Just last year, Facebook launched the parent/child relationship manager, giving companies and brands the opportunity to manage all of their individual locations or franchises. The addition of the parent/child relationship manager had marketers, agencies, and brand managers the world over scratching their heads — if we could connect all of our pages so intricately within a franchise, why couldn’t we do the same internationally? As of Oct. 17, brands that have global presences can officially stop scratching their heads: Facebook announced the rollout of global pages, allowing brands to seamlessly establish one centralized, global identity.
Facebook’s blog post — which stated that the update was immediately available for all brands to implement following the announcement — highlighted the following three points:
- One global brand identity: Users from all countries will see the same page name (translated into their local languages), likes count, and people talking about this.
- One URL: Brands can promote a single URL in all off-Facebook campaigns, and users will be automatically directed to the best version of the page for them.
- Global insights: Admins of the main page will see insights for all global users in one easy-to-view dashboard.
What it Means For Brands
It easily allows one brand to provide fans with localized experiences. According to Facebook, “each brand’s global page structure will include local pages for specific markets (single- or multi-country regions) and a default page for all other markets.”
The new global pages structure applies to any brand that currently maintains a global presence: Brands with multiple pages –Kotex, for example — have multiple pages in various languages and countries, as well as a single page. Here are some examples of Kotex’s brand pages:
With the new global pages, Kotex will be able to consolidate to create one unified brand experience.
What It Means For Users
Most users will not notice the change. What they will notice, however, is a better, geotargeted experience. When a user accesses a brand’s Facebook page, he or she will automatically be routed to the most relevant version of a page based on where they are, but will also be able to access additional regions via a drop-down menu.
Users will be able to see content localized for them, including cover photos, milestones, about information, and news feed stories. Certain content such as cover language will also automatically be translated, changing a simple “hello” into a shalom, an hola, or even a bon jour — the possibilities are endless.
What It Means For Advertisers
This is an enormous opportunity for advertisers. With the introduction of global pages, advertisers can now deliver highly targeted and, more important, highly relevant ads. Think about it this way: If you live in, say, Germany and receive an ad from a U.S. brand that piques your interest, you’re unlikely to click through if that brand’s page is in English, which makes sense — you speak German, not English.
With the recent update, potential fans will click through to find a brand experience personalized to their region, and advertisers will buy and target ads specifically for them.
SMMS Impact (Social Media Management Systems)
Social software providers and third-party developers have created tools — custom Facebook publishing suites — to allow for publishing of translated content. And while the actual software is still relevant to local and global markets, any customized internationalization components will likely need to reconsidered or refactored to account for Facebook’s recent update to global pages.
Given the new geotargeted tools, it is now more important than ever for brands to accurately translate content to each individual market.
By the end of the year, Facebook will also open up its API to allow marketers and brand analysts to better monitor their international brand pages cohesively. This is, perhaps, the most significant component to the update, as it allows Facebook to offer brands and marketers a cohesive, global brand story. There will also be competitor analysis insights. Facebook has pointed out, “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 other pages on Facebook by accessing the data available via our API.”
The ease of which brands, marketers, and agencies can now control their global presence indicates that Facebook is taking its global audience — which, according to the social network, makes up approximately 81 percent of its monthly active users — very seriously.
It also shows a more mature Facebook. Last year, when Mark Zuckerberg took to the stage in Palo Alto, Calif., for the company’s f8 conference, he famously decreed that, “Our focus has now shifted from user growth to user engagement.” And as Facebook is fresh off its 1 billion user milestone, global pages confirms that Facebook is investing in the brand and consumer experience by allowing brands to create one overarching global community for fans and brands alike.