Michael Guay is a Senior Community Manager at Deloitte Digital and is an expert in Global Pages deployment and management.
Facebook introduced Global Pages in October of 2012 to help international brands manage their Facebook presence more effectively by delivering the right content to the right audience.
Global Pages links multiple brand pages together under a common URL, helping brands maintain a clean and consistent presence on Facebook. Fans are directed, based on IP address, to a local page for their market, allowing for a more localized, highly relevant experience.
Generally, the brands most successful with Global Pages are large, global corporations that have unique promotions, events, or products from country to country. The need for a unique message is there. Global Pages helps them deliver it.
There are many benefits to deploying Global Pages, but more pages means more complexity. Market-level pages are completely autonomous. Profile pictures, cover photos, photo albums, posts, and even tabs, are all unique to each page. Because each page is managed independently it means more posts to analyze and unique sets of page-level insights and fan counts to track.
Before Simply Measured’s Global Pages Report, I would spend hours, sometimes a full day, navigating between pages and data sets to get the insights I needed to create a report. Now the insights for all my pages are together in one place and hours are shaved off of my reporting process.
Now that the reporting process is simplified, more brands should be reconsidering Global Pages. If you’re one of them, here are five tips for designing your Global Pages social strategy based on my experience with clients.
1. Allow your local page admins to create content that is optimized for their culture
To fully take advantage of Global Pages’ localization ability, your content should be as locally relevant as possible. Enable your local page admins to create original posts and translate corporate content, adapt images, and schedule posts based on when users in their country are online.
Your corporate team shouldn’t be writing the Boxing Day post for the Canadian page (unless your corporate team is in Canada). Users in England will notice that content written by an American marketer lacks a certain local “flavour.” Allow your field marketers to take the lead.
Humor is especially hard to do on a global level. What you may think is funny and performs really well within your region could totally bomb, or worse be misunderstood as offensive, in another culture. That being said, don’t bail on humor altogether. People find funny content to be really engaging, they just may not find you global content very funny, but your local page admin should understand the nuances.
2. Develop a global content supply chain that allows local teams to customize content for their target audience
Content distribution is an essential step for Global Pages to work effectively. Pages are autonomous, so you’ll have to share posts for publication by your local marketers. Your local marketers should also have the ability to translate copy and text on images before posting.
Getting your global team on a unified tool is the first step. Move away from emailing spreadsheets to your field marketers. It’s difficult to track content through the process of suggestion to translation to posting. A unified platform allows you and your field marketers to collaborate on content much more effectively.
Governance is also a consideration. You want your local teams to have the right permissions to engage with their fans in real time, but you also should want to approve posts before they go on the page. Permission users to be able to create and share their original content back up the supply chain for your approval, without getting in the way of engagement.
3. Share optimization opportunities with local teams based on best practices learned by the aggregate
Simply Measured’s Global Pages Report makes it easy to look across your global and local pages, see which countries are having success in social, and determine what content is driving that success. The next step is to share that success. If a post worked really well in Germany, adapt it for your global audience and share it with other local marketers to use on their market-level pages.
Remember, Global Pages creates market and country-level experiences within Facebook. If the local page admin in Germany creates a highly successful post, only fans in Germany will see it. Your opportunity as the global marketer is to recognize these successful posts, determine how to make them globally relevant, and adapt successful posts to be shared as global content. Your field marketers will thank you for it.
Conversely, if a page is struggling, you need to dig in and see why. Are they posting at times that aren’t optimal? Do they need to utilize more photos in their content? Use data from your Simply Measured reports to help them manage their pages as effectively as possible.
4. Create “Playbooks for Social Success” for your local-level teams
In addition to data, some best practices can go a long way. Many global companies have field marketers who, in addition to social media, may run events, manage street teams, set up local promotions, and so on. That’s a ton of work. And because they’re not as socially focused, they’re likely not as socially savvy.
For that reason, we create and deploy easy-to-follow guides for these field marketers to help ramp them up and quickly become more effective social marketers. Providing content, guidance, and reporting solves a huge time issue that many local marketers face, and time saved on publishing is more time for meaningful engagement and customer service – something I think we all wish we had a little more time for.
5. Report at a Global Page level and level-set your pages
Not all local pages are created equally. Countries like the US and India have larger populations and tend to have much larger communities on Facebook. For that reason, you’ll see more likes, comments, and shares on their content (or at least you should). It’s not fair to compare their engagement with smaller countries like Switzerland or South Africa.
To properly benchmark your pages, you need to report on them individually over time, tracking their engagement rates and fan growth. To compare them to each other, you need to level-set them. Divide their metrics by total fan counts to get an idea of how they’re performing on a per-fan basis and help your local marketers optimize from there.
I view Facebook Global Pages as a best practice for global brands that want to present a consistent brand on social media while connecting with users in the most relevant way possible. Switching to the Global Pages structure is still viewed as a big step, and a lot of brands hesitate when they’re told, “once you go Global Pages, you can never go back,” but I truly believe that with the right tools, the right approach, and perhaps some thoughtful guidance, you’ll wonder why it’s taken you this long to make the switch.
I found reporting to be the most difficult part about working Global Pages, but Simply Measured has created a report that it would take me days every time to put together on my own. Everything you would want as a Global Pages admin is in there. Simply Measured’s new Global Pages reporting makes measuring the performance of your Facebook Global Page as easy as possible. Learn more about the report and sign up for a trial to see yourself.
Michael Guay is a Senior Community Manager at Deloitte Digital based out of Seattle, Washington. He’s always up for chatting global social strategy, baseball (go Mariners!), movies, and music. Contact him by email or find him on Twitter.
Learn more about Simply Measured’s Facebook Global Pages Report and what it can mean for your Global Pages strategy here:
Facebook Global Pages Reporting from Simply Measured