It’s all over the news; General Motors has decided to end their relationship with Facebook ads, mentioning that it wasn’t effective after spending over $10 million in paid advertising fees on Facebook.
According to the giant automaker, the ads did little to drive business and raises questions of whether Facebook ads have the ability to increase sales. Not to mention the timing couldn’t be ‘better’ seeing that Facebook is about to go public.
Having run my own business, I would say that Facebook ads definitely work. Ever since I started investing in Facebook ads, our brand awareness has increased, our sales picked up, and we get more customers connecting with us through our fan page.
As I’ve not seen any GM ads before, I can’t really comment as to why their ads did little for them. A percentage of the over 300,000 fans on their page seem to have been from their Facebook ads and friend referrals. Those are just based on assumptions and observation; however, here are a couple of reasons why Ads don’t work for you:
The best way to burn your Facebook ads budget is to have no targeting. I’ve seen really bad ads appearing on my Facebook profile before. One of them was even selling ladies lingerie and it was targeted towards me. Um…I’m a man.
It could be that they were targeting men to buy lingerie for their other halves as presents. But at that time, there were no upcoming celebrations or holidays and it was really far from Valentine’s or Christmas. Needless to say that the advertisement did not work on me.
2. No interaction
Another reason is because ads have little or no interaction at all. Many Facebook ads aren’t engaging enough. People will find them boring and will not click on them at all.
What worked for me are ads that ask questions to people whom I am targeting.
3. Linked to external site
I’ve also come across ads that lead to external sites such as the company’s websites. Most people would find this too much of a hassle because it disrupts them while they are browsing on Facebook.
Although some articles have mentioned that traffics shouldn’t be sent to an external site because they don’t work, I disagree; those ads will work IF the site is:
- Has an email-capture function to capture
Like I mentioned in several blog posts before, everything will work if you can find a way to make it work. Ads have always been tricky to structure because it needs to have the right impact and ingredient to capture your customers.
If you are planning to invest in Facebook Ads, I believe it is important to think about interaction and engagement because Facebook Ads require them both in order to be successful. It is not the same as offline media ads on billboards simply because the platform is completely different. Billboard ads don’t require you to click on them or connect with them and they capture your attention mostly because of their visibility (Size + Location + Colors). You won’t get that from Facebook Ads because they are standardized in size, location, and even the background colors surrounding them.
Besides all that, I think Ford Motor’s comment to the news was hilarious. This is what they said:
Facebook is a great way to reach potential customers and I think GM have not used it up to its fullest potential yet. I’m sure if they can find out why it wasn’t working, it can work for them too.
What do you think? Has Facebook Ads work for you?