Facebook Brouhaha: Social Media Even Challenges General Motors

Facebook’s initial public offering last week has raised a lot of questions about how the social media Website will raise revenue.

A headline in today’s Wall Street Journal reports General Motors plans to stop advertising on Facebook because the ads don’t pay off. This is an important story for everyone in business, but it requires reading beyond the headline.

General Motors spent about $10 million on Facebook ads last year, The Wall Street Journal notes. It further notes the company spends about $30 million on content created for Facebook.

GM is one of many companies trying to learn how to best utilize the marketing potential of social media. Companies of all sizes and in all industries realize that social media has taken center stage in people’s lives.

Consumer product manufacturers are investing more and more resources in social media. During the recent National Automatic Merchandising Association OneShow in Las Vegas, the Coca Cola Co. presented a session on the topic and advised the vending industry that social media, in combination with mobile commerce, will play a big role in its future marketing. Coke officials noted that they are in the early stages of understanding social media.

Today’s Wall Street Journal article shows that even the biggest, most powerful companies are struggling to better understand how to use social media.

Vending and refreshment service operators are learning ways to use social media to their advantage. It’s hard to question that a two-way communications channel has an important impact on consumer perception of a service that affects the quality of someone’s daily life.

Vending and refreshment service operators have already found that social media gives them the means to get immediate consumer feedback on their services. Operators, like big manufacturing companies, have found consumers use social media to share their impressions.

The ability of product manufacturers  to use this tool to influence the demand for their products will ultimately have a major impact on vending and refreshment services. If, for instance, a manufacturer can get consumers engaged in the happenings of characters representing a particular product, the demand for that product could potentially soar. VendingMarketWatch has already reported on such initiatives.

Social media has great potential as an employee recruitment tool, another aspect that was addressed during the OneShow presentation on social media.

We are still in the beginning stages of understanding social media.

To get up to speed, I recommend reading Coca Cola’s “Untangling the Social Web: Insights for Users, Brands and Retailers.” To access the study online, click here

Loading