Recently, Facebook announced the launch of “global pages”, a much-anticipated and welcome new way for brand pages to structure themselves. They allow a centralised page to be used as an international hub, whilst also localising a user’s experience for the country they are in.
Previously, there were only two brand page options: either a single page that used geo-targeted posts aimed at specific audiences or, secondly, a country-specific page. A single page using geo-targeted posts misses out on localising other parts of the page such as its cover photos, profile pictures and specific milestones that a local market may have. The country-specific pages suffer from a problem too. Users often get confused about which page to search for and ‘like’, and will instead find the page that pops up first, ultimately missing out on the content published from the correct country’s page.
Facebook’s new global pages tackle this problem. If a user enters a global page address, they are automatically directed to the best version for their own region – clearly a much simpler way to find what they’re looking for.
So, with benefits ranging from a unified URL, to global insights and a consistent brand identity, what’s not to like?
The question you should really be asking is “do Facebook global pages benefit ALL brands?”
When it comes down to it, global pages aren’t for everyone. First and foremost, if you don’t have a significant global presence, then this option is clearly is not appropriate. For instance, brands that have a UK-only presence, and are not international in any way, should steer clear. Global pages will only benefit brands that can fully collaborate on a global level. In order to manage this opportunity, a global social media strategy will be needed that considers both the global and local content. After all, brands need to ensure their content strategies are of a high quality, especially to keep those engagement levels high (particularly important with the recent algorithm changes). The global content will help keep the brand consistent whilst having the flexibility to respond to local needs. Brands can of course benefit in other ways such as the synergy that comes from collaboration within the company as a whole, which in turn could result in knowledge and experience transfer. Either way, a collaborative approach is needed and will therefore require the co-operation of community managers within different countries. If this is something that companies generally struggle with, they will find it difficult to fully utilise global pages.
Facebook has realised that brands want to create a consistent global brand identity which is, of course, great news. However not all brands will benefit from a switch to the new structure just yet. Consider the time to collaborate and change as well as the amount of investment a lot of brands have undertaken within specific regional communities. My advice would be to take a step back, assess your own situation and see how global pages evolve before taking the plunge yourselves.
Jonathan Gaiger is a digital account executive Spinnaker.