Yesterday Facebook began rolling out the most exciting news for international brands on Facebook since the release of Timeline, Global Pages. With Global Pages, brands are able to have one global identity on one Facebook page. Global Pages have unified Likes and People Talking About This count, but each brand can set up localized versions of its page, including using local language, profile image, cover photo, milestones, posts, page apps, “about” info and news feed stories. For example, an English version’s cover photo might say “Hello” while users visiting from Italy would see, “Ciao”. Page administrators will see insights for all global pages in an easy-to-view dashboard.
How it works for users: A single, global URL directs users to the appropriate, local version of the page. Users can then access any regional or global page through a drop-down menu, “Switch region.” Therefore, the global page structure will include localized pages for specific regions, and a default page for all other markets. This makes it much easier for businesses as they do not have to set up separate, country-specific pages.
How it helps global brands: This solves many issues for large, global Facebook brands. Sharing region-specific content with the right audience helps brands overcome the issue of sharing content to a large amount of fans and reaching only a fraction of those users. Brands used to use geo-targeting to reach a specific audience but now it can use global pages to spread its messaging to the right people.
When I go to Dove’s Facebook page, I am automatically brought to their U.S. page based on my region. However, if I wanted to switch regions, I simply go to the drop down menu next to “Messages” and go to “Switch region.” I can then choose a Dove brand page region, and save it as the Dove page I want to view.
In addition, if I go to the Kit Kat UK page shown below, then go to the Kit Kat Italy page, you can see that the amount of Likes and People Talking About This is the same, but the cover photos, profile images and apps are all different based on the localized page. Facebook said within the coming months the country-level fan count will be included, allowing brands to track how each region is doing and compare fan counts.
How does Facebook get money from this: Until now, a Facebook page appeared only in the language it was created. Now pages are more welcoming to foreign fans and can potentially inspire global brands to buy more Facebook ads. For example, if an international brand headquartered in the U.S. wants to run a Facebook ad campaign to gain Likes, this brand might be more willing to buy bigger international Facebook ad campaigns to appeal to people of different regions and languages. Furthermore, more niche markets now might take the opportunity to market to groups they’ve never targeted (i.e. an Indonesian brand might now pay for ads targeting people in the U.S.).
Currently, Facebook seems to be offering this new structure for only country pages and not on a state or city level. In order to get access to global pages, brands can talk to their Facebook reps or contact Facebook here.