Facebook Global Pages: One ring to rule them all
This is the first in a series of posts about Facebook’s Global Pages for Brands features.
- Post #2 Facebook Global Pages: One ring to bring them all: looks at key influencers in the decision to pursue (or not pursue) the umbrella approach offered by Facebook’s global pages feature (if you are eligible). It also looks at alternative approaches that may be more appropriate, dependent on your objectives and requirements.
Benefits of Facebook Global Pages to businesses/organisations
In October 2012, Facebook launched Global Pages. This feature enables global businesses, who have country/region specific audiences and activities, to run country/region specific pages under the one umbrella page on Facebook (e.g. https://www.facebook.com/cocacola), for a cost.
So brands get one URL, can coordinate their global brand identity and see global insights for their activities but are able to deliver country/region specific content to their likebase in different areas (with country level insights coming on line later).
One ring to rule them all, One ring to find them,
One ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
[Source The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)]
It would be great if this was available pro bono to charities, not-for-profits and NGOs with a global presence (e.g. Medicins Sans Frontieres, Amnesty International, Greenpeace) as it would mean they could:
- deliver region specific content including: language, profile image, cover photo, posts and tabs
- benefit from the improved measurement and benchmarking opportunities
- have only one facebook URL to promote.
So far, I can find no articles indicating any future direction towards that offering, but I live in hope.
Benefits of Facebook Global Pages to Facebook users/consumers
For users, if they visit a global page they will automatically be sent to the version for their region, but there is still the option for them to access any other regional or global page through a drop-down menu.
The global page structure also minimises the cognitive load on users as they will:
- potentially wade through less search results when they are looking to connect with charities and not-for-profits
- engage with content and activism campaigns that are relevant to them
- still be able to see organisation’s activities in other region(s) without having to go through the same search process:
When the (paid) brand pages launched, Justin Lafferty (Allfacebook) wrote:
Users will be directed to the best version of a page based on their home country, letting them see localized cover photos, profile photos, applications, milestones, “about” information, and news feed stories. The global pages structure will include localized pages for specific markets (single or multicountry regions) and a default page for all other markets.
Benefits of pursuing a global page approach
Brittany Darwell (InsideFacebook) summarised some of the key benefits of the transition:
Global pages address a number of issues that brands encounter on Facebook. Many pages have amassed large global fan bases, but any given post reaches a small subset of those people. Sharing region-specific content with the right audience can have a big impact on reach and engagement. Dove, for instance, used to do this by geo-targeting its posts, but now it uses the global pages structure to accomplish the same goal. Other brands have created country-specific pages, but it’s not always easy for users to find the page for their country. And many users would be more likely to Like Kit-Kat than to Like Kit-Kat UK or Kit-Kat Austria. Now, users don’t have to choose.
While this feature will clearly benefit some brands, it will not be the best approach for all. Furthermore, not all organisations on Facebook are eligible, coming back to my dream of this being available pro bono for global charities.
There may be a couple of compelling reasons why that feature is not available given the very brands that Facebook is catering to with this initial offering, may also be the brands targeted by global environmental and/or humanitarian organisations.
Giving global environmental and/or humanitarian organisations a more effective method of:
- communicating to activist and potential activist audiences
- mobilising coordinated and region-appropriate targeted protests
Via global pages for charities/NFPs/NGOs may mean Facebook’s the commercial/paid global brand pages of some global businesses are vulnerable to more coordinated and more sophisticated protest, on a number of levels.
Consider the benefits of global brand pages outlined by Bruno Amaral on A Different Perspective:
Recently Facebook announces that global you will be able to visit the page for Brand X and see only what the community managers of your country chose you should see. If a crisis breaks out somewhere else, you won’t know about it. This gives amazing flexibility to Brands, and limits our access to information about what is going on around the world. [my bolding]
In a perfect world both commercial and not-for-profit organisations would have access to the same features, although businesses would pay for that access while charities, NGOs and NFPs would be given that access as part of a an expectation (or requirement) for social good that social platforms would be subject to. In the same way that there can be a requirement for a percentage of parking and greenspace to be included in planning when a new commercial building is built.
Of course, when I write “In a perfect world…”, I mean “In my perfect world…” And my perfect world view assumes that those social platforms see benefit in meeting the requirements of their population to protest at an individual and collective level, even when the focus of the activism may be a paying customer of the social platform.