Get your organization on LinkedIn

There’s a lot of fuss these days about the impending changes to Facebook. If you have a page, you should pay attention to it. Check out Claire MacDowall’s presentation on these changes that she made at Social Media Breakfast: Waterloo Region.

But there’s another page that probably should be a part of your social media mix–that’s a “company” page on LinkedIn. They are not nearly as commonly used as Facebook pages but they provide an important presence on this professional social media platform. Here is a screen shot of mine.

Communicate & Howe! on LinkedIn

If you check out the Communicate & Howe! page on LinkedIn, be sure to click follow to stay current with how we use that space.

Your personal presence on LinkedIn

Before we delve into the pages, make sure you have a personal experience before you try to use LinkedIn for your organization. You’ll want to be sure you have my 11 fundamentals of LinkedIn under control and have taken steps to make the most out of your profile.

Why have a company page on LinkedIn

Having a formal presence for your organization on one of the biggest social media platforms is just about reason enough. LinkedIn is for networking and professional development. If you, your staff or your volunteers such as board members are active there, your organization already is getting some profile there so capitalize on it. Having a company page means the links on these personal accounts takes people quickly to where they can learn more without leaving LinkedIn. Sure you can have links to your website but they won’t be seen or used as often as the internal link.

The good news is that the company pages can share lots of information to people who want to learn about your organization or business–and by social media standards requires less attention than other tools in your mix.

They are also relatively easy to set up. I recommend though that you populate it with content in stages. It makes it easier to do in smaller chunks and avoids being a time-consuming task that keeps getting put off.

The overview

There are three main sections to the page. The overview is what people will see first. It provides space for a brief introduction of your organization and some basic stats such as contact information and number of employees.

What I like best though is that it provides a dynamic way to share your most current information:

  • You can post status updates for your organization that go to the news feed of the people who follow you and stays on your page in a section about your organization’s activity on LinkedIn (similar to how personal accounts work)
  • You can have your organization’s twitter feed go directly to this page.
  • You can connect your blog’s RSS feed to your page so that your latest posts are always right there.

Careers

If you have any job openings, you can post them right on your page so that people who are most interested in what you are doing can see them. With the decline posting jobs in newspapers, LinkedIn provides access to people interested in making a career move.

Products and Services

At one time, there wasn’t much more to a LinkedIn page. But now you can use it to promote your products and services as I am doing [Jan. 2015 – LinkedIn no longer offers this opportunity]. Yes, all that information should be effectively presented on your web page but people can be lazy or just pressed for time. Don’t count on them leaving LinkedIn to go to your website, talk to them where they are.

In fact, you can create different versions of this page to address different target audiences based on geography, position, and seniority for example. I haven’t gotten that sophisticated yet but I could see how I might want to use it to target charities differently than small business for example.

You can highlight up to three products or services with interesting banners near the top of this section. Each can be linked to somewhere else on the web such as your website. If you already have some great creative, it can probably be adapted to be used here. This section is your chance to grab people’s attention.

screen capture from LinkedIn to add product or service

You can also add as many products and services as you like. You get walked through all of the features (see image to the left) that you can add including a link to where people can learn more, a relevant Youtube video and promotions you are offering.

I’d suggest by starting with your your top priority products and services and add more over time. If you don’t have some elements, use what you have available. For example, I’ve used my logo where I don’t have a better image to use. You can always improve or revise your page over time. For example, I plan to add some videos of me talking or demonstrating what I do.

People can recommend your different products and services. Encourage them to do so as Jason Dykstra did for me. If someone comes to your page, the recommendations and staff are personalized to that person’s network so it’s an example of how social media can be word of mouth on steroids.

Great statistics

Your page comes with a great set of statistics–and it’s all free. You can see page views, unique visits, which sections people are looking at and even what links they’ve clicked on. You also get some basic information about the people who follow your organization. Definitely worth knowing to improve your use of your page.

Additional benefits

Your staff (past, present and future) are likely on LinkedIn. Your target audiences are too. Figure out which ones are and keep that in mind when creating your page.

You probably also want to encourage your staff and volunteers to be active on LinkedIn to network. They can make connections, professional development and recruitment that helps your organization. If they are going to be there, support them by having an organizational presence.

Once you’ve set up your company page, the upkeep and maintenance is manageable and can often be planned or done when priorities allow since at this point there is not the same level of engagement as you hopefully experience on other platforms.

Do you have a company page?

If your organization has a company page, I’d love to hear about your experiences. Your advice to others is also encouraged.

Or feel free to ask a questions, I’ll do my best to provide an answer that helps you.