Tuesday October 16, 2012
What YOU need to know about the “New” LinkedIn Company Pages
LinkedIn continues its great user interface changes with the introduction of its newly designed Company Pages. Why is this important? Because the new look and functionality means that your can create a better corporate brand, and communicate through your corporate brand on LinkedIn.
While the functionality of Company Pages is basically the same – they look so completely different! The main difference you will notice is the new header image (646x220 pixels) that looks very similar to the Facebook Timeline Image. In face, I predicted in my book the LinkedIn Company Pages would probably begin to emulate Facebook pages in their autonomy – and that seems to be what is happening.
The menu bar is a little more prominent, and looks more like tabs on a website then the tiny links in LinkedIn’s old interface which also adds to the dynamic look of the Pages.
While Targeted Updates are not new (they’ve been around for 4-5 months, they are more prominently displayed in the new interface.
Let’s break it down:
The New Look
LinkedIn has been (and in many aspects continues to be) very text heavy. There is nowhere to “pin” your favorite photos and while the Media Add button for adding video and links to other documents is great, most people still don't have it.. However, for your Company Page, a new large banner and media rich updates have now entered the scene making your page more engaging and branded than the previously allowed logo.
If you have not yet created a Company page, now is the time to do it. (https://www.linkedin.com/company/add/show) If you already have a Company Page, but have not been there recently, its time to revisit it, and add some of these new features.
Company Page Banner Image
As the administrator of your Company page, you can now click on the blue “Admin Tools” button and the “Edit” link on your Overview page to access the new banner photo. As long as your image is 646x220 pixels, you can upload it to your page.
As LinkedIn says: “We know a picture is worth a thousand words, so we’ve provided companies with the ability to easily add an image that best represents their company and brand. Like the photo on a member’s profile, this image helps companies establish their identity on LinkedIn.”
I pulled the same image as I had on my Facebook Company page and it was an adequate fit. So you can do that until you create a branded image for your LinkedIn audience.
Company Page Updates
As mentioned above, while you have been able to write updates in your company’s voice for over a year, and have had targeted updates for several months now, the placement of Company Page Updates is much more prominent on your LinkedIn Company Page (looking similar to both Facebook and Twitter). So if you have been lax about posting Company updates, now’s the time to start.
I still maintain that it is important to maintain a human voice in social media (Like Facebook, you must still have a personal profile on LinkedIn to create a Company Page), but there are some benefits to having a certain autonomy when it comes to you company’s voice.
LinkedIn says, “We’ve made the update stream more relevant for members, which means companies are able to share status updates and job opportunities with the right members on LinkedIn.”
What We’ve Lost
LinkedIn did do away with a few things in the new Company Page interface. You can no longer receive emails from LinkedIn about employee promotions and career offers. But since most people didn’t even know there were follower settings, I guess its not a great loss. (Except to job seekers)
Also, the blog feed is gone now. If you want people to see you blog posts, then you will have to manually add them to your updates
LinkedIn also used to pull in company mentions form Google – and that is gone too.
Also gone is the ability to easily see who you knew at a company, although the Insights tab makes up for it I think.
Strategy – Think Social!
LinkedIn’s party line has always been that you need to know the people you connect with. However, with the new Company Page, you have the ability to increase your following, without increasing your connections. And this is good news for people who are more interested in building their company’s visibility and business than their own.
I tell my clients to treat their LinkedIn company page like they would their Facebook Company Page or their Twitter Corporate account. Many people don’t even realize you can have followers to your Company Page, but these are your interested parties – your business tribe. If a LinkedIn member has taken the time to find your Company Page and follow it, then you need to give them some content in return! LinkedIn says “With a more prominent navigation experience, companies can now easily showcase their company’s products, services and career opportunities to members visiting their Company Page.”
Don’t Waste This Opportunity.
In fact, take the time to invite people to your page. Consider embedding the LinkedIn Company page social button (https://developer.linkedin.com/plugins) into your website or blog. Put it in your email signature.
Write Tweets and Facebook updates about it. Share your company profile link (https://www.linkedin.com/company/linked-into-business-llc) with your network on LinkedIn. When you do invite people to follow your Company page, let them know the benefits of following your Company Page.
(Insider Tips, Career and Job Opportunities, Customer Service Initiatives).
Create rich content. Make sure the links you share have images. Ask questions. Be interesting. Write targeted updates to specific audiences. Monitor your update statistics. What is working? Do more of that!
Of course there are many more things you can do with your company profile. This is just the icing on the cake (but it is mighty tasty icing!)
To read about other things you can do with your profile (adding video, special offers, getting recommendations, driving traffic and business to employees, etc) read Chapter Four of my book: LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day.
If you don’t yet have a Company Page on LinkedIn, what are you waiting for? Start engaging those followers while people are still discounting the validity and import of Company Pages on LinkedIn. If you already have a Company Page, make sure you are utilizing its best features and update your Banner image and start writing those updates! Now’s the time!
#LinkedInChat – LinkedIn Company Pages – October 16th
Q1: Do you have a company page on LinkedIn?
Q2: What do you like about the new Company Pages?
Q3: What are some of the best company pages you have seen?
Q4: Please share the link to YOUR Company Page (if you have one)
Q5: If you don’t have a Company Page on LinkedIn, why? (this is important for the conversation)
Q6: Have you updated your company page with the new header?
Q7: Do you use targeted updates on your Page? Why /why not/ how?
Q8: Have you listed your products and/or your services yet?
Q9: Have you created target audiences for your products and services page?
Q10: What are you doing to attract followers to your company page?
Q11: Are you actively getting recommendations?
Q12: What questions do you have?
Check out the transcript for tonight's chat here: http://beta.hashtracking.com/ht-pro-rpt/cjeffers-linkedinchat-2012-10-16/
Edited Storify transcript here: http://storify.com/linkedinexpert/company-profiles-linkedinchat