If you're a multinational big spending business on Facebook, you can take advantage of a little known feature called a "Global Page." Unfortunately, the rumor is that you need to spend well into 5 figures on Facebook ads per month in order to qualify, but isn't that to be expected with cool features early on?
Now, global pages aren't actually new. They've been around for a few years now. But like I said, not many people know about them. And why would they if they:
- aren't spending a ton of money with Facebook
- don't offer content to any users outside of the U.S.
- visit Facebook pages in other languages
How Do Global Pages Work?
The beauty of a Global Page is the control you have over their function. Within a dashboard, you can set the criteria which dictate how global Facebook users engage with your brand's page. Most generally, there are three types of Pages in the Global Pages structure:
Market Pages: You can have as many market Pages as you want. You can customize who gets redirected to which Page, according to where they live and which language they speak.
Default Page: This is the default page where a fan will be redirected if they do not meet any of the criteria you set for your market Pages. This Page also acts as the main URL for your Page structure (e.g. www. facebook.com/brand). When people navigate to the default Page’s web address, they’ll then be redirected to the appropriate Page (market Page or default Page).
- Root Page: The root Page is invisible and overlooks the whole structure. The root Page gives you insights for all of your Global Pages. Admins of the root Page can also manage the Global Page structure at the targeting level, such as:
Add and remove countries
Add and remove languages
What's the User Experience Like?
In order to experience what these global pages look like, I navigated to Facebook's own "Facebook for Business" page. As you'd expect, they have regional pages for just about every country on Earth.
I started out on the U.S. default page.
From there, I navigated over to the "..." (more options) button. This is where you'll find a "Switch Region" option.
In the dropdown menu is where you'll find all of the many market options the page offers to its audiences. Of course, what I'm doing is manually overriding my experience, but by default, I'd normally be automatically shown the U.S. page.
Someone in Chile, however, would be shown the Chilean page (as shown below).
Once the regional setting is changed, it's important to note that the page URL does, in fact, change. It's a completely different page altogether. However, they are pages that are verified and claimed by the master admin for the "Facebook for Business" root page.
I continued my research. On to Chinese next.
What's most interesting about this offering is that Facebook isn't even available in China. The settings for this page is, therefore, probably configured to detect any users that have Chinese set as their preferred language within Facebook.
Finally, what about a European country? How about Netherlands?
As you can see, the master U.S. page's posts get translated into Dutch here. Bilingual users that don't think the machine translation is up to par can click on "See Translation" at the bottom of the post in order to read it in its origin form - in English in this case.
Facebook's Global Pages are a fantastic feature for socially active global brands that want to ensure they have a destination online for Facebook users worldwide. That said, Facebook has an opportunity to make many improvements - including but not limited to:
- Machine translation improvements
- Notifying users of the root page (when regional page is most relevant)
- Allow users to choose the page when multiple languages are spoken
- Decipher between market and language. You shouldn't be able to pick and choose.
- Better crowdsource page improvements. Ask users for more input on the UX
Despite my criticisms, Facebook is far beyond the competition when it comes to supporting corporate globalization. I fully expect them to evolve this offering and roll it out to the many smaller businesses that offer an online experience in multiple languages.