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Facebook introduces new Pages for global brands

Posted by Joe McNamara on 5th November 2012

Facebook has recently announced that it has updated its Pages structure for global brands, making it easier for large companies to optimise their pages by country and language. The new structure allows users to see localised photos, Page apps, ‘about’ information and updates from the brand, without losing the global community feeling.

The new feature will make Facebook a more effective platform for brands to build a global community and share content with fans that applies to a number of countries and regions. At the same time, brands can still operate more localised marketing and customer service campaigns around product launches, roll-outs and any necessary crisis management.

What is actually new?

If you’re thinking that this is a straight-forward timeline view or a change to make the photo tagging experience ever so slightly more seamless, think again. This functionality will allow companies to have a single global presence, with integrated country-specific pages. That means that it is now possible to maintain a single global brand identity, which is translated and localised for each individual community.

It allows administrators to see global insights, which may be beneficial as, for example, UK administrators can see if a particular campaign has succeeded or failed in other parts of the world. This gives businesses a head start in managing their international strategy, by analysing and learning from the experience of individual countries. In terms of web-presence, it also makes life simpler for users as there is now only one URL, rather than wading through dozens of pages to find the most suitable for a specific concern.

Later this year, Facebook has pledged that using a new API, global brands will be able to see a breakdown of country-specific fan counts, meaning that they can see where the social media campaigns are having the most impact and alter the campaign to appeal to those where they are having the least success if necessary.

How will this help?

From the perspective of a tech PR agency with a number of global clients using Facebook, this is an interesting development as it allows us to roll out localised campaigns but continue to build global audiences at the same time.

Furthermore, social media as a customer service platform is a particularly important area for consumer technology companies handling complaints and extending apologies for product faults and breakdowns.

As new product launches are often staggered by region, brands can closely monitor their global Facebook presence at the time of specific launches. In doing so, they can pre-empt opportunities and issues for future launches, and adapt content and engagement strategies according.

We have seen examples of good and bad handling of customer service using social media platforms such as the O2 blackout which saw the mobile operator almost double its Twitter following simply by being engaging, proactive and apologetic. The new global Facebook page structure may be an opportunity but it is also a threat. Simply put, if a brand is getting Facebook badly wrong, they have absolutely nowhere to hide as they only have one, more visible, unified global presence. This may lead to more careful consideration of Facebook presence.

At present, the new global brand pages appear to be reserved brands with sizeable Facebook spending budgets, but Facebook has already confirmed country level fan counts will roll out this year even for pages not using the new framework.

Photo courtesy of Facebook Studio.