Facebook testing global/regional fan pages that share a single Like count

Facebook appears to be testing a way for pages to customize their presence for different regions while maintaining a unified total Like count across all pages.

It seems users who visit a page will be automatically directed to the version specific to their region, but they can access any regional or global page through a drop-down menu. Many pages have amassed large global fan bases, but any given post reaches a small subset of those people. Sharing region-specific content with the right audience can have a big impact on reach and engagement. This latest test allows each page to display the same total fan count, which could encourage brands and organizations to expand their regional efforts without worrying about the perception of having pages with a low number of Likes.

Earlier this year a study found that posts from local branches of a business generate reach five times the percentage of fans as a post from a corporate page. The study also found that local posts see engagement from eight times as many of the fans reached compared to corporate posts. NPR conducted an experiment that used Facebook’s geotargeting feature to post local stories to a smaller, more relevant subset of its fan base, and found that local stories outperformed global stories six-to-one in terms of engagement rate.

We do not yet have details on how regional pages might be created or managed through Facebook, but it seems that these pages can be completely customized with different cover photos, posts, about sections and apps. Although the total Likes will be the same across global and regional pages, each will have its own Talking About This count. We will share more information as it becomes available, but so far this test seems to be limited to Facebook’s own marketing pages, based on what we can tell from our PageData tracking service. See some examples below.

Hat tip to AllFacebook.de, which first wrote about the feature.