The rollout of global pages on Facebook will finally enable companies to run their global activities on the social network through one page, without having to rely on systems and solutions from third-party vendors such as Buddy Media, which have been supporting these functions for a few years.
This new feature means new demands for cooperation among local community management teams in the different countries of global companies.
The launch and maintaining of a global page requires a new “glocal”-Facebook strategy. You need to draw up a global action and strategy framework to define general content and purposes, and you need local adaptation of the content by the local community management. The need for global strategies with local adaptation should generally be nothing new for global companies, but at least now, with the launch of the new global pages, it should also apply to Facebook.
Ensuring a consistent presence on Facebook has now become even more important with fans able to switch the region or content of pages and, therefore, able to compare the performance of different countries with only one click. This higher transparency and the new easy possibility of comparison require a more stringent brand approach on Facebook for every company. This can help to positively influence the brand image and create a consistent brand or company image. Likewise, it is also possible that inconsistent local performances such as special price discounts, competitions, or promotions (preferring some countries) will be discovered faster and provide new challenges in the community.
Controlling a global page with a glocal strategy offers a lot of efficiency-raising and synergetic effects for the whole company. The increased need of cooperation among the community management teams of various countries not only provides knowledge and experience transfer, but it also offers synergies in the use of terms, posts, graphical and video material, and their rights. A centrally advertised fan page could also reduce single costs in advertising context. This is similar to applications that will require unique concepts and developments in the future and can be converted to different languages by simple means.
The main advantages of a glocal strategy on the new Facebook global pages are:
- Fewer inefficiencies: Multiple social partners and platforms create redundancies that can now be avoided with a single social solution.
- Fewer risks: Multiple teams open the brand to risks that could otherwise be mitigated through clear protocols and one single accountable community manager.
- Fewer missed opportunities: A unified approach safeguards the brand against failures to spot emerging trends or opportunities.
- Easier to find: Users don‘t have to search for their regional Facebook page if there is only a global one.
- Savings: Leverage social platforms across markets and brands and streamline scaling across markets through knowledge sharing and the reduction of repetitive efforts help to reduce costs.
- Flexibility and scalability: A glocal framework scales according to global needs and, at the same time, local needs of a company, and it is also flexible to emerging trends.
- Collaboration and innovation: A consistent social media management approach for all markets helps to support the collaboration and innovation progress.
There is no doubt that some of the advantages of global pages and some of their synergy effects are (of course) also feasible by using different country-specific fan pages. Facebook has now recognized the need for consistent and unique brand identities for companies on its platform, as well as the usage of new synergies within a glocal strategy, which it now satisfies with global pages.
Jasper Krog is a consultant for digital communications with a focus on Facebook marketing at Edelman Digital in Germany, and Andrea Holtstraeter is a community manager with a focus on the management of global fan pages.
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