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There is a debate among marketing and corporate communications professionals as to what is more engaging and important.

Is it your company’s LinkedIn page or your company’s website? Undoubtedly I believe that it is your LinkedIn company page and here‘s why.

Many people say that they have posted blogs and articles on their company website and very few people have read them let alone shared them. They are basically getting no engagement.

The answer to me is a pure numbers one. Build it and they will come is a myth. Build it and you have to spend dollars marketing it. However if someone else has already built a community that has more than 300m people, then why not focus on that? Or at give it attention alongside your corporate site?

It's also a question of context. When someone looks at your website the priorities are not your blogs. They will be the services section, the about us, the client list, case studies and then maybe your blogs, but unlikely.

LinkedIn is primary a business peer to peer content sharing network. Professionals go there looking for content of all kinds. Blogs, news, personal and company updates. If you place your blog where people are looking for it then it's more likely to be read, shared and engaged with.

Very few people are actually following your website and unless you or someone in your company shares your blog from your site with their followers, and that is reshared, then no one is going to read your content from your corporate website.

However people are following your company page on LinkedIn. HP has almost 2m followers for example, with 10 showcase pages to demonstrate all its products and services.

It posts relevant content for each page and gets millions of views, shares and comments. HP couldn't have achieved anything like this on its HP.com website because no one is going there every day as they are visiting LinkedIn.

If you post a blog or content or news release on your LinkedIn company page it appears on all the updates of those who are following your company page.

It also appears on all those personal profile feeds who like, comment or reshare it, which can add many tens if not hundreds of thousands more people who will see your content.

More to the point it can be reshared again into groups and debates and discussions started on all these platforms should your blog/content/release be thought provoking enough. The latter doesn’t happen on your company website.

So what does a company site have that a LinkedIn company does not? Static, corporate information about your company but no engagement. Ask the question the other way around and the answer is engaged followers and advocates who can share this information and help communciate your company brand values and products and services.

Have you tried going to a company website from your LinkedIn mobile app and then back again? Not the easiest thing to do but staying with the LinkedIn app and visiting the company page on it is dead easy.

With everyone’s format being the same on LinkedIn it’s easy to see and compare products and services, jobs, careers, insights and news feeds. You can also guarantee that you can see your Linkedin company page on your mobile, not something you can guarantee on any normal company site, even in 2014.

The engagement analysis on your LinkedIn company page is also fantastic. I wish LinkedIn would do this for our personal pages too. You can see page views, clicks, interaction and engagement figures for every post which gives you invaluable information as to what content your company followers are interested in and engaging with.

Much better than Google Analytics of your website, which finds it hard to track individual content posts on the same page.

There is also one overwhelming reason why you should have a LinkedIn company page - it’s free, takes minimal design initiative and is a great way to engage with a target audience of current employees, wannabe employees, stakeholders, partners, advertisers and anyone else interested in doing business with your company.

What do you think? LinkedIn company page or corporate website, which is more important? Can you live without your corporate website? Where should you spend your time for the greatest effect?

Chris Reed

Published 29 August, 2014 by Chris Reed

Chris Reed is CEO and founder of Black Marketing Asia and a contributor to Econsultancy. You can connect with him via LinkedIn.

6 more posts from this author

Comments (17)

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Brent Carnduff

I'm a big fan of LInkedIn's publishing platform, and ideally would recommend a business use both a website blog and LinkedIn. However, forced to recommend one or the other, it would have to be website. The business owns and controls the website. To spend marketing resources (time and money) building a presence on a 3rd party platform is risky. One only has to look at what is happening on Facebook to see the downside of depending on a 3rd Party site. The website/blog needs to be the central hub to any online marketing.

about 2 years ago

Pete Austin

Pete Austin, CINO at Fresh Relevance

Agreed. But there's one big reason to keep some kind of website, with your own domain, and that's for SEO purposes in local search.

I've not seen this reported anywhere, but Google seems to have recently stomped on the ratings of directories such as yell.com, scoot.co.uk, localstore.co.uk - since I last commented on this issue.

Sites such as fish and chip shops that have their own websites on their own domains are showing much higher for me than similar local businesses that don't. And I literally can't see anything in the search results that only has presence on LinkedIn.

about 2 years ago

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Mark Stonham

Great topic well covered.

While the LinkedIn Company Page won't replace the Company Website it will become a valuable asset, as a microsite, as a blog, as a customer community hub.

Showing expertise through educational marketing techniques that help the buyer to buy, with a link through to the website is ideal, in the same way that email newsletter content is split across the email and the website so content can be split across LinkedIn Post and Website Page.

about 2 years ago

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Kimberly Willey

Great article! Thanks for sharing.

about 2 years ago

Chris Reed

Chris Reed, CEO & Founder at 423651

Thanks for reading Kimberly

about 2 years ago

Chris Reed

Chris Reed, CEO & Founder at 423651

fair point Brent but I still stand by what I say, so many people complain that no one visits their site to read their content for example.

Build it and they will come is a myth unless you spend a huge amount of money. So why force people to go to you when you can post your content where people actually are and more to the point they are looking for it, LinkedIn is a content platform for business, if you want to influence people post there and then you can market all your services on the back of it and many more people will become aware of your business.

about 2 years ago

Chris Reed

Chris Reed, CEO & Founder at 423651

Thanks Peter but actually your LinkedIn company page often equals or is ahead of your company website, mine literally juggles from one week to the next on what comes first on google, my website or my linkedin company page so if I dodn't have the website my Linkedin company page would be No.1 every week

about 2 years ago

Chris Reed

Chris Reed, CEO & Founder at 423651

Fair points Mark, thanks for sharing

about 2 years ago

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Arthur Aranda

I really like this article & the commentary. I think a LinkedIn vs company website depends on the type of business. If the audience is other businesses then a LinkedIn only approach makes more sense. But customers still expect to see an actual website that can check out.

about 2 years ago

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David Grizzly Smith

Some companies had the same thought about Facebook. Then Facebook decided those companies would have to pay to have access to people who were already trying to follow their company page. And now they wish they'd built on their own resources, rather than on Facebook's. But of course, LinkedIn would -never- do that...

Post the content on your own land, then post to LinkedIn pointing back to where you are, and use LinkedIn to let people know where that is. Use those guested resources to add value to your owned resources.

about 2 years ago

Chris Reed

Chris Reed, CEO & Founder at 423651

Thanks Arthur but if they're a B2B brand do they still expect this?

about 2 years ago

Chris Reed

Chris Reed, CEO & Founder at 423651

Fair point David, but why "build it and they will come" and spend $ doing it when you can post/share on a platform where people already are and not only that but they are actively looking for content.

about 2 years ago

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Gedalyah Reback

No. That's a ridiculous question. LinkedIn cannot REPLACE your corporate website. That's an absurd idea that immediately told me the author here was completely oblivious to the point of websites, much less corporate ones.

Companies tend to have two websites, one for general consumption and one for investor consumption. If you are visiting toysrus.com, you're probably interested in buying puzzles or some overpriced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot action figure. If you go to toysrusinc.com however, you clearly went there for a reason. You want to know if this is the company where to invest your hard-earned cash and where to diversify your portfolio. It might also be where you go to find job listings, or read about the causes the company supports.

You can certainly feature these things on LinkedIn and you definitely SHOULD share your company updates. But you don't have control over your LinkedIn page the way you do over your own corporate website. LinkedIn demonstrated last year how unreliable they are when they gutted their corporate pages and made them devoid of anything but a newsfeed. You can no longer provide information on products and services in a clear way. Were showcases to collapse, again your presentation would have to be completely changed on LinkedIn's command.

Your corporate website is created by you, for you to serve needs to your customers and to present it in a way that is not dictated by another company. You design your website. You link to as many pages as you want.

I think the writer took his assumption too far that the only purpose of a blog is for it to be read. Clearly, LinkedIn serves as a great conduit to move people to your corporate website, but it can't replace the independence of a website. The blogs also strengthen the website itself - that old SEO thing. Sometimes a corporate website is based on the main site (say, corporate.toysrus.com). In that case, you would be strengthening your root domain were you to drive all your investor and business-savvy traffic to an independent site. If people are simultaneously interested in what you're writing, then for sure you need the site to be where that content lives. LinkedIn can't replace a website and serve as a place to drop long comments like blog posts.

about 2 years ago

Pete Austin

Pete Austin, CINO at Fresh Relevance

Chris, Re: "your LinkedIn company page often equals or is ahead of your company website, mine literally juggles from one week to the next on what comes first"

I'd be very interested to know exactly what search are you using for this? Many thanks in advance.

(1) When I'm searching for a business category - such as nail salon, fish and chips, pizza - I don't see any LinkedIn pages in the results.

(2) If I search for a specific company name, and they have a LinkedIn page, then of course I see it.

I'm most concerned about case #1, because that's how new customers find businesses.

about 2 years ago

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Nicolas

Interesting article, but I wouldn't recommend a company to replace their website with a LinkedIn profile page. First, you don't own the platform, and you are tied up to LinkedIn. If one day LinkedIn decides to change the terms or close the service... You can do nothing. Second, you can't personalise the LinkedIn page like you would be able to do with a website. You can't change the design, or add functionalities (with plugin or code)... Finally, it would be far more difficult to generate leads as you can't add Call-to-action and landing page. Of course, if people like you page or your post, you can still have their names and profile, but it's far more difficult to get their information.
However, I think that every company should have a LinkedIn profile to increase their visibility, and to generate backlinks to their site, and to improve their SEO. LinkedIn also offers some really good sales, marketing and advertising solutions.

about 2 years ago

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Niraj

My father personally decided to use neither linked in or a website and he has flourished. I think people are forgetting the power of word of mouth and how effective this is. People are less and less relying on this these days !

about 2 years ago

Chris Reed

Chris Reed, CEO & Founder at 423651

Fair point Niraj although I would say that LinkedIn actually accentuates that process and makes it easier for word of mouth to happen. Once recommended people can check your profile out on LinkedIn and decide if they still wish to do business with you.

about 2 years ago

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