Facebook's big picture mission is to "connect the world", to provide internet access to everyone and facilitate better understanding and community through shared knowledge and understanding. And that's a noble vision, no doubt, and one that everyone can get behind, but at the same time Facebook has often been criticized for this objective.
You see, when Facebook says "connect the world" by extension, they're also saying "connect the world to Facebook". That doesn't lessen the value of the core message necessarily, but there's obviously a less altruistic driver behind that cause when you also factor in the amount of money Facebook can make as a result. While the ambition to enhance global connectivity is an admirable one, at the end of the day, Facebook is a business, and as such, they need to make decisions that turn a profit, which casts those wider, "global good" goals in a different light.
And this week, Facebook gave another hint as to how they might be able to use those broader connective goals to change how we do business on a broader scale.
Via a post on the Facebook Business blog, The Social Network has launched a new 64-page guide to help businesses "go global" with Facebook. The new guide outlines all the ways brands can use the platform to expand their opportunities across borders, connecting with new audiences in new regions.
As noted by Facebook:
"According to our research, about 50 million businesses use Facebook to find customers, and 30 percent of their fans are from other countries."
That's a significant opportunity, and the new guide aims to highlight how brands can use this to maximize their return and grow their business.
The guidebook provides a range of demographic insights on ten influential eCommerce nations, along with notable industry information, data about online shoppers and shopping habits, Facebook usage and key areas of business interest.
This is some great insight to have - but Facebook goes a step further on each, offering additional, Facebook-specific data to provide more understanding about how business can reach these users via the platform.
Some of these insights have been difficult to come across elsewhere, and having them coordinated into a single document is a big help, both for businesses looking to expand into these new regions and those already marketing to them.
Each of the ten nations featured - Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines the UK and the US - has its own data and unique statistical notes, helping provide further context on how to reach each market.
Honestly, the guide's worth downloading for these insights alone, but there's more to it, with the second half focused on how Facebook's ad tools can help you reach these users in other nations. This is also where Facebook introduces their new international targeting features - International Lookalike Audiences and Location Targeting.
Just as they sound, International Lookalike Audiences enable brands to reach people in new countries who match the traits and behaviors of their existing customers, while the new extended location targeting capabilities enable advertisers to maximize their reach to audiences in new regions.
The guide also outlines how to make best use of Facebook's various ad options, with recommendations on key features and considerations for each:
And examples of successful campaigns.
The guide also includes a full listing of Facebook ad specs - again, great info to have on hand as you go about creating your campaigns.
Lastly, the guide also includes a range of case studies of advertising success stories from both Facebook and Instagram, along with a listing of Instagram best practices to help brands maximize their performance.
As noted, the guide is a great read for any brand looking to reach a wider audience through Facebook - and even those businesses operating within the highlighted regions stand to significantly benefit from the huge amount of data on offer.
And as Facebook continues to expand across the globe, the opportunities available to use the platform for international business outreach also increase along with it. If targeting people in other nations is not on your business agenda right now, it may be in the very near future as wider connectivity leads towards facilitating a truly global marketplace.
You can download Facebook's new "Going Global with Facebook" handbook here.