Facebook Takes Next Step in Localization with Global Pages

Last week, Facebook announced Global Pages to help brands manage a multi-country presence and localized Page experience.  By redirecting users to the most appropriate local Page given their IP address, Global Pages allow brands to serve their visitors with the most relevant and engaging content.

Until now, global brands had to make a choice in how they built localized presences on Facebook. The first option was to engage an international audience on a single, unified page.  While brands could target individual posts to specific groups, the single page approach meant all visitors encounter the same cover photo, About section, etc.  The second choice was to implement and manage individual pages for each locality. This allowed brands to create a fully localized experience, but fragmented the brands overall presence, as fans were associated to specific local pages instead of the overall brand.

With the introduction of Global Pages, Facebook is re-iterating its central message to brands these days: focus on getting the right content to the right people.  Brands have the power now to engage their audience in two big ways:  by publishing localized pages consolidated under a Global Page, and by leveraging Enhanced Targeting to target users based on Age, Gender, Interested In, Relationship Status, Education, Workplace, and Language.  Regional page segmentation and audience targeting helps brands talk to each group more effectively, while keeping all audiences underneath one umbrella.  This unifies the brand experience while also creating a broader sense of community.

More conversations require more management

Since Global Pages give brands a centralized way to manage a distributed Facebook Page presence, businesses can start focusing on developing more community specific content.  This will drive social teams to plan, create, approve, and publish more content.  As a result, it will be essential to measure and analyze Page performance to understand which content is resonating within each market segment.  To understand the health of the brand"™s audience as a whole, teams will need to measure engagement across their Global Pages.

More Pages, more conversations, and more local/regional social contributors, means corporate teams need to further develop their content management and coordination processes.   These increasing pressures make it nearly impossible to manage with native posting, email workflow, and web analytics tools.  Global brands need technology that can provide the visibility necessary to measure performance and maintain brand consistency across lots of Pages.  Workflows, access control, approval paths, and content libraries are all critical components for big brands to coordinate this level of global activity.

Things to consider

Global Pages present a unique opportunity for large brands.  Creating a global audience that you can engage with at a local level will pay dividends, as it has with every previous marketing channel.  While you contemplate what Global Pages will mean for your company"™s Facebook presence, keep the following in mind:

  • Global Pages work at the country level:  If you are a U.S. company that has one Page per state, you will not be able to roll the 50 Pages under one Global Page.  However, if you are an international company whose audience includes users in Mexico, Canada, and the United States, you will be able to have one Page for each country that rolls up under a single Global Page.
  • Users cannot subscribe to multiple Pages:  Let"™s say a user is currently subscribed to Pages for Mexico, Canada, and the U.S.  Once the Global Page is put in place, that user will only be subscribed to the last Page to which they subscribed.  They will only see newsfeed content from the Page to which they are subscribed.  This ensures that fans are not double counted at the Global level.
  • Users can manually visit other Pages:  If a user is subscribed to the Canadian Page and they visit the Global Page while in Canada, they will automatically be served with the content from the Canadian Page.  If they"™d like to visit the U.S. Page, they can simply select it from the "gear" dropdown on the right corner of the Page.

In order to figure out whether the new hierarchy will fit your multi-country Facebook strategy, think about how you are organized today.  If you are considering adding various local Pages to segment your existing audience, you"™ll want to have a social team in place that is properly equipped to generate content, engage with multiple audiences, and measure results quickly.  If you already have multiple local Pages, make sure that the existing teams will have the ability to easily collaborate, share content, and triage inquiries across Pages.  In either scenario, efficiency will be the key to helping social teams engage with the many segments of their global audience.

ssarkar@spredfast.com's picture