According to LinkedIn, two million companies are formally represented on their network. For many, this is enough reason to improve their representation on LinkedIn, invest time and money in this platform, and use it to discover users, potential clients, employees, and business partners.
Company Pages are microsites representing companies on LinkedIn. They can be found by all LinkedIn members, using the network’s search option. They are also indexed by search engines. You can also add a “Follow” button to your company website leading to your Company Page.
If you often provide job openings, LinkedIn Company Page is the perfect solution for you. You will easily find new employees and you can promote job openings on your website through a special module (Career Box) which LinkedIn offers for website integration.
Another advantage is the ability to receive full statistics on your LinkedIn corporate page. You can use this statistical data to see not only who visits your Company Page but also what type of content they found interesting. Through your Company Page you can build a professional community and learn more about it from the statistics – how it develops, what types of followers do you have and how they interact with you. Statistics also carry information about which status update brings more traffic and how this develops the community.
As Mike Grishaver, LinkedIn’s Product Manager, said:
“This is a stronger way for companies to build relationships with their target audience.”
Well, this isn’t very persuasive, is it?
Company Page Advantages:
- Enormous professional audience waiting for you
- Easy and quick information updates to your stakeholders
- Ability to gather recommendations and feedback from figures of authority
- First-hand knowledge of your partners’ and clients’ opinion
- Provides a good overlook on your followers and those who stand by your brand with their authority and opinion
- You receive a microsite where you can develop a community of intelligent and capable professionals – your future employees or partners
- You receive feedback on the most important questions for every business about the company’s image, its products’ position on the market, customer feedback, etc.
- Ability to create attention among professionals and brand followers
- Ability for personal dialogue with professionals, part of the community
- Easy discovery of quality and responsible professionals
How to create a Company Page for your firm
Here you will find a detailed video tutorial on how to add your company and what is needed, and here are the specific requirements for Company Pages. A catalogue of all company pages can be found in the “Companies” menu on LinkedIn.
I will be frank with you, as usual – there is a very important requirement that you need to cover. You and your employees must have very well filled-out and active profiles on LinkedIn. So – set up a meeting with your employees beforehand and figure out how they can be helpful in building your Company Page. This is not difficult – I have the pleasure of knowing quite a few managers and company owners who have done it a long time ago and are now enjoying their success.
It is important to create an official company email address before you create your Company Page because you will use it to register the page on LinkedIn.
Company Pages Principles
-1- The number of followers does not matter
On LinkedIn, it is more important who your followers are, not how many of them you have. Don’t expect all 161 million people registered on LinkedIn to rush to follow your page. J As for whether the number of followers you have gathered is enough, you can always argue about that. For example, there are some very well kept pages with 400-500 followers each, but if 20% of them are business partners or clients, then it is definitely worth it. This is why you don’t have to look at the numbers but pay attention to who your followers are, which leads us to…
-2- Targeting, targeting, and again, targeting
In order for a Company Page to be successful, first its employees and managers must be successful in terms of their LinkedIn profiles, create a community around your personal profile, and then proceed to presenting the Company Page in front of that community.
It is very important to target as specifically as possible your audience of followers. You can target not just all your clients and potential customers, but just specific loyal clients or wholesalers or business partners. It is important to gather a proactive audience, ready to communicate on this channel, and for this to happen, the audience needs to be interested in taking the time to communicate. The interest is created by the benefits and the specific target information that comes from you. So – plan a strategy, target audience, and themes.
About targeting – note the ability to add different texts in different languages in the “About” section. Add the languages you already use for business partnerships, as well as those you would like to develop further.
Speaking about target audience – it includes not only clients, employees and partners, but another extremely important group – your competition. Follow their pages and pay attention to how they develop – this is important and will help you be one step ahead in the future.
-3- Just the necessary information is enough
By any means, do not overburden your page with information. I have looked through a large number of pages and what caught my attention was that some of them had a boring amount of product information, while others were too keen to go into details about the company, which brings no value to the reader. Some speak way too highly of the company, its products, employees, or all three, which also repels the reader and is difficult to believe. Instead of listing information about all your products, post only about your top 5 bestesellers, for example. Instead of bragging about the extraordinary team and the unique company history, compile a short resume of 1-2 paragraphs and invite people to learn more on your company website. Do not overburden your audience with information or you risk boring it.
I would advise you to add only the products you have enough information to share about, which means having:
- a description written by a professional copywriter
- a presentation, showing competitive advantages and use benefits
- external page / URL with images and description
- video presentation
- ability for future promotions and discounts
If, however, you have firmly decided to list more than 10 products, at least use the ability to order them from most to least selling and interesting.
Also, do not get carried away in the “company specialties” field, because too many of those are definitely irritating. Pick four main professional specializations your company prides itself in and can show competitive advantage.
Some market specialists go even further – they suggest not losing space by having a cover photo in your Company Page’s header! Perhaps this is logical given the fact that some large and well-developed fan pages do it in order to make the Updates more visible. I would personally advise to have a cover photo containing a slogan or message, as well as a smaller-type brief description of your company’s activities – to me this is the smartest and most convenient way, but you can experiment. Also, why not put a happy customer or employee’s statement in the cover photo?
-4- Pay the most attention to the status updates the Company Page publishes
This is the most important and, at the same time, most looked-over tip! Unfortunately, I saw some pages of big Bulgarian companies, which look “dead” because they lack a single status update (if you don’t believe me, check the three Bulgarian mobile carriers’ pages. After all, they follow this blog, and I hope that soon we will see some really interesting status updates by them on LinkedIn). A shame but… what can you do – everybody decides how to represent their company in front of the audience. The worst, however, is that then you start hearing company representativeshspeaking “competently” about LinkedIn being useless and bringing no real benefits. What I want to say is that here you need a strategy, a communication strategy, in which to determine the topics and status updates based on your audience and targeting. Think about this and talk it over with your marketing specialist, PR, or copywriter.
Breathe “life” to your Company Page on LinkedIn
You should start gathering followers by inviting your current employees, clients, and business partners. This can be done by email marketing or LinkedIn private messages. Before that, you need to build a communication strategy and include in your message to your future followers the reason why they should become your followers. What benefits will your Company Page bring them that will make them click on the Follow button and comment actively?
You can then look for more followers in the Groups menus by trying a more discrete way of mentioning the company page. For example:
“I believe you can use products, containing… because they are more … than products containing … We had a series of status updates on our LinkedIn Company Page here some time ago … You can take a look and find more information!”
The next step includes promoting your LinkedIn page on your company website. For your company’s website needs, LinkedIn offers a Follow button.
And again, the most important thing, start writing Status updates from the very beginning! Use them to create benefits and grounds for future dialogue. Think proactively!
The next step (after building a followers group and publishing a considerable amount of content) is to receive recommendations for your product or products (services).
For bigger companies with more employees, I suggest you look at the following modules which can be integrated to your corporate websites:
- Company Insider – the ability for your website’s visitors to see which of their contacts on LinkedIn work at your company, who were the most recently hired, or the last ones promoted
- Company Profile – suitable not only for big companies, but for everyone universally. It presents in a special field, or as a linking icon, access to your Company Page
- Jobs – show a list of job openings on your website. LinkedIn can filter just the positions that it thinks your visitors will be interested in
Image representation types
There seem to be three overall strategies for Company Page image representation:
- Seeking employees – these are the companies that need specialists and can hire those who can be mobile in their work. One of my favorite examples is Adobe, who build a complete career strategy for LinkedIn, including a series of status updates, videos, and media. Microsoft also have a similar strategy and their popular idea for meme-like colored tiles with pictures and slogans on the “work at Microsoft” topic. OrangeSoda, on the other hand, is the dry version of the previous examples – open their Company Page and you will see what I mean.
- Seeking clients – these are mostly B2B companies, mainly in the services sector, mostly in the sector of specific professional services. One of the classical modest examples is Raven. I am one of their many clients and I periodically follow their LinkedIn page, which they use to promote their professional services. SEOMoz also show a very interesting approach, and they have had their Company Page for a while. You will see that their status updates are everything for them. They count on LinkedIn as a channel for distribution of SEOMoz’s links.
- Building corporate image – this group of companies is relatively small, compared to the other two, but they do it in a much more obvious way, which is good if you want to see for yourself and decide for your company. One of the good examples is Aurecon, where you can see brilliant branding – from the logo to the header and ads banners. Everything is corporate “dry” and sticks strictly to the overall brand vision and feel of the company. Apple is a combination of the first and third strategy, but their corporate identity is also spotless. Note their “Products” field, however. Their product is, in fact, their brand… and nothing more – interesting, isn’t it? Their ads banner is even more provocative. It reads “Every day, people do amazing things at Apple. What will you do?” A great HR slogan, in my opinion.
Learn from the best
A few days ago, LinkedIn announced their nominations for best Company Pages – I highly recommend you to take a good look at the nominated pages, they will give you excellent ideas about yours!
I don’t intend to waste more time and space telling you about every single field you can fill in on your Company Page, which is where our colleagues at HubSpot, who are not so lazy as I am, enter the picture. They have taken good care in compiling a PDF file with all the explanations that I am currently omitting. You can download the file here.
All your tips, ideas, input, and experience with LinkedIn Company Pages, are welcome, and I will be really happy if you share them in the comments section below, so we can help each other and be as useful to each other as possible on this subject! Thank you and good luck with your company representation on LinkedIn!