Brands can reap the benefits of extending their social reach internationally without losing the local touch.
Lingerie brand Curvy Kate has announced it has merged its existing Facebook pages to create one unified brand page. The brand made this move in order to create a stronger social community (its potential reach will increase to 13 million people) and send out a unified message across the platform worldwide.
While a number of brands only have one brand page on Facebook, many major retailers have a number of pages for their different global markets. Andrew Robb, chief operating officer at fashion aggregate site Farfetch.com, explains: “International brands need to retain a strong sense of brand and identity, but in some cases it’s worth having different Facebook pages for reasons including language barriers, targeting the relevant time of day and ensuring content is relevant to season, culture and the market’s taste. If you want users to really engage with you, ultimately the content needs to be relevant, accessible and engaging to them as individuals.”
Robb also points out that content engagement depends on the market the user is coming from. “How users interact with content on Facebook tends to mirror how they interact with content in general in their market.
Asian users tend to be keen on video assets, whereas image content is the most internationally accessible.
Similarly, markets like the US are extremely promotional, while Middle Eastern audiences are more focused on new and exclusive content and products.”
Ben Staveley, head of ecommerce at search engine optimisation agency dotAgency, says there are a number of things to consider when deciding the Facebook page strategy. “Tone can vary from audience to audience, so you’ve two things to consider: first, if demographics vary from region to region, and second, if the countries themselves require a different tone. For example, the British are more sarcastic, for Asia you might want the language to be more simple, and in the US it should be more chatty.”
For Curvy Kate, managing director Steve Hudson believes bringing the audiences together will encourage interaction and conversation around the brand. “Our fans discuss the D- to K-cup ranges, gather feedback and find products that will work for their unique, curvy shapes. As every customer is different, it’s an essential tool for making purchasing decisions. One central hub means there are more curvy, like-minded women in one space to interact with and find the perfect lingerie set that will work for their shape.”
There is no real right or wrong answer to the question of whether to have more than one brand page - it comes down to brands and retailers looking at their audience and deciding how best to interact with them. Facebook states that separate pages may benefit from the ability to create a local identity - however, the platform does have a number of options that businesses can use to minimise any issues. The site has recently introduced a new page structure which allows brands to have one global brand identity and URL to promote it, but users can be directed to the best version of a page depending on the country they are in. Facebook also allows page administrators to choose which audience to post messages to based on their language preference and location.
As more and more geo-targeting features are released on the platform, allowing for a more targeted approach, we could even see the larger retailers follow Curvy Kate and merge their pages to create one Facebook brand page.