As a professional networking platform LinkedIn is gaining incremental importance with every passing day among many people – individual professionals, recruiters and organizations.
The purpose of presence on LinkedIn for individuals has been primarily for two purposes – 1) To showcase their professional achievements and 2) To network with like minded people, participate in discussions that occur on LinkedIn Groups to gain and contribute knowledge.
There are more than 2 million companies that have created their Company Pages on LinkedIn. However, many organizations have been struggling to figure out how they should effectively make use of this valuable platform which of recent times has been bringing many some changes like facilitating users to follow influencers, redesigning of company pages etc. This blogpost is aimed to help brands establish their presence.
Should brand create a profile or a company page?
This is the basic and foremost question that brands face when they decide to create their presence on LinkedIn. Not surprisingly, many brands have faltered miserably and gone ahead to create a Profile, which is fundamentally wrong.
LinkedIn clearly distinguishes that Profile is for individuals who want to establish their professional image on this platform, build professional network and contribute knowledge. The brands are supposed to create Company Pages.
In my brief experience in this industry I have learnt from few brand managers that they knowingly create profile, because it is easier to add people to your network in profile, while in case of company pages, you need to wait for people to “follow” your brand. This logic might sound useful, but it makes sense to abide by rules of a social network if the brand wishes to avoid any future hassles.
How does a LinkedIn Company page look like?
A LinkedIn company page of a brand looks like the one below. The left hand side panel provides details about the brand and the narrow right hand side panel is user-centric. A user can see how many people are following this brand, opt to follow the brand and it also reveals who all in a user’s network are following this brand.
LinkedIn company page has four main sections – Overview, Careers, Products & Services, Employee Insights.
A brand can introduce itself to the audience with a brief overview. It is advisable to have a clear logo that users can easily identify with. The brand can make updates and users have an option to engage with a “like”, “comment” or “share” option (similar to Facebook!).
This section allows brands to post career opportunities which would be helpful for prospective employees.
Products & Services
A brand could list their products and services in this section. LinkedIn allows brand to upload a colourful image that represents the brand. The past customers of a brand could leave their recommendations and this becomes a good testimonial representation option for brands.
Users have option to browse through the products based on hottest (products/services with most number of recommendations), network recommendations (if user’s network members have recommended any product/service), newest and by name of a product/service.
This section lists current and past employees who were associated with the brand. This helps a prospective employee to network with the current or an alumni to know the brand better and the work culture etc.
How to build followers to your LinkedIn company page?
Creating a company page is just half job done. It is useless if relevant stakeholders of a brand don’t follow the brand on this channel and interact with them. Hence, the brand needs to build a reasonable size of follower-base with whom they can interact.
These followers can be gained either through an organic or an inorganic route. The classical organic route is to keep updating company page with information about brand’s product/achievements/key employees, business category in which it exists, knowledge-oriented content about the brand etc. and hope for users to like/comment/share which would create virality about the page.
The inorganic route is to run LinkedIn ads, through which followers can be attained. The admin to a company page can gain insights about the kind of followers that are joining the page and other page related insights from the admin panel.
What should be the content strategy for LinkedIn company page?
The final piece of building an effective community on LinkedIn after setting a page, building followers is to “talk relevant”. Obviously content strategy needs to be in place right from the day one.
Apart from talking about themselves, it would be advisable for brands to talk about the benefits/tips of the product/service, insights from industry, developments that occur in related industries, about their employees etc.
Is Company Page the only way for brands to build community?
No! A brand could also create a LinkedIn group which is another product by LinkedIn. This group could be created around a concept related to the product/service in which the brand is operating. Consistent engagement and knowledge exchange could be achieved in this group by posting regularly.
Featured Image by : TheSeafarer