Category Archives: Business Development

Photo by AJ Colores on Unsplash

The Ultimate Guide to Creating Facebook Global Pages

Migrating to a Global Page Structure (also known as “Facebook Global Pages”) can be difficult, and I couldn’t seem to find a single guide with everything I needed to know. I recorded my experiences, so you can complete the process more effectively (without making the same mistakes I did).

What are Facebook Global Pages?

If you have multiple Facebook pages (for different countries), it may be better to represent them using a single brand name (i.e. Joe’s Bookstores instead of Joe’s Bookstores — UK, Joe’s Bookstores — France, etc). A Global Page Structure allows you to do this — so that searches will only display one result for your company, and users will be automatically redirected to the version for their region.

Flowchart of Facebook page redirections

Image courtesy Facebook. © Facebook — All rights reserved.

One great feature of Facebook Global Pages (and why many choose to use them) is that page likes are aggregated across all your pages — meaning that even your least-liked page displays your total number of likes — this will be higher than (and usually a multiple of) your best-liked individual page.

Global Pages are not intended for managing multiple stores in the same region — this is achieved using Facebook Locations (however, you could use Global Pages and Locations — if you have many retail stores in multiple countries, for example).

Important: once you’ve migrated to Global Pages, you can’t go back.

Part A: Getting Started

1. Business Manager

Global Pages are only available as part of Business Manager (a much more powerful way of managing Facebook pages). If you haven’t migrated to Business Manager yet, you’ll need to do this to enable Global Pages. All your pages must be published, have a profile, a cover photo and posts.

2. Eligibility

Global Pages are still being rolled out, and may not be available in your region. To find this out, go to your page settings and there should be a Global Pages tab in the left navigation. If it’s not present, you may still be eligible — contact Facebook to find out for sure.

Global Pages Settings

If you are eligible, a Global Pages tab will appear in your page settings

3. Targeting Strategy and Setting a Default Page

There are two main ways you can redirect your customers in multiple markets using your new Global Page Structure - by country/region or by language. Facebook will supply you with a list of these regions and languages that you can select from (these match the options you have for your page).

Continuing the example above, the country-based Facebook page for Joe’s Bookstores (UK) would target United Kingdom (and Ireland, as this is part of UK & Republic of Ireland).

If you have multiple language pages, your targeting can support this as well — Joe’s Bookstores (English) would target the language English, and Joe’s Bookstores (French) would target the language French.

If you have multiple pages and local languages, your targeting can support this as well — Joe’s Bookstores (France, English) would target the country France and the language English, and Joe’s Bookstores (France, French) would also target France but the language French.

You will also need a Default Global Page for customers who aren’t located in these regions (or haven’t set their language). For your visitors — and for you to test — switching between regions is easy, just select the ellipsis (the three dots) under the main image header, and select Switch Region. This option is only visible on Global Pages, and doesn’t affect your actual Facebook country setting.

Switch Region

Using the drop-down to change between regions

4. Naming Strategy

Hopefully your Facebook Page Names (e.g. Joe’s Bookstores) and vanity URLs (such as @joesbookstores — also called page usernames) are already well organised and have a good naming convention, but this isn’t a requirement of migrating to Global Pages. If you don’t have any vanity URLs, now would be a good time to look at this aspect — check that all your names are available and unclaimed, as they are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Pages must also have 25 likes before they become eligible for vanity URLs, and usernames can only be set once.

Important: although Facebook themselves were confused about this aspect, OLD VANITY URLs WILL NOT REDIRECT TO THE NEW VANITY URLs (although original Facebook-generated ones will redirect to your new selected vanity URL). There is no mechanism for allowing these types of redirects to happen, so make sure of this before you enable your Global Pages.

5. Setting Global Roles using the Root Page

Although you can still have page roles, there will also be administrators of your entire Global Structure. This is done using the Root Page — a page which allows you to manage settings for all of your Global Pages. Your Root Page is invisible and cannot be visited, but allows you to:

  • set Global Roles - this includes adding Root Admins (using their user ID — at this time you can’t add a Partner ID)
  • view Global Insights (for metrics across all of your pages)

Root Admins can manage your Global Roles, as well as manage or add new pages to your Global Structure.

6. Will My Likes and Insights Data Change?

When you migrate your pages to a Global Structure, your actual page likes and insights will seem to have moved around. This is normal, and the intended result. Some pages will get more likes, and others will have less — because the previous relationship between likes and pages becomes completely disconnected (they are related to the total sum of all pages). All analytics are now determined by your targeting strategy — but the good news is that you will now have total analytics available as Global Insights.

It will take some time for this to settle down, so be wary of any comparisons you make that transition through the date of transition.

Part B: Making it happen

1. Contacting Facebook

Facebook are a little notorious to contact. I’ve found the best way to do this is by going to Facebook Business Support (web page) and selecting chat, or Facebook Ads Support (Facebook page) and selecting message. You may need to quote your Business Manager Ad Account ID and the ID of your Facebook pages, so make sure you have these ready.

EDIT: Currently, there is no direct way to contact Facebook via telephone or email. Don’t call a Facebook contact phone number you have found on Google (like this one). These are run by sophisticated scammers, and they will ask seemingly legitimate questions — until they have enough information to hack your account (or worse).

2. Completing the Global Pages Spreadsheet

After you contact Facebook, they will send you an Excel spreadsheet to complete. If you have covered all the numbered items above, completing this should be a snap. Don’t adjust the formatting, hide columns, or tidy up in any way! They use this as automated input, so if you change it, the automation might not work.

Tab 1: Global Page

Regions Page ID New Vanity Page Name
DEFAULT PAGE 12345 brand brand
IE-English/German/Spanish, CA-French, FR-French 67890 brand.a brand
GB-English/German, CN, BE-French 24689 brand.b brand
NZ, AU 54871 brand.c brand

The first tab asks you to list the Regions — i.e. your targeting strategy (language/country — there’s a lookup table on another tab you can use), and which page is the default. You can change both of these settings at a later time in the Global Pages settings.

The Pages ID is the number reference you see in Business Manager — it’s also in the bottom of the page info section of your page’s settings.

The Vanity column is the URL suffix (the bit after facebook.com) — this cannot be changed afterwards. If you don’t have a vanity URL, now is a great time to select one — all your previous visitors will be redirected to your new URL naming strategy. However, if you already have a vanity URL you can change it — but your old vanity URL will not redirect to the new URL.

The Page Name is what will be displayed in searches and on your page — you can change this in the About tab at any time.

Tab 2: Root Admin(s)

Root Admin User IDs
12354

Here is where you list the user ID for any global administrators — make sure you at least list your own user ID here. Don’t worry, you can always add new admins after your move to Global Pages. The notes from Facebook here say “The root Page is invisible and overlooks the whole structure. It allows you to have insights for the whole structure. Admins of the root Page can also manage the Global Page structure (e.g add/remove countries and edit Pages).”

To easily find out your user ID, go to this URL https://graph.facebook.com/marketing (but change the “marketing” reference to the username of the person, e.g. https://graph.facebook.com/joethebookowner).

Tab 3: Country Codes

This is the complete list of all the countries and their two-letter abbreviations. You’ll need this reference to complete the first tab.

Tab 4: Languages

This is the complete list of all the supported languages. You’ll need this reference to complete the first tab.

Tab 5: Tips

A few helpful pointers, some of which I’ve covered here. I found that naming all of my pages with the same name caused some issues later on (as I didn’t know which page was which when integrating with other platforms), but this is probably better from a customer point of view. Your mileage may vary.

Wrapping Up

Once you’ve send your completed spreadsheet back to Facebook, it can be implemented quite quickly — sometimes in under a week — and they will usually let you know if there’s a problem.

This post was first written in 2018, but should still be current. Please let me know in the comments if your experience was any different (or if you have any additional tips).

Helpful links

  1. Am I eligible to create Global Pages?
  2. Create a Global Pages structure
  3. About Global Pages
  4. Consolidate regional Pages into Global Pages
  5. Facebook Ad Support
  6. Facebook Business Support
  7. What are the guidelines around creating a custom username?
  8. How do I change the username for my Page?
  9. How Facebook determines a person’s location for Global Pages
Sunrise

Staying Human In The Machine Age

In this interview with media theorist Douglas Rushkoff promoting his latest book Throwing Books At The Google Bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperityhe notes that sharing profits with your employees is just good business.

“This is not bad business; this is not charity. This is using the principle of platform cooperativism to end up with wealthier markets, wealthier employees, wealthier suppliers. The wealthier the people are around you, then the wealthier you get to be.” — Douglas Rushkoff

This thoughtful interview covers a lot of the altruistic territory suggested by the 99% — except Douglas has the historical muscle to back up his claims. Referring to new technologies as a renaissance of older, more repressed approaches, he provides thoughtful prose and a look towards a more hopeful future — for us all. Worth a read.

via singularityhub.com

Throwing Rocks At The Google Bus: How Growth Became The Enemy of Prosperity
Portrait by Jonathan Worth

An Internet of Things that act like inkjet printers

Cory Doctorow explains at O’Reilly’s OSCON (covering open source tools, enterprise, architecture, infrastructure, community and more) in Austin, Texas why the Internet of Things that includes DRM may not be the best option.

It may, in fact be the worst.

Cory is a science fiction novelist, blogger and technology activist. He is the co-editor of the popular weblog Boing Boing, and a contributor to The Guardian, Publishers Weekly, Wired, and many other newspapers, magazines and websites. He is a special consultant to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit civil liberties group that defends freedom in technology law, policy, standards and treaties. He holds an honorary doctorate in computer science from the Open University (UK), where he is a Visiting Professor; in 2007, he served as the Fulbright Chair at the Annenberg Center for Public Diplomacy at the University of Southern California.

via oreilly.com

Hemingway (logo)

Do your headlines have a Beyoncé-level of engagement?

Like the lead paragraph in a news story or thesis in an essay, your headline is your one true sentence: the single most important asset for capturing attention in the feed.

Hemingway is Sharethrough’s new AI-powered headline analyzer, an easy-to-use, publicly available tool that puts a wealth of proprietary data science and linguistic analysis at your fingertips for the first time. This new tool is free for anyone looking to navigate the new pressures and demands in content marketing, helping them analyze and quickly improve the quality of their headlines, optimizing for both impression and engagement.

Below are the intial results for this article’s headline (pre-Beyoncé).

Hemingway (actual headline result)

Using this analyser, I was able to push my Headline Quality Score from 62 to 79%. I’m not sure adding Beyoncé improved your level of engagement after you arrived, but you clicked on the headline though, didn’t you? Apparently that’s 98% of the problem solved.

How does it work?

The Headline Quality Score is based on a multivariate linguistic algorithm built on the principles of Behavior Model theory and Sharethrough’s neuroscience and advertising research. The algorithm takes into account more than 300 unique variables, including EEG data and Natural Language Processing, enabling your native ads to capture attention, increase engagement and deliver a stronger impression.

Basically, it offers suggestions to improve clickthroughs — but’s it not going to write better headlines for you.

Back to work, you Hemingway-wannabe.

via nativeadvertising.com

The GyroGlove from GyroGear

GyroGlove: Solutions can come from any perspective

GyroGlove is a glove designed to suppress hand tremors caused by Parkinson’s disease. Instead of using drugs to counteract the effect of the disease, which have a finite lifespan and sometimes significant side effects, Joon Faii Ong (a medical student at Imperial College London) worked with a team of engineers, designers and medics to create a glove that would directly stabilise the hands of someone suffering from tremors, by using gyroscopes.

First nominated as a finalist in the AXA PPP Health Tech & You Awards, and now on target to launch at the end of 2016.

via designcouncil.org.uk and gyrogear.co

Chaos Theory (as a Management Style)

For generations, science allowed us to think we could control nature. Today we know better (thanks to Chaos Theory). How could this make us better managers?

Sir Isaac Newton’s deterministic claim that we can predict future events with absolute certainty stood firm for 300 years — then along came Kurt Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem and Werner Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle. Applying this new science to the most widely used management style (i.e. directive) and comparing it to more empowering techniques, I look at how this could inform management tactics (as well as social media policy and corporate social responsibility).

The boring science‑y bit

mathematical formula written in chalk on blackboardIn 1931, Kurt Gödel declared a formal proof that every system (even the all-empassing Principia Mathematica) contains inconsistency, and is therefore incomplete. In 1927, Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle declared that all physics (when examined closely enough) contains a degree of chaos. This was in contrast with established Newtonian determinism that saw the universe as a giant clock — if we could only see the cogs in enough detail, we could predict future movements. When combined with other theories (such as random Brownian Motion, Lorenz’ Butterfly Effect and Schrödinger’s Quantum Mechanics), a movement developed that came to be known as Chaos Theory. This embraces the idea that we can never truly foresee an outcome, because small fluctuations can cause large long-term effects.

More recently, in books on macro-economics such as Freakonomics and The Tipping Point, there has been an understanding that growth cannot be infinite (e.g. the occupy movement) and an awareness of wider sustainability issues. This isn’t a hippy-dippy resurgence of 60’s flower-power — it’s actually a natural result of looking ever more deeply at what was previously only thought of in abstract terms. Rick Levine and Christopher Locke discussed the problems of directive management styles in their book The Cluetrain Manifesto. In it, a major study showed that although barking orders at employees often generated higher profits in the short term, (when compared with the long-term gains of more empathic management techniques) it is actually unprofitable in the long-term — the management equivalent of King Canute daring the tide to change.

Today’s management structure prevents information flow

So how do these scientific and high-level mathematics theories apply to management styles — what could they possibly both have in common? In each case, they listened to the details — instead of ignoring them (because they didn’t fit the established pattern). This often a precursor of innovation — and why smaller companies can do this better than larger ones. Chaos Theory demonstrates that, (as a manager) it’s scientifically impossible to predict what will happen. Directive, short-term management patterns don’t listen for the details — they determine large-scale changes from previous experience. As global weather will testify — what happened yesterday — or last year — isn’t necessarily the best indicator of what will happen tomorrow.

Internal communications within multi-level management organisations are not constructed to allow these details to be filtered upwards. In a typical management meeting, there’s only time for the larger problems to be discussed, so smaller problems must be ignored — until they grow large enough to be on the agenda (requiring more expensive solutions). This is also true for many efficiency and streamlining processes — managers spend so little time on the ‘shop floor’ that they are unaware of improvements that are suggested by those who are closest to the problem — the workers.

When the going gets tough, the CEOs get out

What appears to be a quick easy fix (such as closures and lay-offs) can show as instant profit on this year’s balance sheet — paying for the expensive CEO’s golden handshake, but will typically back-fire. In addition, it proposes a ‘boom and bust’ mentality that causes many CEOs to lose their jobs (as soon as the bust hits). High drama makes for great headlines, but poor management. As with climate change, there may be no single radical solution that solves a major problem completely — but a large number of smaller improvements (when added together) can prevent the need for dramatic action.

There are other ways to solve this problem more creatively — David Cote (Honeywell)Dan Price (Gravity) and Bob Chapman (Barry-Wehmiller) perhaps being the most famous examples, but in recent times FedEx, Hewlett-Packard, and The New York Times have all cut base pay (with most lowering management salaries more than workers) instead of letting people go. Even Larry and Sergey at Google only take a $1 annual salary. In Japan, a popular belief in business ethics is that businesses (and people) who pursue money first eventually fail — most notably employed by Haruka Nishimatsu, who humbly waiting in line for food with his employees and took the bus to work when times got tough, as good leaders should fight alongside their troops. Simon Sinek used a similar battle-based analogy (but the same family motif) as the basis of his book Leaders Eat Last.

Since the 1980s, much of business ideology has been influenced by military techniques (e.g. goals, strategy, objectives, tactics) — however, the comradeship factor has been conveniently left out. This just doesn’t add up.

Social media — “The Truth Will Out”

Tax avoidance schemes eventually come home to roost. Getting the state to pay for Walmart’s employee benefits (while the company makes record profits) is just not sustainable — and the new-found power of consumers in social media is the best place to disrupt this sort of carefully-planned (and deterministic) marketing plan. Social media closes the feedback loop, allowing information to freely bubble to the top.

From William J. Conaty, who ran human resources at General Electric (GE) for 14 years:

“People have long memories. They’ll remember whether they think they were dealt with equitably.”

CSR and fair compensation

Man wearing suit and tie stares into camera, as dirt road recedes into the distanceWhat, then is the most scientifically accurate management style that best depicts a model of reality? How can we take advantage of broad advancements in science and mathematics to be more effective, better understood, with more customers, and achieve higher profits (with happier and more motivated staff)?

Simple — be more humane when managing fellow humans. This is the use of supportive instead of directive management techniques. In a business sense, it leads to more profit. For employees, they are happier and feel valued. Customers benefit through a better level of service.

This is why Henry Ford doubled the minimum wage in 1914, why the Cadbury brothers created the town of Bournville for their staff and pioneered pensions in 1879, and more recently Facebook have created their own company town — these (eventually) lead to higher profits. Fair compensation (and recognition — which is free, after all) is often all that employees ask for. These are some of the earliest examples of Corporate Social Responsibility — which seems these days to be completely divorced from employee benefits, and has turned into a form of corporate philanthropy (i.e. for those outside the company) instead.

Typically, smaller family-run businesses support their employees, and listen to customer and production’s potential problems — and are thus able to fix them while still in their infancy. This long-term approach is often lambasted by more ‘profit-driven’ management executives — but we should be thinking in terms of being in sync with our customers, clients and colleagues for decades — not trying to rip them off as quickly as possible and hoping there’ll be a new sucker born every minute.

Business relationships are a conversation (not an argument)

By freeing up the information flow, respecting each other’s practical, management, and user experience, we can create highly-optimised yet fluid and responsive solutions that evolve organically over time. By listening to our colleagues, we learn to embrace chaos — and respond quickly to the unknown because we knew it was always there.

In our new knowledge economy, thoughtful application of new sciences and technology using the above techniques will inevitably lead to brand loyalty, less employee churn, deeper customer engagement and higher profit margins.

Isn’t that what we all want?

But how?

The best way to go with the (chaotic) flow isn’t to throw your hands up in despair — roll up your sleeves, use good judgement and demonstrate leadership. It’s best encapsulated by Saint-Exupéry (author of The Little Prince) in this TED talk by Julia Galef about the ‘Scout Mindset’:

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up your men to collect wood and give orders and distribute the work. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”

Million Dollar Homepage

IAB: A U‑Turn on the Ad-Blocking Superhighway?

Ad-blocking is the new normal. With the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) having launched its LEAN Ads program worldwide, I look a little closer at the initiative – and what it implies for the future of online advertising.

While I agree with the theory of the LEAN initiative (which stands for light, encrypted, ad-choice supported, and non-invasive), the implementation leaves a little to be desired. Less placement opportunities for publishers and more constraints for distribution platforms seem an Orwellian reaction to an industry still reeling from the arrival of HTML5.

pagefair-mapToday, almost one in five Internet users in the UK (and rising) have an ad-blocker installed. Advertising revenue is being wasted on unseen ads, ad fraud and ‘bots, while scripts, videos and bloated bandwidth are inflating mobile data plans. The target audience and brands are crying ‘foul’. And although LEAN addresses some of these tactical concerns, it fails to address the broader problems.

Fortunately, there are ways through this thorny problem but, much like global warming, we’re not going to like it; agencies, distribution platforms, publishers and clients are all going to have to work together if we’re to move forward.

Firstly, as always, we need to get creative. Take the humble 200kb online ad; often delegated to artworking teams, many with meagre budgets, fast turnaround times and low expectations.

Incorporating digital innovation, such as dynamic/rotating content; leveraging speed using Content Delivery Networks as well as programmatic and other user-targeting techniques; and developing content-led creative – instead of just containers for content delivery – may eventually endear the user to brands and increase engagement. This approach will create ads that evolve and can last an entire campaign – simultaneously reducing media spend while increasing clickthroughs. Blocking ad-blockers is a road to nowhere.

Secondly, leaders in this area (such as Guardian Labs) are inviting users to become part of the equation. An extension of the IAB-approved ‘AdChoices’ concept, Google’s Contributor platform for DoubleClick (which is yet to roll out to the UK), allows ‘subscribers’ to pay a monthly fee to remove ads. However, this will only work if all ads are removed in the subscription, and the profit model replaces the revenue stream (and doesn’t increase it). If there’s one thing online businesses should learn, it’s that transparency is key to success.

crystal_page_load_timesLastly, publishers, clients and media planners seem to have opted for quantity, not quality. Those that work harder with their partners, leveraging brand depth instead of reach, to gain the first-mover advantage (reducing impressions and incorporating native/sponsored/branded content) will be the first to reap the low-hanging fruit; leaving competitors, paywalls and ad blockers scrambling in their wake.

There has been some sizeable changes in the digital display industry in 2015, but for a long time users have always wanted the same thing from advertising: make it useful.

Show me what I need, just before I need it. 

Most users don’t want to block all advertising; they just want to see advertising that is appropriate to them (by definition, ads not intended for them are – at the very least – poorly targeted). We have many more creative digital tools to enable this to happen.

The industry has alienated our customers with irrelevant advertisements force-fed to them en masse – let’s work hard (and together) to get them back on board.

They’ll thank us for it.


“Million Dollar Homepage” © 2005 Alex Tew
“Ad Blocking Usage by Country”© 2015 PageFair/Adobe
“iOS Page Load Time in Seconds” © 2015 Mark Wilson/Beta News

No-Spec

Spec work and spec-based design contests have a detrimental impact on the quality of design, negatively affecting both the designer and the client. In an effort to educate those working in the design profession, as well as the clients who use their services, a group of designers got together to share advice and stories about the pitfalls of spec.

via no-spec.com