Just about two weeks ago, a mere days before Facebook officially went public, General Motors dropped a bomb on the social media world. GM would no longer be advertising on Facebook.
This news caused quite a stir online. After all, though the money GM spent on those advertisements is just a drop in the bucket when you consider how much revenue Facebook generates that way, Facebook advertisements are largely considered a given. Companies know that's where their target market is hanging out, and so that's where they concentrate efforts on trying to reach them.
GM was very clear about something, though: they would not be deleting their Facebook accounts. While they noted that they didn't believe advertising on Facebook was very effective for them, they continue to embrace the platform itself.
In fact, GM has some pretty solid content in place, not just on Facebook, but across several channels. It's obvious that they're taking content marketing seriously. Could their split from Facebook advertising lead to a more concentrated push for content marketing?
Let's look at what they've got in place right now, though, as far as a content strategy goes.
There are a couple of things happening content-wise that I really like on GM's site.
First of all, you'll notice on the left that there's a drop down menu where you can select the brand of GM automobile that interests you. It's a smart move not to lump them all together, which would almost certainly be overwhelming and cluttered. If I come here looking for info about Cadillacs and have to wade through too much content pertaining to Chevy and Buick first, I'm probably going to give up quickly.
The solution? Content segmentation. That's what GM's got going on there, and it's almost certainly the perfect call for it.
On the right, you'll see some blog content (or at least, blog content of sorts). GM never calls this "content bank" a blog officially, but the space houses articles not just about their cars specifically, but about other events and news from the automotive world (and how GM is at least on the fringes of those stories).
Interestingly enough, I noticed GMBlogs advertised on the Twitter page - it wasn't immediately apparent to me on the web site.
You'll also note that links to GM's primary social media accounts are featured front and center, as well.
One more thing about the web site: the screen shot above is pretty much what you see when you arrive there. To me, this indicates a true focus on content.
GM's main Twitter account (there are others for each individual brand) is appropriately paced and very, for lack of a better term, human.
Let me explain that a little bit better. When you view their profile, there are images of all the people who post on behalf of GM, including their personal Twitter handles. When you read the tweets, it's obvious that real people are doing the work - they're responding to their followers, sharing pictures, content, and even just a friendly hello, posting several times throughout the day.
In short, it's the kind of account that you want to follow because it's friendly and fun, and promotes GM's products without being overbearing.
I'll be honest: I really like GM's content mix on Facebook. Timeline has made it easy to see what kind of content is being shared, and there's a good balance.
Like Twitter, the Facebook account is updated only a few times a day. GM's content strategy is strong, though, and they make those updates count by sharing a variety of content, including video, infographics, images, and articles - all with that same friendly, inviting tone.
And, again, while the content pertains to their products, there's no hard sell.
So while GM may have given up on Facebook for advertising, they're most definitely leveraging it for content marketing, and it seems to be working well for them. In a way, it seems to be getting back to the roots of content marketing, doesn't it? Less money, more manpower?
Something to consider, anyway.
What do you think of GM's content marketing efforts? Do you think they're doing well, despite their recent Facebook controversy? Let us know what you think!