LinkedIn Survival Tips: Navigating Social Media Changes To Your Company Page
As Winston Churchill once said, "To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often." With all the changes taking place in the world of online technology, it seems that Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and every other social media platform are continuously seeking perfection.
On Tuesday, Twitter changed the look of its newsfeeds. Facebook continues to tweak its newsfeed algorithm making it nearly impossible for company content to be seen without ad spend. Plus, LinkedIn announced that it’s doing away with the Products and Services pages on company pages by April 14.
To be honest – our PR and social media marketing agency has a love-hate relationship with these constant shifts on social media channels. The new updates offer innovative ways to connect with our clients or communities, but it can get tough navigating all this change when it comes to maintaining a corporate brand’s personality online.
So how do you survive social media changes, specifically the fact that LinkedIn is replacing Products & Services with Showcase pages, without banging your head against a digital wall? Follow these steps below and you’ll not only survive the changes, you just might discover a new tool for your brand.
Survival Tip 1: Pause to assess social media changes taking place.
Before diving into your company’s social media account and updating everything in sight, take a moment to fully understand what changes have taken place. This may mean reading up on what others in the marketplace are saying or looking at examples from other companies. We love to scour Mashable, Ragan’s PR Daily and Social Media Examiner for inspiration. By doing so, you’ll get a clearer picture of what’s important and what isn’t.
With regard to LinkedIn, we’ve done the homework for you! Here are five big changes you need to know about the April 14th LinkedIn update:
- LinkedIn is getting rid of the Products & Services portion of company pages on April 14. Instead of listing all of your products and services, the new format should be used as a way to showcase which brands or business units are unique to your company, highlighting what you do best.
- You can create up to 10 Showcase Pages for your Company Page initially. A Showcase Page can only be associated with one Company Page. For most companies, we suspect only a few Showcase Pages may be necessary.
- The new design includes a larger image. The minimum dimensions for this “hero” (aka banner of feature) image is 974 x 330 pixels.
- There’ll be more visual intrigue with the new LinkedIn Showcase Pages with a two-column feed design to highlight the most relevant content.
- New ability and opportunity to attract distinct sets of followers to each (or all) of your dedicated pages.
Here’s a quick look at how Microsoft is already using the new Company Page:
Microsoft also has several Showcase Pages, including this one devoted to Microsoft Dynamics:
Survival Tip 2: Determine what you need to do immediately online (if anything)
Now that you’ve digested the modifications that may be taking place on social, decide if there is anything urgent your brand needs to address immediately. If your profile picture looks distorted, copy has been moved around, or key company information has been deleted, take action!
The most urgent change you need to know about the LinkedIn updates is that the Products and Services pages are being pulled down on April 14. All of the work you’ve put into that section will disappear. So, save the information if you want it. If you like what you wrote, and are hoping to recycle some of it for the new Showcase page, take a screen grab and/or copy and paste your content into a Word document so you can work with it in the future.
In other cases, you might not need to take steps online urgently – and that’s OK! The most important step, is step number three…
Survival Tip 3: Be strategic before reacting to social media changes
Now is the time to pause and consider how best to highlight and maintain information using your new page options. Ask yourself:
- Does it fit into the overall company brand and the personality we want to convey through the channel?
- Is it really something your company can devote time and energy to updating regularly?
- Is there a focus that’s useful to reaching our customers?
As for LinkedIn, you may not need all 10 Showcase pages that are available to you. In fact, LinkedIn is urging you NOT to create showcase pages just because you can. LinkedIn stated, “Showcase Pages are extensions of your Company Page, designed for spotlighting a brand, business unit, or initiative. Create a page for aspects of your business with their own messages and audience segments to share with.”
Let’s say your company has two completely different core audiences with whom you communicate on LinkedIn. A great way to speak to both audiences would be to create two showcase pages each with dedicated posts and content to the distinct target audiences. Be selective and don’t bite off more than you can chew.
Survivial Tip 4: Know that you’re using Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook as a service.
When upheaval happens in the social media world, it highlights how your brand is at the mercy of the social media channel’s decision makers. Often driven by the need to make their own money, social media sites aren’t always looking out for the best user experience or your company’s profitability.
In our LinkedIn example, consider if LinkedIn is a valued channel for your organization. If not, get out and focus on another social channel. If LinkedIn is a valued channel, based on its staggering business use (see graph below), focus on building your own authentic LinkedIn community.
And, always make sure that this “rented land” complements your owned web properties (e.g. website and blog), marketing efforts and content strategy.
Step 5 – Embrace the change and get back to socializing!
‘Nuff said. Now get busy listening, planning and updating your social media assets!
Alison Buchenberg is a former Maccabeast
Topics: Social Media Marketing