How To Launch An International Campaign On Facebook

By Guest Comment

Multinational brands constantly face the challenge of launching a campaign or promotion that’s targeted toward a specific country, but must launch the application on their global brand page. That results in backlash from the fans located outside of the region where the offer is available.

Let’s say, for instance, you work for Coca-Cola and are giving away a trip for four to Disney World, but it’s only available to U.S. residents. You don’t want to have your fans in other countries to see that they can’t participate and post complaints on your page wall.

Let’s assume that your contest entry mechanism is where you have a tool that allow users to upload an image, tag friends and drag and drop items onto the picture, like a funny hat or a clown nose.

As Coca-Cola, you would want everyone on the global page to use the app, but want to limit the contest entry component so it’s only available to U.S. residents. This scenario is perfectly possible. You just need someone that understands the Facebook platform to execute it in that manner.

There are robust features on the platform that most brands and marketers are not aware of. As a Facebook app developer and marketing strategist, you must keep a finger on the pulse with Facebook’s platform, so you are not limiting yourself to constraints that actually don’t exist.

Here are two major features that are most relevant when launching a global campaign.

You Can Detect Country Settings

What this means is that you can detect users country settings without asking for explicit permissions. That means, no permissions pop-up. It’s actually just a parameter that Facebook passes along to your application that says: “John Doe is from the U.S.”

In our Coca-Cola example above, if we knew you were in the U.S., you would see the same fun photo manipulation tool with the contest entry portion. Whereas if you were from Canada, you would see the fun photo manipulation tool but no contest entry.

It’s sill the same app and the same back-end code base, but just a different view on the front-end that’s specific to the audience coming to the app. Pretty cool, isn’t it?

You Can Detect Language Settings

You can detect users language settings on Facebook without asking for explicit permissions. Again, no permissions pop-up. If your language settings were set to Spanish, your fans would see this large global campaign/application you’ve created, in Spanish.

If you’ve created the application to support the English speaking audience, and the users language settings were set to English, they would then see the app in English.

Detecting language or country are two settings that most marketers either don’t know of or don’t remember when thinking of a global campaign. You can have permutations of the same app on the front-end, and have the app live on one Facebook tab and one single code base.

Launching an application in this manner is an elegant, clean solution. In fact, it should be the only solution.

If you set up multiple tabs (yes, we see many brands taking this approach) you will run into issues:

  • Which tab do you set as the default when the campaign launches? You can only pick one. So which will you choose? The English tab? The Spanish tab? If you pick one, then you’re neglecting a full, seamless experience to the rest of your fans.
  • What if you had to make a creative or copy update? You have to fix two separate code bases since you have two distinct tabs.

It’s better to spend the time building the campaign in the right manner from the beginning: Use one code base, and then use the settings to detect countries and languages. Think global and remove all barriers.

Guest writer Mario Zelaya is managing director of Majestic Media.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.