They are, really they are, from 14th April LinkedIn has decided that not enough people are using the functionality so they are going to discontinue it. There could be any number of reasons for this but I suspect there’s more to it than not used, more likely not understood or not leveraged or simply that clients don’t recommend those organisations that pay LinkedIn’s bills ;)
They quietly announced this if you tried to add new services weeks ago and then went public with it just last week with emails and a note on company home pages like the one below.
It’s been a lot of fun for me to see the tales of gloom and doom about this, we have lots of recommendations on our company page for helping people get sales by using LinkedIn and I’m not worried about it. If you don’t know where to find them you can see where to find the total on the screenshot below with each example on a product / service page.
Yes we will miss the functionality that enabled us to give a different audience demographic a different experience on that tab and yes what replaces it (in my opinion) is not as good but it is going to happen so just adapt and get on with it people!
You can still contextualise your business home page with messages to suit your particular audience type or demographics so it resonates with them or presents in their local language or more but if you don’t know how to do this then give me a shout.
LinkedIn said “we aim to provide a simple and efficient experience for our members. To do this, we’re continuously evaluating how our current products and features are used, and seeking new ways to focus our resources on building the best products. This sometimes results in the retirement of certain features. So on April 14th, the Products & Services tab will be removed from all LinkedIn Company Pages.
What does this mean for your page?
Your Products & Services tab will be removed on April 14, 2014. Until then, you can edit existing products and services, but the ability to add new products and services will no longer be supported.
Company Page Administrators can recover Products & Services Recommendations directly from the tab by copying the information into your own document. You should have also received an email regarding this change and can download a copy by clicking a link from within that message.”
So don’t listen to the doomsayers saying woe is me, losing all your content and it being deleted as it simply won’t ! But there are some sensible steps to take before 14th April.
If it was me I would:
- LinkedIn has said that it will send your text to you anyway but …
- Copy the product and service descriptions into a document, just to be on the safe side.
- Copy all of the recommendations that you might have as you don’t want to lose the social proof of these
- Reply using comments (see below) to all the people that kindly recommended your services to ask if they would mind transferring the recommendation to the most appropriate person in the business that they worked with or represents that service or product
So what should you do next?
With the products and services gone you have to use the showcase pages and your company updates more elegantly as a way to engage your audience, reinforce your product or services range and value to them. But there are some considerations before you run at it:
- Showcase pages let you personify your company by creating a specific page for members who want to follow specific aspects of your business, and not for short-term marketing campaigns. You need to think carefully about the themes you select, often not specific products, services or short term objectives.
- Updates have always been important in developing and maintaining your relationships with your clients and followers and now even more so. When your followers engage with your updates, it spreads your message to their networks and provides you even greater exposure. Updates can be seen by your followers not just on your company page when someone looks at it, but also on the homepage of those that follow you (if you select the message to go to them)
So is it all doom? Nope just change, and some find that scary. Things change, we all change but the constant here is that you change with it and keep LinkedIn working, looking like you and going forwards or you won’t get the results you deserve.
We’ve got clients making millions in new business sales because they keep evolving, keep changing and keep doing the right “stuff” and if you’re not sure how just shout and we can talk about it.