Michael Litman: What You Need To Know About Facebook's New Global Pages

Brands that have an international presence just got a major boost from the social network who recently announced the roll out of one global identity, localised per market.

Facebook’s own Marketing page as seen above, has had this structure for many months – we’ve known it’s been coming but yesterday it was finally announced to the masses.

Quite possibly one of the biggest developments for brands since timeline was introduced, global pages now allows brands that have one page or multiple country-based pages to have a universal, yet localised, presence. Based on a user’s location (determined by IP address and other unspecified inputs), the user will be directed to the ‘local’ version of a page, letting them see localised cover photos, profile photos, applications, milestones, “about” information, and news feed stories. The global page structure will include localised pages for specific markets (single or multicountry regions) but also allow for a default ‘global’ presence for any markets that do not have their own Facebook presence.

Importantly, it means that brands can promote one global page name, one global vanity URL, and one global Like count. This allows for more effective searches that should return the correct, official global page rather than simply the biggest market page.

Before this announcement, brands adhered to two key strategies for global Facebook page:

#1. Single global presence.  One global page with posts targeted to many different geographic regions.

Pro’s: Sense of global community // Global fan count // Global ‘Talking About This’ // one vanity URL // consistency across markets

Con’s: Limited to one cover photo, one profile picture, applications, About section, etc. // Geo-targeting each post can be cumbersome and agencies often reverted to an SMMS simply to overcome market-level targeting admin rights // No local photo albums // All apps visible to all markets // No in-depth market level data without significant post-level data crunching

#2. Multiple pages to represent each global region.  Multiple market pages.

Pro’s: Full localization on Page— from milestones to apps to cover photo and profile picture // Insights on local performance
Con’s: Lack of global community and scale // Search is fragmented, fans may get confused as to which is the ‘right’ page to like.
Now? Global Pages combines the best of both.

In 2011 we worked with Facebook to merge local pages to achieve a single global page. The [yellow tail] challenge was not uncommon and remains present to many brands today – a large number of different pages globally and even locally including unofficial pages and redundant pages. Facebookers often liked the biggest page irrespective of location based on search results and therefore received irrelevant content, then duplicated their likes by liking their local page too. By working with Facebook all local pages pulled together with one single URL and one single like count. This was great for search and also enabled a greater level of consistency at a local level. The main disadvantage at the time was market level analytics. Now, the process is going to be a whole lot easier. Facebook will deduplicate users who like two pages by assigning them to the most recent page they have liked.

This announcement is a huge leap forward for global brands that have numerous country specific pages and also those suffering the lack of localisation functionalities in single global page.

Better global benchmarking is coming, including competitors.
Later this year, country-level fan counts for all Pages (both those using the Global Pages framework as well as Pages that haven’t transitioned to the new framework) will become available. This will enable your internal teams to track how each market is performing, as well as to compare your fan base on a country-by-country level with competitors’ Pages on Facebook by accessing the data available via the API.
Buyer Beware

Despite the advantages of the new Global page structure, there are several cautionary flags we need to raise. These are, on the whole, short-term setbacks but could be potential issues nonetheless:

Content will not be migrated from a single page structure to local pages. Whilst you will not lose any content (unless you deleted specific pages), content (photo albums for example) cannot be migrated from a global page to a local one. Our advice would be to upload content early by setting up local pages and uploading old content to them before you integrate them into a new global page which will migrate the relvant fans to the page. However any comments, tags, likes etc.. will of course not migrate.

- Apps that are available on a current global page cannot be automatically migrated across to local pages. However they can be installed on each local page easily.

Global page admins cannot post to all local pages without using the Pages API.

Global page admins won’t automatically gain insights to local pages. Admin rights will still need to be administered by the local page admin. [Relevant to multiple pages transition to global page only.]

- Analytics for the global presence with the Global page structure will not be market specific (just as they currently are not). Should you need market level analytics you will need to create a local market page. Or of course crunch data from post level insights.

- Fans cannot subscribe to more than one region/page of the Global page. (Any fans that likes multiple pages will only keep their most recent like and will be directed to that page within the new Global page.

Great, how do I get started?

Global Pages are available to all of Facebook’s managed clients. They will then work with you/your agency to transition your current Page or Pages into the Global Page structure.
Please leave any questions on Global Pages in our comments section and we will answer each one.

Written by: Stephen Pirrie & Michael Litman

Originally published on AnalogFolk, republished with kind permission.

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