When Facebook introduced the new Global Pages Structure it immediately caught my attention and thought "this could be what we are looking for to strengthen the visibility of some of our important market pages”
As the Social Media manager of a global brand with 48+ market pages the news that we would be able to merge all pages under a single Brand name without losing the possibility for markets to still personalize their message was a great one.
I got in touch with Facebook on the subject and they sent me out a presentation explaining the different possibilities we had when converting to the new structure along with an excel file to map out the regional pages to be assigned to different countries.
In the excel sheet you could redefine each market page username (URL) and Page name. I therefore got in touch with all markets informing them of the coming merge and asked if they wanted to use this opportunity to rename their page. Most of them decided to go for the Brand Name + Country name, either in English or in the local language. However this was irrelevant as the country qualifications would be lost in the transition, more on that later.
Once the excel file was done I sent it back to Facebook to start the migration. We had two options:
1) All your fans will “like” the brand, and will continue to hear from the same Page. For example, if a fan from Mexico “liked” the US page, they will continue to:
• Receive updates from the US page in the news feed
• See sponsored stories from the US page
2) All your fans will Like the same brand, but will get updates from the local Page. For example, a fan from Mexico will get migrated to the local Mexican Page:
• Receive updates from the localized Page for Mexico in News Feed
• See sponsored stories from the Mexico Page
Since the main goal of migrating to the new Global Page structure was to give more responsibility and visibility to some market pages who were struggling to increase their fan base, we opted for the second solution and the migration algorithm. This would reallocate more than half of the million fans from the International page to the local markets.
In the process some markets like France, the USA or Portugal instantly gained more than 50’000 likes on their page.
Overall the brand now has a 2.4 million likes Brand page with a more than 860’000 talking about it. This is very positive for any new Facebook user arriving to the brand page. they now see that the brand has a very strong presence on Facebook.
PROS OF THE GLOBAL PAGE STRUCTURE
To sum up the positive aspects of the Global Pages structure are as follows:
· One global brand identity. Users from all countries will see the same Page name (translated into their local language), fan count, and People Talking About This (PTAT).
· Country specific look and feel. Each market is still able to have a different cover or profile picture for their page if needed for local campaign purposes.
· Country specific applications: Each market is still able to have their own set of applications.
· One URL. Brands can promote a single URL in all off-Facebook campaigns, and users will be
· Global insights. Admins of the main Page will see insights for all global users in one easy-to-view dashboard.
· New country pages do not start from scratch. When a market who didn’t have a presence on Facebook decides to allocate some resources to launch a Facebook page, they will immediately inherit the fans from that country who have already liked the global page. In the same way you could decide to reassign the fans from a country back to the global page or another market page if they do not prove to make a good enough job at managing their local Facebook page.
THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR WHEN MERGING PAGES
Overall those positive aspects were enough to decide us that it was the right way forward however in the process there have been one major flaw that created a certain number of problems that you need to be aware of before jumping in the new structure.
When the migration to the Global Page structure was completed all market pages had lost the country name. So instead of having Brand + Country as a name, we now have only the Brand name as a page name for any country. The only way to see that you are one a specific country page is by looking at the URL where the username still remains country specific.
This had not been clear on Facebook’s side as they were specifically asking for the page name we wanted for each market page.
This brings a certain number of issues in the daily management of the pages and particularly when using third party tools.
As the admin of all the market pages, the first problem I encountered was when I wanted to share a video of our Proteam page (sports related and not merged into the global page structure) on the Brands ‘global page. Since all the market pages now have the same name, it is impossible to differentiate them in the list and you do not know on which page you are sharing the content. This is particularly annoying since I do share content from other pages at least twice a week on our global page.
Similarly I use both socialbakers.com tool to get advanced insights on all our market pages and shortstackapp.com to build and manage applications. For both these tools it is now impossible to differentiate which market page I am looking at.
In socialbakers I now have a long list of 48 pages that all have the same name but with different stats. It makes it very difficult to know which market page I am looking at.
On shortstack I regularly create contest applications that are not supposed to go on all pages. But now I have to install them to all pages and removing them one by one on the market pages that are not running the contest.
In this regard I’ve been looking at what other brands have been doing to sort out this issue. Kit Kat for example has decided to add a little flag of the country in the corner of the profile picture of each market page. This might be the simplest way to do it but it is not ideal and in our case it is against our corporate identity guidelines.
What about you, have you also started using the Global Pages structure? Have you encountered the same issues?