How to make Facebook Global Pages work for your brand

Facebook’s latest commercial feature helps organizations tailor their regional presences while maintaining a hub site. Here’s what you need to know.

Global Pages is a streamlined solution to create a better experience for global businesses and their Facebook communities.

Essentially, it creates a hub, enabling brands to have one global brand identity. Brands can customize their pages’ look and feel for each country or geographic region, while maintaining global metrics such as “likes,” “people talking about this,” and check-ins.

How it works

Instead of the current multi-page model in which brands have created their own localized solution, they will now be able to create local country-specific or regional versions of their pages that will sit within one central hub on Facebook, following a unified naming convention.

Brands that follow a Global Pages model will have the opportunity to localize the following features:

  • Cover photos
  • Profile photo
  • Tab structure
  • Photos
  • Access to local Facebook Insights data
  • Brand mailbox
  • Vanity URL
  • Milestones
  • About section

What does this mean for brands?

1. Page direction and news feed

Fans will be directed to different pages based on Facebook’s geo-prediction algorithm, which takes into account IP address. “Current city” is not factored into this algorithm, meaning that while traveling, fans will be directed to the local page. Brands with Global Pages can redirect multiple countries into single regional pages. For example, a brand could direct Canada, the U.S., and Mexico to a North America page.

Also, fans will be able to select which page to view. The selection is then remembered for future visits to the brand page, and the updates from the selected page will show up in fans’ news feed. If a market is not selected, Facebook will serve content from the market it calculates (based on the algorithm) to be most relevant. If a user cannot be located and has not selected a local page, Facebook will serve the global page.

2. Organic wall

As Timeline stands right now, organic wall posts are not specific to one region. Posts from fans from all over the globe can be seen on the wall under the single-page model. With the new Global Pages set up, the organic wall will be fully targeted—displaying the fans’ most relevant to the market.

3. Brand mailbox

This feature was not open as part of the API so CMS platforms could not provide solutions to geo-targeted brand mailbox messages in the past for single-page brand models. However, with global pages, each locale will be able to view and respond to messages from its respective market. This is a big implication for social CRM and management of campaigns/promotions through the Facebook page.

Considerations

1. The new rules of naming.

Local pages can be renamed only in accordance with the Global Pages naming convention. For instance, [Brand X] Japan can be renamed [Brand X] but not migrated to another locality such as South Korea. Pages will also not be able to change category (Product to Brand, Group to Page) in this process.

Brand pages will have a consistent URL that will take the user to either the global page or the local page based on user preference or geo-location. Local market pages will also have their own direct URL that can be used to send Facebook fans to the specific pages. Therefore, brands can now use the global Facebook URL in creative assets such as television commercials and still drive to local activations.

2. Restructuring under Global Pages.

The new Global Pages product makes it easy to connect local pages seamlessly under a global umbrella, but if you are operating a single global page that delivers targeted news feed and tab content, there are additional steps involved.

Each market within the global page will have to create a page named ‘Brand [Market]’ (abiding by the naming convention guidelines) and repopulate it with backdated posts/milestones on the timeline as well as a localized profile picture and cover photo. When this page is pulled back into the global framework, this will be the version that fans in a given market will see.

3. Monitoring and issues management.

Fans will be able to easily toggle among all the pages in your global network. This may give any groups that want to attack brand pages easy access to do so over multiple pages. It will be more important than ever that all teams managing local pages are communicating and consistent in how they handle issues.

The use of CMS platforms can help mitigate the issue through monitoring and flagging tools, but as a best practice, those managing social media presences should implement and internal system for handling crisis issues.

4. Data. Globally. On your competitors, too.

By yearend, Facebook will include in its API country-level fan counts for all pages, including both those using the Global Pages framework as well as pages that haven’t transitioned to the new framework. Analytics teams will then be able to track how each country-level page is performing across all global markets. In addition, teams will have the ability to compare individual pages’ fan counts on a country-by-country level against other pages on Facebook, all within the API.

5. Local content can have a big impact.

We’ve said it a million times. Content rules; local content is even better—and that’s where the focus should be with global pages. Brands should not just repeat translated posts across local pages. They will have to listen to their local community, measure activity, consider local trends, and develop content that will resonate with local audiences.

6. Global ads work better for everyone.

The new Global Pages model benefits brands’ ad spending as well as Facebook’s income. Global brands previously targeted Facebook ad buys to their primary languages. If a U.S. page, for example, buys ads in English, a non-English speaker has no incentive to “like” the page. In addition, the money spent on those particular users does not drive stronger engagement. With Global pages, Facebook prods brands toward making larger ad buys specifically targeting global audiences.

Reema Mitra is account manager at Edelman in London. Zach Pospisil is senior account supervisor at Edelman in Chicago. Chris Rooney is community manager at Edelman in Chicago. Adam Rosenberg is account supervisor at Edelman in San Francisco. Suzanne Marlatt is digital community manager at Edelman in Chicago. A version of this article first appeared on Edelman’s blog. (Image via)

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