LinkedIn has recently announced that it is to remove its products and services feature from company pages on the 14th of April. No this was not just a rumour…its looks set that all your hard work building up your product history and recommendations is soon to be discarded by the site.
So what happens after the 14th?
Well, the ‘Products and Services’ tab will completely disappear and users will be faced with 2 options to re-showcase these, either:
- Frequently share information about your products and services via company updates on your main company page
- Create a new ‘Showcase Page’
But what’s a ‘Showcase Page’ I hear you ask…
These pages are a relatively new feature and essentially work as an extension of your company page with the aim of highlighting a brand or business and the subsequent products and services that you can offer. These pages consist of a cover photo, a quick description of what the page is actually showcasing and a sample list of page followers and of course, the page updates.
The main difference however is that people are able to follow certain aspects of your business that they find the most interesting. LinkedIn states that these “Showcase Pages allow you to extend your Company Page presence by creating a dedicated page for prominent products and services. A Showcase Page should be used for building long-term relationships with members who want to follow specific aspects of your business, and not for short-term marketing campaigns”.
As the majority of space on this page is taken up by page updates, it is imperative that you “ensure that you have a plan for maintaining an active presence” before you set one up. If you create a Showcase Page for a product or service which you have very little to say about you’ll soon find this page looking bleak and barren; words you most certainly don’t want associated with your business.
So what’s the fuss about, this all seems well and good…or does it?
Posting real-time company updates about your products and services is a noble suggestion, however due to the busy nature of the platform these are soon pushed out of site almost immediately from people’s news feeds and almost as quickly off your company page. And we all know the old proverb…out of site, out of mind!
Many business, including ourselves, would prefer a more permanent place to spotlight products and services, a temporary spot on the platform really won’t do. So how did LinkedIn justify this decision to remove all our hard-earned product and services recommendations and wording? They state “we do this to ensure that we’re creating a platform where companies can deliver timely, engaging content to our members. Sometimes, this means we need to remove a feature to focus on areas of the product that most benefit both companies and our members”.
The products and services section is not an area that is taken lightly by business, with many investing hours and even paying eternal consultants to create these sections for them and with 1.2 million of these currently being showcased on the platform, this feature is most certainly in demand.
So, what do we suggest?
Well, before jumping feet first into a new showcase page, ensure that you have enough content to populate it and create a plan of how you intent to do so. In the meantime, posting out periodic company updates regarding your services will suffice but for long-term use, this is less than ideal! With regards to your product recommendations, if you’re a page admin you can download these to ensure they are not lost forever, or you can also request a copy of them from LinkedIn via this form.
Social networking sites are forever updating and modifying their features and should therefore never be solely relied on to showcase your business. We cannot stress enough the importance of creating your own company website in which you have complete control over what you showcase and how you choose to do it.
Note: This post is a guest post from a member of our DMR Insider Community.
Image credit: Sheila Scarborough