How to use the new LinkedIn showcase pages – Getting Started
On the 19th November (2013) LinkedIn announced the introduction of Showcase Pages. In essence this allows companies to set up product or service specific pages that can be “followed”. Up until now users could only follow company pages (or LinkedIn influencers). The new Showcase pages feature is a welcome introduction for large companies that produce large amounts of media and for different specific target audiences with different interests. Some companies have struggled to deliver the right content to the right audiences on LinkedIn. The crux of the problem was that if you published all the content to all the target audiences all the time you risk flooding your newsfeed and turning your followers off. Now LinkedIn Showcase pages allow followers to essentially filter what media they want to receive from companies by product/service.
A number of large companies have already set up their new LinkedIn showcase pages such as Adobe, Cisco, Microsoft, and HP. On the Adobe LinkedIn company page you will see a section half way down the page on the right hand side (as illustrated below) called “other Adobe pages”. Do not confuse these pages with the Adobe product pages as they are different. Take a look on this LinkedIn page to see how you go about setting up the pages.
Here’s how to get started:
1. Identify business areas that need a Showcase Page.
2. Click the “Edit” menu on your Company Page. Select “Create a Showcase Page.”
3. Now you’re ready to start sharing your content.
LinkedIn Showcase pages are displayed in the “Other Adobe Pages” section on their company page.
Getting started using LinkedIn Showcase Pages – Considerations
So how should your business start to utilise the new LinkedIn Showcase Pages? I think before creating multiple pages you must first decide consider how they fit into your existing communications/social media strategy. The granularity of pages created will be vital to effective communications via these new pages. Different companies have different divisions, sectors, services that cover and overlap multiple audiences. In a professional services firm do you create a page for your energy (parent) group or your clean energy sub-group? Do companies such as Unilever with over 400 brand (14 billion € brands) create a page for each? How do organisations with more complex matrix structured organisations approach the design of their new LinkedIn Showcase Pages? If your website is well designed, you have an agreed social media strategy and your communications teams are well organised you will have a lot of the work done already. You will understand:
- The logical breakdown of the company’s business areas/Products/Services.
- The company’s target audiences
- What company business areas/Products/Services already have dedicated social media channels.
- What level of resource/budget is available to create media and maintain digital channels.
Once you understand the above you should take a look at your social media strategy and consider what the impact of including these new LinkedIn Showcase pages is. Is there an ROI related to using this new social media outlet and does it align with your underlying business objectives and engage your target audience.
Is it worth your while setting up LinkedIn Showcase pages?
If you are paying for a Gold or Platinum LinkedIn careers page you will no doubt have realised the value of presenting different information about your company to different audiences. Gold and Platinum company pages allow the company to display different versions of their careers page to different users depending on their demographic/industry. This ability to deliver custom versions of careers pages to specific audiences has to date cost tens of thousands of pounds. If you already have social media accounts e.g. Twitter/Facebook set up for specific brands/services/sectors then including these new LinkedIn Showcase pages will not be a big increase in ongoing support costs after the pages have been set up. Content you are publishing via your other dedicated social channels can be used to keep these pages active and engaging.
The counter argument is that despite the irrefutable evidence that there are over 200 million professional LinkedIn users there is also evidence to suggest that LinkedIn has a lower active user base then Pinterest or Google+. The value of this feature is dependent on users finding, following and engaging with your new Showcase pages. One of my clients BAE Systems has over 107 thousand LinkedIn users following of it’s LinkedIn company page. This level of engagement indicates that they have an audience that is interested to hear and interact with the company. I look forward to seeing how the new LinkedIn showcase pages effect their engagement and reach. If we are lucky they may allow us to share some of the findings.
Over the coming weeks and months I look forward to experimenting with LinkedIn showcase pages across multiple industries and I hope to write more on this subject when I have more experience doing so. In the meantime please keep in touch on Twitter @HannonKieran @eSocialMediaUK or sign up to our mailing list at the bottom of this page.