GM adds Facebook ads back to promo portfolio

Facebook and General Motors are bosom advertising buddies once more, with the car company returning to the social network to promote the Chevrolet Sonic, just short of a year after claiming it saw little return from ads on the site. The lure has been "newly available targeting and measurement capabilities on Facebook," Chevrolet marketing VP Chris Perry told AdAge, and will see the GM model pushed through the latest "Find New Roads" campaign.

General Motors surprised the online industry back in May 2012 by ditching Facebook from its advertising strategy, using only free company profile pages for user-engagement. At the time, sources inside GM claimed that the firm had found paid Facebook promotions "had little impact on consumers" despite rumors of a $10m advertising spend.

In the intervening months, however, Facebook has refined its advertising systems, including introducing its FBX ad-exchange which can push targeted promos directly into the user's timeline. Another improvement is how mobile adverts are displayed, something which appears to have ticked off some of GM's requirements too.

"Today, Chevrolet is launching an industry-first, 'mobile-only' pilot campaign for the Chevrolet Sonic" Perry confirmed, describing Facebook's role as being part of "testing a number of mobile-advertising solutions."

Although GM cut off its advertising drip to Facebook last year, that didn't stop negotiations between the companies. "We've had an ongoing dialogue with GM over the last 12 months" a Facebook spokesperson confirmed, "and are pleased to have them back as an advertiser on Facebook."

Still unclear is how much, exactly, General Motors will be spending on its Facebook campaigns. Last year, the car company was believed to have a $40m budget for the social site, only $10m of which actually went on paid advertising.