Social media has indeed grown up. As marketers realize the return on their domestic social media investment, the desire to replicate the benefits worldwide has become a business imperative. However, social at scale continues to face many complex challenges. The brand that succeeds in building a global community is the brand that looks past the point of building an international following, and onto creating both a sustainable platform and long-term customer loyalty by driving ongoing engagement with these fans and followers. The foundation for this approach is an organizing principle that applies to the brand’s vast network of owned properties.
To date, the global social media landscape has been largely non-connected and non-standardized, both within a single channel, and among collective owned channels. But as the needs evolve, so does the technology. To see proof of this innovation, one only need to look at Facebook’s most recent platform update. Yesterday, Facebook announced a new pages structure for global brands that endeavors to unify regional brand pages under one global identity, while still retaining their local relevance.
The new structure is based on a hub and spoke model that we often recommend to our clients. This means designating one destination (in Facebook’s case, the global page), as the hub, from which all local messaging extends. Facebook goes into more detail in the announcement:
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).
One URL. Brands can promote a single URL in all off-Facebook campaigns, and users will be automatically directed to the best version of the Page for them.
Global insights. Admins of the main Page will see insights for all global users in one easy-to-view dashboard.
Currently, the brands who will benefit most from this change are the ones who have employed a single-page strategy. The new structure allows these brands to launch specialized regional pages while maintaining brand control. However, there are also implications for brands that employ a multi-page strategy. By directing administrative management from a singular source, brands can ensure that region-specific social media efforts all ladder back up to the same global business objectives and share the same content and messaging.
Across all global brands, Facebook is facilitating a frictionless digital ecosystem, where consumers can more easily find the information they need, and engage in conversations more relevant to their lives. Facebook is also creating a more fluid content strategy, where user-generated local information flows up to the global brand and corporate-mandated information from the global brand effectively reaches local fans. Finally, the hope for this new structure is that brands can produce and syndicate actionable content faster and more efficiently, with minimal risk.
What do you think about Facebook’s new global page structure?