many years. Why else hasn't all TV shifted to the Internet, where advertisers can get relatively precise information about the advertising targets and results?

"Advertising" the wrong model. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40016739)

Facebook has probably realized that ads on their site don't help sell stuff. The real way to sell stuff on Facebook is to hire people to post there, and then pay them by the successful referral. That will quickly uncover the best methods for generating referrals.

What? (3, Funny)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | about a year ago | (#40016775)

There are ads on the internet? Who knew. Seriously, even people who don't use ad-blockers don't see the adverts. People have just conditioned themselves to not see them.

Targeted advertising overkill for mass market? (2)

timeOday (582209) | about a year ago | (#40016807)

Facebooks's pricing has to reflect their ability to do targeted advertising, which is valuable to businesses selling niche products. But if you're selling mainstream products like cars or beer, then broadcasting the same message to everybody (or at least broader groups, e.g. TV show demographics) is probably more efficient.

Not relevant ads (4, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#40016815)

I've almost never intentionally click on a FB ad since they are generally not relavant. Right now, my FB shows 6 online dating ads (even though I haven't been single for over 5 years), one ad from Wells Fargo asking me to help write a love letter to San Francisco (what!?) and one Marathon discount ad that might be relevant, but when I clicked on it, the site wanted my email address before it would even show me their site.

I use Google a lot (email and searches), and I typically click on one Google ad a day because their ads are typically quiet relevant to me. If a little creepy - I searched a Chevy Aveo mentioned in an earlier comment, and now my current Gmail ad is from Ford. Creepily relevant.

Works only for local business (5, Informative)

John3 (85454) | about a year ago | (#40016837)

Just my two cents as a small business owner that has dabbled in all the online media options...spending money on social media is a waste, especially if you're a company that extends their reach beyond a single community. For local business owners, Facebook can be a great tool to send updates on events such as new interesting products, employee recognition, etc. Many customers like keeping in touch with their local business, whether it's a hardware store (like mine), restaurant, or other business that may hold special events of interest to the community. All that is free, and spending beyond that seems to be a waste of cash.

Making sure you are listed accurately on Google will cover 95% of your needs currently. Update the Place page, and if you sell products make sure you're uploading a data feed of your inventory. Both are free and generate tons of traffic to your website plus lots of in-store visits (if you have brick and mortar locations). Adwords is a waste of money IMHO...we won the Google/Amex video contest for Small Business Saturday and it included $5000 in Google adwords funds. I've burned through about $4000 in a month and a half and have seen negligible incremental business even with click-through rates in the 2% and higher range (and ad position average of 1.6). Sure, it's nice to know people are visiting our site, but plain old Google search still generates 95% of the traffic versus 2% from adwords.

Me: Ads aren't worth it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40016845)

Install AdBlock Plus. You won't miss the garbage.

Thought they were bankrupt (2)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about a year ago | (#40016915)

Seems odd to me how corporations can file chapter 11 and a few years later still have millions to waste on shttiy advertising mediums.

Not Targeted Enough (1)

Greyfox (87712) | about a year ago | (#40016973)

Facbook just needs to help with the demographics. Facebook should be able to determine if you have a small penis and pitch the biggest SUV they make to the customer. Over fourty? Sportscar. Eighteen? Ford Fiesta.

They also need to tweak their advertising. Here's my pitch: "Imagine how much larger your penis will feel if you drive a Yukon!" "Pick up chicks that are half your age in a Corvette!" "Get between two different places in a Ford Fiesta! Sure it sucks, but it's all you can afford!"

They can't really blame Facebook for their marketing failure...

A dot com bubble we want to happen... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#40017009)

A lot of slashdot users and even internet users in general hate advertising bothering them.

Take a look at youtube. It plays an ad on nearly 90% of the videos I see, most of which are created by the owner without using any copyrighted material.

Facebook relies on your information to make money, hence it needs more users, but that growth is projected to be slow over the next two years.

Companies are now realizing how little return they are getting from advertising on FB.

Think about it... when was the last time you bought an item over $100 after clicking on an internet ad?

30 Million Dollars for WHAT?! (3, Insightful)

Cajun Hell (725246) | about a year ago | (#40017039)

General Motors spends around $40 million per year on maintaining a Facebook profile and around a quarter of that goes into paid advertising.

My elite math skills tell me they are spending $30 million dollars per year on Facebook, where none of that $30M can be accounted for by paid ads.

Until I get a clear understanding of that, I have to think that some kind of legendary incompetence is happening at GM, so I don't know if I get much out of their conclusions.

Assuming it costs $50k/year for GM to pay someone to upload pictures of their cars, type status updates ("Looking forward to tomorrow's release of car X!" or "OMFG car X is sooo beautiful and fast, I don't even care what it costs!") I can't help but imagine they're paying 600 people to do that kind of work.

GM Ads (1)

brningpyre (2114648) | about a year ago | (#40017077)

I don't think I've ever seen a GM ad on Facebook. Looking at their page, they don't update very often, either. At least not compared to other companies with successful advertising campaigns on FB.

...what? (2)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | about a year ago | (#40017087)

General Motors spends around $40 million per year on maintaining a Facebook profile and around a quarter of that goes into paid advertising.

So, that's 10 million into ads, where does the other 30 go?
If you're seriously paying some shmuck 30 million dollars a year to upkeep a facebook profile, fire him.
I'll do the job for only 5 million.

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