If your brand is big enough to service multiple cities or regions, you may have offices requesting their own Facebook page. But is it really a good idea to create multiple Facebook pages for different locations of your brand?
In most cases, it’s almost always best to stick to one centralized hub on Facebook. Of course, this does depend on your brand’s specific needs, plus how your teams and your marketing strategies are structured. The key is to set yourself up for long-term success.
If you’re considering setting up local Facebook Pages, here are five questions you need to ask yourself (and your local team).
1. Can the local team create GOOD content?
There are so many brands that basically only talk about themselves online. It’s not just boring, it’s also a resource drain and really dilutes the brand. Your Facebook page needs to both represent your brand AND delight your audience with content that makes a difference in their lives. If the local marketing team doesn’t have the chops or the resources to produce valuable, localized content for its regional followers, then it’s not worth the investment.
An alternative would be for the local team to submit content ideas, then HQ can craft and target the content (sometimes organically, without paid ads) to one or multiple regions.
2. Can the local team produce ENOUGH content?
Creating a consistently awesome Facebook presence demands a significant time investment, but many teams won’t realize that until a few months into the project. At that point, the page will either begin to be neglected or the local office will start publishing crap or will seek out new resources to supplement their efforts (which will cost more money).
Speaking of money…
3. Who will be in charge of local Facebook ads?
It’s no longer enough to post good content. A paid strategy is a critical component across all branded Facebook ventures.
Let’s assume your company is already taking advantage of Facebook and Instagram ads at the national level. Once your Columbus office has its own Facebook page, are they going to take over ads in their region? Where will that budget come from? What does the approval process look like, and how will those ads mesh with your national ads? These are conversations you will want to have answered before pulling the trigger on a local page strategy.
BONUS #1: At the end of the day, isn’t a hyper-targeted Facebook ads strategy (managed by HQ) a way better approach to localization than a local page? I think so, too.
4. What happens if the local Facebook champion leaves the company?
I’ve seen many passionate (often young) staff members create killer local Facebook pages, but once they leave the efforts are suddenly dead in the water. This actually happens more than you might think, and it leaves brands in an awkward place where they have a decent page but no one to maintain it. So it’s worth considering your local office’s team and whether or not the Facebook page would survive if crucial team members left the company.
5. Do the benefits of using local pages outweigh the costs of fragmenting your audience and your data?
You know your brand best, and maybe a local page strategy is in your best interest. Facebook provides a 'ocation page function, after all, and this could be a must-have for brick-and-mortar franchises that need to give customers a location-based Facebook experience. It can also help with engaging local employees or with partnering with influencers and businesses in the local community.
The important thing is to take the time to consider the pros and cons of a location structure. If you’re going to splinter your audience into local groups that will be potentially harder to reach, definitely more difficult to measure and more confusing for users to know which to follow, be sure you have a solid reason for it and recognize that granting access sets precedent -- say yes once and you’ll receive an avalanche of requests.
Speaking of groups...
BONUS #2: Instead of local Pages, why not create local Facebook Groups?
Compared to pages, FB groups offer more-direct access to individual members. Plus, a business page can now be added as a group admin. This functionality presents an awesome opportunity to create focused communities around your product or service, and, if carefully executed, could potentially be a nice middle-of-the-road option for a local brand presence.
Matthew Dooley is a Cincinnati native whose life is all about connecting, innovating and giving back. He founded dooley media, a social media agency that transforms local companies into talkable brands. He also leads an exciting wearable tech company, Kapture, which debuted their always-on audio recording wristband in early-2015. Matthew developed the social media curriculum at Xavier University and is currently teaching both MBA and undergraduate students. Follow him on Twitter.