LinkedIn is having a great run. The B2B platform recently launched in China, it has opened up its blogging platform to all its members and it has announced a useful member blocking feature among a raft of recent updates and design tweaks.
That’s not all. According to Econsultancy’s recent analysis of 2014 marketing budgets, 26% of companies plan to spend the bulk of their social media budget on LinkedIn.
That’s not bad for a site that’s previously been regarded as a recruitment and B2B networking platform.
LinkedIn is fast becoming an important way to generate leads and showcase your company’s expertise, products and services.
And with 42 million professionals creating profiles in over 40 languages across the network, it is a valuable tool for building professional relationships that can lead to future sales.
It is also the no.1 social network for driving traffic to corporate websites, accounting for a hefty 64% of their traffic.
Is your company making the most of LinkedIn?
Most organisations already have a Company page which sets out their stall. We’ve previously blogged about the best ways to improve your Company’s LinkedIn page and the importance of regularly sharing engaging and relevant content – your own and other people’s – on that page.
But in November 2013, LinkedIn launched its Showcase Pages, which extend the platform’s marketing opportunities, and allow for more effectively targeted content. With the company’s recent announcement that it will be retiring its Product and Services tab, there’s no time like the present for businesses to get to grips with their replacement.
How do Showcase Pages work?
Showcase Pages were designed to allow companies with a diverse range of products or services to create pages for individual brands. This allows brands to target their marketing and build relationships within relevant communities. Individuals can then follow the pages in the same way as they would a Company Page and the two should be treated as separate entities. You can’t migrate followers from your Company Page to your Showcase Pages, for instance.
It’s still early days for the new pages, but a few brands, including Adobe, Prudential Financial, Microsoft, and Hewlett Packard, have dipped their toes in the water.
Hewlett Packard is primarily known for digital printers and IT. And that’s what its highly successful Company Page proclaims.
But the company also sells IT consultancy and infrastructure services to other businesses, including its Cloud product. This is a product with a very niche audience, so HP has created a Cloud Showcase Page.
It offers visitors the opportunity to participate in a free trial of the Cloud software – something that would not necessarily be relevant on its main Company Page.
To help distinguish Company Pages and Showcase Pages, the latter offers a larger sized lead image and a two-column layout. Showcase Pages don’t display associated employee profiles or job listings and there is only one placement for ads.
Creating a Showcase Page for your brand
If you’re already the administrator of your main Company Page, it’s pretty straightforward to set up a Showcase Page.
In the ‘Edit’ menu, click on the dropdown and go to the ‘Create Showcase Page’ option.
Add your page name, and list the administrators for that page. Then click ‘Create page’.
Add your page description (up to 200 words), your industry sector and your main (or hero) image. Once you’re happy with the page content, you can publish it. It will then be linked to your main Company Page and appear in related search results.
You add and edit content in exactly the same way as your Company Page and your most recent updates will always appear above the fold.
Currently, you can create up to 10 Showcase pages for your company (you can request additional pages from LinkedIn) and your Showcase page will have its own unique metrics to track engagement, trends and audience demographics.
We’re going to get cracking with our own Showcase Page shortly and will report back. Tell us if you’ve built a Showcase Page, and whether it’s had good results for you.
By DMA Guest Blogger Adrienne Grubb, Head of Marketing, Emoderation and DMA Social Media Council member