Whether you see LinkedIn as the professional’s Facebook; a PR, marketing and networking tool; or an anaemic online Yellow Pages replacement, it undoubtedly has its uses. Users are more likely to use it to communicate with colleagues, clients or business partners than drinking partners and you can be sure that there will be more focus on industry issues than your friend’s recent holiday in Turkey.
This is exactly what appeals to many users of LinkedIn – it’s business networking without the nonsense. Of course, business couldn’t exist without companies and therefore it makes sense that LinkedIn has invested effort into expanding the presence and features of their company pages.
LinkedIn company pages allow you to establish your company identity, share company news with your peers, showcase your products, and post job vacancies. Last month, LinkedIn rolled out their new look company pages to all (after a brief trial period with a select group of large companies).
The most obvious change is visual. Images now take precedence over text, a trend seen across all social networks. This includes a large cover image (much like Facebook and Google+). This ensures each company page looks distinctive and allows for a stronger brand presence. It also lends itself to a higher level of engagement and to communicate what your company does: it’s true when they say a picture speaks a thousand words.
Companies now have more control over updates too. You can now use ‘featured updates’ to place the most important updates at the top of your overview page for up to 48 hours – meaning that they are the first thing people read when they go on your company page. This could be useful if you have several updates per day, or if a past update suddenly becomes topical again.
Some clever algorithms now also determine how followers see updates, as opposed to the solely chronological order previously employed. The new algorithms favour updates that are likely to be most relevant to each user, just like Google has personalised search by location or relationship, helping the right people see the right posts.
Furthermore, the new design enables you to write targeted messages to certain people by industry or geography like Google+ circles. For instance, if you have an update pertaining to the aerospace industry and want to avoid spamming people in other industries that you operate in, you are able to send the update to the relevant followers only.
LinkedIn is one of the only the sites where members voluntarily enter large quantities of detail about themselves from the outset. These rich profiles are what really makes LinkedIn different. A new tool that LinkedIn has dubbed ‘follower insights’ reveals details such as the industry, seniority and job function of your company’s followers. As a page admin you can also review the effectiveness of individual updates e.g. how many impressions and shares there have been, letting you know what works and what doesn’t.
As with any social network, LinkedIn is what you make of it. Making the most of the new features to create an appealing and up-to-date company page on LinkedIn could bring in your next big client, attract your next superstar employee or mark you out as a leader in your field.