Topics: Web Marketing
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with more than 259 million active members utilizing the site. The site has 84 million users within the United States alone and is an excellent resource for companies wishing to increase their reach and product awareness. While it is known as the sleeping giant of social networks, it has become a valuable resource to organizations through several of its key engagement features, specifically showcase pages, which have replaced business products/services as of April 14, 2014. Needless to say, with nearly 260 million users and still growing, this site is an excellent resource for businesses that are looking to increase brand/product visibility, send qualified traffic back to a website and/or create a network of potential customers, employees and advocates.
1. Increase brand/product/service visibility and awareness
2. Send qualified traffic back to a website
3. Engage a specific demographic of users
4. Increase product/service awareness
What is a LinkedIn Showcase Page and How to Set One Up
To begin leveraging showcase pages and earn a network of niche followers on LinkedIn, companies must set up both a company profile and a showcase page. According to LinkedIn, “Showcase Pages are extensions of your company page, designed for spotlighting a brand, business unit, or initiative.” Showcase pages allow businesses to create a page specifically for aspects of a company such as services or products containing their own messaging and demographic targeting. You can find some great examples of showcase pages here:
Setting up a showcase page is very simple. As your company page’s admin, follow three steps:
1. Click on the drop-down menu to the right of the “Edit” button and click on “Create a Showcase Page.”
2. Add your showcase page’s name and select an administrator. Please note that showcase pages cannot have the same name as the main business profile because showcase pages have custom URLs. When finished, click the “Create Page” button.
3. Once you have clicked the “Create Page” button, you will be taken to a page that allows you to add regular LinkedIn page information such as images, a description, website links and more. After you have filled out all available fields, click “Publish” and your showcase page goes live. Business profiles can create up to 10 free showcase pages, and they can contact LinkedIn if they wish to create more than 10.
LinkedIn Showcase Page Optimization
To begin truly leveraging showcase pages on LinkedIn, companies must do more than simply create a basic showcase page. Unlike the now outdated services and product pages, LinkedIn’s showcase pages cannot be created and then left to do the work for you. It is important to optimize the page to the best of your ability and then create a content/posting strategy for the showcase page. Let’s begin with optimization:
To have a fully optimized showcase page, you must include images. Showcase pages utilize three images: the Hero Image or banner image, the Standard Logo and the Square Logo. The Hero Image acts as a cover photo for the showcase page. It must be a minimum of 974 x 330 pixels and the max size cannot exceed 2MB. This image should express what the page is about as it is the main visual representation of the page. The Standard Logo must be 110 x 60 pixels and will act as the main logo for the page. It is recommended that this be your company logo unless the showcase page is a subsidiary company with its own unique logo. The Square Logo must be 50 x 50 pixels and works as the logo that accompanies the showcase page when in LinkedIn search results. This should also be your company logo unless the showcase page is a subsidiary company with its own unique logo.
Page Name and Description
Unless the showcase page is for a subsidiary company with its own title, a showcase page made for products or services should be branded and informative. Be sure to know your showcase page appropriately. Just as with any social media account, the description or “about” section is a very important element of SEO, brand awareness and more. It is crucial that a LinkedIn showcase page has a description that naturally plays to keywords without stuffing and discusses what the page is about. A showcase page description may not be longer than 200 characters, which can be constricting. We like how HP Software describes their page with 140 characters: “HP Software gives you the power to gain connected intelligence for the new style of enterprise IT – anytime, anywhere, quickly and securely.”
Showcase Page Website URL and Industry
Showcase pages highlight a webpage predominantly. Do not forget to add the product/service/subsidiary company’s URL to this section. Also be sure to include the industry that best encompasses the page.
Default Language and Administrators
LinkedIn pages automatically match a visitor’s home language but it is important to select English as your default language if you are from an English-speaking company. Also, be sure to add page administrators if applicable.
Groups are an excellent resource for companies who wish to set themselves apart as leaders in their industry. Finding, joining and contributing to a group of industry professionals on LinkedIn provides the opportunity to engage with followers, drive traffic to your site and build a brand presence on LinkedIn and in an industry. Use these groups to share content, engage with the content others have shared and to respond to questions. Once you feel comfortable in the group setting and engagement, you may want to create your own group to build an audience of followers. Showcase pages provide an opportunity to highlight up to three groups that the business page is a member or administrator of. Featuring these groups shows visitors that you are up to speed and participating in industry trends and conversations.
A Strategy for Showcase Pages
As with any social media platform, it is important to have a content sharing strategy for LinkedIn showcase pages. What makes these pages different from the old products and services pages is that instead of placing content and then leaving it to work on its own, showcase pages work similarly to the main business profile page, allowing for content and update sharing. Companies will need to engage through the showcase pages if they want it to be a driver for their organization.
One of the easiest ways to ensure content is regularly and strategically being posted to a showcase page is to have an editorial/content calendar. This allows you to plan out what will be said and when it will be posted. Keep in mind that editorial calendars for showcase pages should be specific to the target demographic the page is attempting to connect with. Axis41 can assist with the creation of a content calendar as well as demographic target and persona creations if needed.
Showcase pages are aimed at building relationships and sharing content with targeted LinkedIn users, so they do allow sponsored updates. If some spend is allotted to LinkedIn, sponsored showcase page updates may be beneficial.
Adding a Showcase Page into Your Existing Strategy
As you implement showcase pages into your existing LinkedIn strategy, you may find that you need help getting it going, creating incredible images or targeting your audience. The Axis41 team is well equipped to assist you with your messaging, design, targeting and Web marketing needs. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you with your LinkedIn business strategies.