I used to think of LinkedIn as a tool for recruiting, job hunting and professional networking. Now with the launch of Company Pages, LinkedIn may also become a powerful tool for content marketing.
Now out of beta, Company Pages are far more useful to marketers than the Company Profiles feature that LinkedIn launched in March 2008.
- Company Profiles were positioned as an intelligence-gathering tool for individuals seeking information about a company.
- Company Pages are positioned as a tool for businesses to “drive growth….and leverage word-of-mouth to attract new customers.”
Don’t be put off by this positioning or even by the name. Company Pages are suitable for all types of organizations, from non-profits and governmental agencies to large corporations and small businesses.
For some of you, it’s quite possible that your company has LinkedIn Company Pages, but no one at your company is aware of them.
What are Company Pages?
I think of LinkedIn Company Pages as an organization’s home away from home.
You may have heard the adage be found wherever your customers are found. On LinkedIn, an individual has a “home” in the form of a profile, and now, a company has a “home” in the form of Company Pages.
Company Pages consist of four main tabs, three of which are public (i.e., visible to all LinkedIn members).
Overview: This public tab lists info such as:
- Basic information about your company (e.g., location, number of employees and industry)
- Information about new hires and employees, including the viewer’s degree of separation
- Twitter and blog feeds plus a “follow company” feature
Careers: This is another public tab displaying job postings. With a paid Silver or Gold account, you can add rich content such as videos. You can also customize multiple versions of your Careers page that will display relevant content for targeted audiences.
Product & Services: Under this public tab you can:
- Post descriptions of your key products and services
- Receive product and service recommendations
- Add content such as videos and promotions
- Purchase recommendation ads to showcase recommendations for products and services and seek more of them
- Get the “recommend” button to place on your website along with each of your products and services.
Analytics: This is a private tab visible only to LinkedIn members with administrator access to your Company Pages. Alternatively, if you haven’t set up administrator roles, this tab is visible to all current employees who are LinkedIn members with valid e-mail addresses under your company domain.
Two analytics let you benchmark your company against similar companies:
- Number of overall page views and page views by tab per month
- Number of unique visitors per month
You can also view the number of clicks per month on each link on your Products & Services page, as well as your company’s number of followers per month by industry, function and company.
Don’t assume you don’t have Company Pages
Think you don’t have LinkedIn Company Pages? Think again. If any of your employees are LinkedIn members with valid e-mail addresses under your company domain, you have Company Pages. These default Company Pages contain data available on LinkedIn as well as a company description using information gathered by LinkedIn partner CapitalIQ.
How to get started with Company Pages
Here are the steps to follow if you want to control what appears on these pages:
1. Log into LinkedIn, then under the “Companies” tab in the main navigation menu, select your current company from the drop-down menu. First-time visitors may be surprised!
2. Set up your administrator role. You can decide if all employees with a valid email address can access the pages or specific people only. If you designate specific people, remember to include yourself in the list, and note that you must be connected on LinkedIn to any other members you designate as administrators.
3. Set up your profile to include:
- Company name (required)
- Company size (required)
- Website (required)
- Industry (required)
- Operating status (required)
- Year founded (optional)
- Company location – up to five locations (optional)
- Logo – a standard and a square logo (optional)
- Company description (required)
- Company specialties (optional)
- Twitter ID (optional)
- RSS feed (optional)
You can also decide if you want news about your company to be displayed.
LinkedIn Company Pages are powerful
To understand the power of Company Pages, imagine the following scenario. I’m an IT executive linked to other IT executives on LinkedIn. While logged into LinkedIn, I see that one of my peers has recommended a firewall product offered by XYZ Enterprise Software. Because I value my peer’s professional opinion, I investigate by:
- Reading the recommendation and the product description on XYZ Enterprise Software’s LinkedIn Company Pages and linking to the company’s website
- Contacting my peer to learn more about her experience with the firewall product and the company
- Asking my peer to provide me with an introduction to her contact at XYZ Enterprise Software.
Know what’s involved in using LinkedIn Company Pages
Learning the ins and outs of LinkedIn Company Pages will take time. I’ve researched Company Pages since their release last November, and it’s not easy to find detailed guidance. You have to sift through entry after entry in the Help Center section of the LinkedIn website.
Here are some of the most helpful tips for content marketers:
Keep in mind that until you set up administrator roles for your Company Pages, any employee with a valid e-mail address linked to your company domain can modify your Company Pages. Which department should be responsible for your Company Pages? Who should be the designated administrators? When will you “lock down” your Company Pages by setting up an authorized administrator?
If you have a content strategy for the planning, creation, implementation and governance of your online content, then you’ll need to integrate your Company Pages into your strategy. Even if you don’t have a full-fledged content strategy, you’ll want your Company Pages to be consistent with your other online content.
For companies with dozens, hundreds or thousands of products, creating and maintaining product descriptions on LinkedIn is difficult to manage with the current tools. Be selective about adding content under the Products & Services tab.
The good news for content marketers is that you can use much of your existing online content in your Company Pages. To keep the content fresh and interesting, rather than just rehash your main website content, you may want to create some content specifically for your Company Pages.
Are you using LinkedIn Company Pages? If so, please share your insights.