Although Facebook was started in the U.S. and piloted at American and British universities, it has quickly become a global network, connecting people from all over the world. Facebook has the most users among any social network, approaching 1.5 billion in early 2015, according to Statista.
As Facebook is expected to grow, the areas where people will be creating new accounts the fastest are in emerging markets. According to eMarketer, India, Brazil, Russia, the Middle East and parts of Africa as expected to lead the expansion of this popular social network.
For 2015, eMarketer projected monthly users of Facebook to grow by about 28 percent in India, 9.8 percent in Brazil, 21.8 percent in Russia, and nearly 20 percent in the Middle East and Africa.
"Emerging markets are making up a significant amount of Facebook's growth."
If your business is looking to add new customers in these developing markets or established markets that already spend much of their time on social media, such as Latin America or Southeast Asia, it's a smart move to develop international ads for Facebook. This process isn't only effective at reaching new segments of the global population, but it's an inexpensive and simple process. Here's what you need to know.
1. Establish a Facebook presence
The first step to creating a successful international ad campaign is to provide your audience with a digital space where they can engage with you. Set up a Facebook page that lets your existing and future customers like, share and follow your posts and brand. While you may want your first page to be in English, be sure to establish language-specific Fan Pages for each of your target audiences.
Use professional translation services to give each of your language pages an authentic and natural voice that will engage your audience better than a mechanically translated passage.
In addition to language-specific pages, consider using localization services to establish pages unique to different geographical regions, such as Brasilia or New Delhi, where your new customers may be.
2. Create your ad
The key to the success of an ad campaign, regardless of language or location, is that the advertisement is good. Use Facebook's tools to create a custom ad that achieves the exact goal you want.
Otherwise, try to make something simple, engaging and attractive to potential clients. Create an ad that they'd actually click on. Use graphics and video, as well as copy and images.
3. Translate your advertisement and Web presence
Once you develop a good global tagline and click-inducing image, use a content translator who can help get your message across for each and every audience. Additionally, have your website translated so that after your new users click on that ad, they don't end up on a website that they can't read.
If you don't want to translate your entire Web presence, ensure that you have some landing pages and ecommerce functions fully translated.
4. Use Facebook to reach your new audience
When using Facebook to advertise, you can reach the exact demographics you want. Take advantage of Facebook's 1.5 billion users and the site's advertising functions to customize who you want to see the ad and who you don't. This can help you reduce overspending and maximize the prospect of a sale on each click.
5. Test and monitor
Once your advertising is live on the site, it's time to monitor your results and make adjustments. Consider split testing your ads to figure out exactly which copy and colors are most effective for each language audience. As you start to see different results, be flexible and adjust your spend to maximize return on investment.
6. Look for new tools
AdWeek recently reported on a new tool launched by Facebook to help major companies, such as Nestle or Coca Cola, sell in emerging markets. Although these areas of the globe are quickly making up a large percentage of Facebook traffic, that hasn't yet translated into revenue for many companies. Facebook has created a tool that lets ads adjust to the mobile device type, the Internet speed and the user. Even people on inexpensive phones with slow connections will be able to see ads.
Although this tool isn't available for small businesses yet, it may be soon.