Despite its no-nonsense, all-business remit, LinkedIn isn't afraid of cutting a dash in the office and has updated its image in a number of ways recently.
Unlike the changes we’re seeing on some other social networks, LinkedIn’s have all been genuine improvements which put functionality and community first.
This week saw major changes to a feature that’s previously been rather frustrating for managers: Company pages.
LinkedIn has always concentrated on putting the individual first, so building a unified company presence on the site has had unique challenges in the past. Hopefully this makeover will give companies a chance to give their branding a more dynamic presence.
Having just updated Econsultancy’s LinkedIn page, I thought it would be good to run through the major changes and look at ways to optimise your business page on LinkedIn...
1. Banner images
The first change you’ll spot when you log in to your company page is a request to upload an image.
On closer examination this turns out to be a banner, much like Facebook’s timeline cover image. Here you’ll want something bold and eye-catching. If you aren’t a supermajor with an instantly recognizable logo, then consider adding information including a strapline to your banner.
Here’s one I made earlier for Econsultancy:
Images should be under 2MB in size, and will be cropped to fit a 646px X 220px space, so make sure you’ve got a rectangular banner to avoid chopping the bottom off your lovingly crafted logo. If you have large blocks of colour, a .PNG file should avoid any flattening.
As mentioned, this is a great chance to finally get your branding front and centre on LinkedIn.
2. The news feed
In the past, company updates on LinkedIn tended to be a rather drab affair, with small images and grey text that was often difficult to read. We currently have a couple of thousand users following us on the network, but it’s always been rather difficult to engage in any meaningful way.
The news feed updates have been given a bright, airy makeover, with room for larger, more attractive images, and new targeting options, meaning we can now update specific groups of followers about events in their area, as well as contacting all of our followers at once with news and content from the blog:
In addition, about 24 hours after you’ve posted you’ll see some useful post metrics popping up, with clear figures for impressions, clicks and engagement:
This is useful as it means you can gauge the effectiveness of your page updates easily, separating them from the homogenous mass of traffic that comes to your site from LinkedIn and optimising accordingly.
Make sure you plan ahead so that content you post here ties in to your wider strategy. We match ours to our Daily Pulse newsletter, highlighting particular stories, events or training accordingly.
Based on current figures, these updates create far more interaction then advertising, so it’s worth spending time tweaking these posts for the best response.
3. Company profile
Scroll to the bottom of your recent updates and you’ll notice that your company profile also appears on the front page:
Make sure you have a quick run through and update any information here as required.
I know that this tends to be the kind of housekeeping task that gets pushed to the bottom of to do lists, but it’s now one of the first things visitors to the company page will see, so make sure it shows you in a good light.
4. Products, places, careers and more…
All of the information you have previously listed on your page are now far more visible, with sidebar links to your products and services, career information and more:
Make sure you’ve added location information to the sidebar on the right of the page, and if possible update your products and services list with your most popular items – again, they’ll all display on the homepage.
Finally, you can also add employee or recruitment information here.
What this means for page managers
You now have a genuine opportunity to engage with people following your page in a targeted and far more relevant way. You can offer specific advice, and use optimized content to attract new followers.
LinkedIn has always put an emphasis on the individual, and it’s important that page managers use this as an opportunity to engage on a personal level with followers whenever possible.
LinkedIn is still making tweaks but the platform seems to have been paying close attention to the mistakes of others, with new features that combine some of the best parts of Facebook and Twitter, but with a distinct business focus that could make this especially valuable for B2Bs who may have struggled to make headway on Facebook in the past.