Ford Motor Embraces Facebook Advertising

Social media sites can be an integral part of a campaign when it comes to new product launches and branding purposes. However, not all major automotive companies are finding equal success when it comes to social media marketing. Ford Motor is fully embracing media buys on Facebook and using the popular social media site to launch new car models while GM isn’t quite sure if advertising o Facebook is viable financially. The company pulled its advertising campaign right before Facebook’s IPO went public.

Metrics Are Hard To Measure With Social Media Advertising

Most online marketers are dilligent about measuring ROI and making sure that they are getting a solid return for their money when it comes to advertising dollars. One of the reasons why GM pulled out was due to lack of clear analytics whereas Google shows its advertisers detailed very detailed statistics. When it comes to ad click throughs (CTR), Facebook also has a lower CTR rate than Google and Yahoo ads. GM is estimated to have spent an average $10 million anually on Facebook advertising. Despite the halt on paid advertising, GM is continuing to maintain its various Facebook pages and current promotions including an ongoing contest where individuals have the opportunity to win stick shift driving lesson at an All Star Baseball game.

Ford’s Facebook Approach

Ford’s approach is to make sure that their ads are blended in seamlessly with regular content. The automotive giant generally uses the social media site as a platform to launch new vehicles such as with the Ford Fiesta. In addition, the company works directly with Facebook in order to come up with the most effective marketing strategies. One example of the company’s creativeness can be seen via an app that lets users customize the Ford Mustang of their dreams and displayed a sponsored ad when users logged out of the app. This is a good example of a seamless integration of content and paid advertising.

The automotive market is particularly tough to market on Facebook since many consumers tend to keep their vehicles for a long time; buying a new car isn’t exactly an impulse buy.  Social media can definitely be useful in automotive marketing but the bottom line is that execution is key. Since most social media sites are community based, users are more likely to respond to ads that are integrated with content instead of pure banner ads which rarely get clicked.

Written by Jacqueline Starz – An author specializing about social media and marketing. Local auto dealers such as Valley Imports can also benefit from having an online social media presence on sites like Facebook and Twitter.