Facebook Pages: Local Outperforms Global
Internationally active companies starting their Facebook adventure face a tricky issue. Do they create a one-fits-all international page or do they setup a targeted page for every region or country? Both have strong arguments speaking for them and sufficient points to rule them out. Many companies, especially small and medium sized ones, go for a global page to ease administration and cost.
According to data mined by Socialbakers this might be the wrong way to go. They analyzed the international and local pages of big brands such as Nike, Starbucks and BMW. The results were uniform across the sample: The local pages outperform the global versions in terms of fan engagement and wall activity index. These are important measures indicating how your fans react to you and what you have to say.
One obvious contributor to this phenomenon is the language used by page administrators and fans. Most global pages are operated in English as it is assumed to be commonly understood. Yet, many fans would rather prefer to communicate in their own language. This tends to create a linguistic mess on the page, which reduces interaction as meaningful conversations become hard to create.
Another factor is culture. Not every joke or witty remark is funny everywhere in the world, not every explanatory term makes sense worldwide. Administrators are culturally biased and communicate on that base. Over time it’s unavoidable to accidentally exclude, annoy or simply misunderstand certain parts of your fan demographics. The alternative is purely informational updates with no real engagement value.
A third major problem is the time of posting. Studies have shown that fan engagement also depends on the time of broadcasting. Global pages are usually operated from a single office in a single time zone. To reach a West Coast American in his usual Facebook hours (7-9am, 5-10pm) a European administrator would have to work night hours. From experience I can tell that in most marketing departments this just isn’t part of corporate reality.Continued on the next page