Yesterday, Facebook announced the launch of Global Pages, a new structure to business pages for global brands aimed to provide a better, localized experience for international brands' prospects and customers. The new structure consolidates a business' global Facebook presence into one place while still providing a localized experience.
How Facebook's New Global Structure Works
The idea is, rather than a global brand maintaining one general, broadly targeted Facebook page -- or juggling multiple Facebook Pages set up for each different international market -- that brand can instead maintain and promote one centralized Facebook Page URL. Visitors to that page will then get routed to the most appropriate version of a page based on their home country, where they will see a localized version of the page, which the administrator can customize to include different cover photos, profile photos, applications, milestones, 'About' information, and news feed stories.
The global marketer can set up their Global Pages structure to create localized pages for the specific markets (i.e. single or multicountry regions) they're targeting. They can also set up a default page that all other users outside of these specific markets get directed to. If you're familiar with LinkedIn's targeted Product and Services Page variations within their Company Pages, Facebook is implementing a similar idea: Users get redirected to the version of the page that's best suited for them based on their geographic location.
Okay -- so what's the difference between a global marketer just setting up and customizing different Facebook Pages? In one word: centralization.
3 Key Benefits of Global Pages
A Centralized Facebook Presence: No matter which version of the page a visitor gets routed to, all visitors will see the same page name (translated into their local language), fan count, and 'People Talking About This' counts.
A Single URL: Rather than having to promote a different page URL for each localized page, global brands will be able to promote one single URL in all of their marketing efforts to promote their Facebook presence, since page visitors will be automatically be redirected to the appropriate version of the Page based on their goegraphic information.
A Centralized Global Insights Dashboard: Rather than having to check the Facebook Insights for multiple pages, administrators of the main Global Page will be able to check Insights for all page variations in one centralized dashboard.
But What if I Already Have Multiple Pages Set Up?
It's easy to see how this new feature can help global social media marketers who already manage one general page, eliminating the pain of geo-targeting every status update and page post -- but what about the marketers who have already set up completely separate, country-specific Facebook Pages for each of their target international markets?
According to Facebook, it is possible for admins of multiple pages to transition to the new Global Pages structure, citing examples such as the global Walt Disney Studios team working on Frankenweenie, who were easily able to migrate their country-specific pages for France, Ireland, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States to the Global Pages framework. Other brands, including the Holiday Inn and the Kit Kat team from Nestle have also successfully transitioned their various localized pages from regions around the globe to the new structure.
And that's not all ...
Facebook Also Promises Improved Global Benchmarking Data in the Future
Within Facebook's announcement, the social network also mentioned they're working on ways to make it easier for global marketers to measure their specific, localized audiences in each country -- which will include country-level fan counts for both Global Pages as well as pages not yet transitioned to the new framework (coming later this year in its public API).
In addition, Facebook is working to provide a way for marketers to benchmark their brand against competitors, enabling global marketers to measure and analyze how each localized market is performing and compare that data on a country-specific level with other Facebook pages via Facebook's API.
Great News for International Marketers
This seems like a no-brainer for businesses who cater to a global audience. No more agonizing over whether to divide their Facebook presence in order to appropriately cater their content and updates to their inidividual, localized segments of their audience. No more time spent fiddling with geo-targeting every single status update. No more splitting up the overall reach and impact of their Facebook presence.
To get started with Global Pages, Facebook indicates you'll need to get in touch with your Facebook client partner or account manager to discuss. If you're not already working with Facebook, you can contact Facebook marketing solutions here.