GM stops buying ads on Facebook, keep pages, do they "get" Social Media better than everyone else?

Soon after the news that GM has pulled all of it's ten million dollars in paid advertising from Facebook, BL Ochman at Adage shows us 11 Boring Things GM Posted on Facebook. By posted she means on their facebook pages, the "free" Facebook advertising space they are not paying ten million dollars to occupy. Ochman argues that GM doesn't get social media, and they never did. I think by yanking the ten million media spend, while keeping their pages, they're showing that they know more than they let on.

Here's an example that Ochman picked off GM's facebook fan page to make her point:

"We're excited to announce the return of a V-8 powered, rear-wheel-drive performance sedan to our robust U.S. lineup, the Chevrolet SS!" (Well, of course you are. Maybe you should ask us if we're excited.)

The bold text is Ochman's comment

Actually, I kinda am exited. The SS will be what GM's NASCAR Sprint Cup car is based on, so this is news exiting to car-geeks. And Nascar geeks, which most ad-people are since it's a sport of really fast billboards circling a lot while we drink beer, ie; all kinds of good. Also its the first time in 17 years that GM announced a rear-wheel drive performance sedan. I'll stop geeking out now, but you get the idea - "advertising is information in the right context", and statements on Facebook fan pages are golden geek-nuggets to the right reader. Not every brand has to be all "Yo dawg", because frankly, I'd freak out a little if Bentley Motors let go of their drool-worthy aspiration pics and started "hanging out" with me on facebook instead.

There's a lot of talk about "friending" brands lately, as if "hanging out" with Kraft macaroni and cheese on a Friday night somehow gets less sad when it's done on a social media page. GM is still making pages, they just aren't buying the ads on the right hand side of Facebooks pages that we are so good at ignoring. Why pay for that space when nobody looks at it? With Facebooks IPO being the biggest tech IPO in history warranting live blogging at Reuters they should pay attention to an advertiser that large walking away from what is Facebooks main income (for now). Soon it'll get hotter, and Facebook can’t just sit on its data goldmine, they'll have to start selling bits of that in another fashion.

Marketers say they are feeling slightly underserved by Facebook, post-campaign. The reason: they are not being provided with enough analysis on their campaign success that ties their 28,000 likes and 500 shares to a verifiable revenue bump.
Fellow Marketing Week columnist, associate professor of marketing and brand consultant Mark Ritson summed it up: “Brands are learning for all the eyes and the likes, it isn’t always delivering the impact. And it’s that last variable that counts.”

P&G have used facebooks fan pages in a successful way, building new branches of their brand with the anti-bullying campaign "Mean stinks" But do they need to advertise as well?

Advertisers keep their strategies and spending levels close to the vest, but in conversations with Ad Age one theme emerged: most major consumer marketers are spending both on Facebook as well as Facebook advertising. But the paid advertising on Facebook is under pressure from other channels that can do the same thing, just cheaper.

The uncertainty of where the income for FB will be generated might be why the facebook stock closed nearly flat in its debut.

A car brand that loves facebook is VW, they created the Fanwagon, a facebook-themed vehicle that volkswagen the netherlands will produce as a one-off edition with the blue and white color-scheme and easy explanations for the privacy settings. Oh funny har har.