Facebook does a superb job of alienating its users – particularly brand page administrators – with its ever-changing algorithm that results in fewer and fewer people seeing page content.
LinkedIn appears to copycatting Facebook’s abysmal management style. As of April 14, 2014, they’re removing the Products & Services tab from Company pages.
What to do?
If, like me, you’ve created content for that tab LinkedIn advises that you share your content via Showcase Pages and Company updates (that’s a regular LinkedIn update, only posted to your Company Page).
Oh, and if you solicited Recommendations for your Products & Services area, too bad for you. LinkedIn says you can copy recommendations into your own document to save them, and you can request a copy of the recommendations posted as of March 4 (as long as you do that by May 30). However, if you want to migrate those recommendations to another section of LinkedIn, no can do. If you want to use them in your marketing materials, you need to get permission from the individual who posted the recommendation.
Word to the wise
LinkedIn’s decision to eliminate Products & Services reinforces my long-standing opinion that you should NEVER use a social network as the home base for your business. Your website, with a built-in blog, is a much more powerful marketing tool [click here to learn why]. You own it. You control it.
I enjoy LinkedIn and believe it is an excellent tool for helping business professional connect with one another. But frankly, they haven’t done a great job with their Company Pages. They bury the link to Company Pages within personal profiles, making them difficult to find. Most company pages I’ve visited have few followers and are rarely active.
So, other than the fact that I put time and energy into creating my Products & Services, I don’t think I’m going to miss that tab much.
Now I’m investigating Showcase Pages and mulling over whether I will create one (or more… you can create 10 for free).
What’s a Showcase Page?
According to LinkedIn:
“Showcase Pages allow you to extend your Company Page presence by creating a dedicated child page for those aspects of your business. Interested members can then follow your Showcase Page as they follow any Company Page.
“Showcase Pages are designed for building long-term relationships with members who want to follow specific aspects of your business, and not for short-term marketing campaigns.”
In other words, you can create custom niche pages geared toward specific audiences. People can “follow” any Showcase Page that interests them.
The format of a Showcase Page looks suspiciously similar to a Facebook brand page, with the large “hero” image (aka, cover photo), and square logo (profile picture).
Uses for Showcase Pages
- Industry News
- Company news or product announcements
- Promote a specific product, service, book, campaign, or event
- Product training
- Help or FAQ
- Link to blog posts
How to Create a Showcase Page
You must be an admin of the Company Page for which you want to create the Showcase Page. To create one:
Step 1: Click the down arrow next to the blue Edit button on the Company Page. Select Create a Showcase Page.
Step 2: Enter a page name and assign administrators for the Showcase Page. You must be a 1st degree connection in order to assign someone as a Showcase Page administrator.
Step 3: Click Create. The page exists and can be edited at this point, but won’t appear in search or in the linked pages shown for your Company Page yet.
Step 4: Either you or the administrators you’ve assigned can finalize the page details, and then click Publish to make it public.
The format of a Showcase Page URL is as follows: linkedin.com/company/[showcase_page_name]. Custom URLs are not currently available for Showcase Pages.
Showcase Pages have their own unique set of image sizes:
- Hero Image (similar to what Facebook calls the “cover photo”). Minimum 974 x 330 pixels. PNG, JPEG, or GIF. Maximum file size 2 MB. You can crop your image once it’s uploaded. You cannot add a click-through link to the image.
- Logo: 100 x 60 pixels. Image will be resized to fit.
- Square logo: 50 x 50 pixels. Image will be resized to fit.
What do you think?
Will you create a Showcase Page? If so, what will you showcase?
Here are two ready-made tweets so you can share what you just learned:
How to create a LinkedIn Showcase Page in four easy steps [Click to tweet]
LinkedIn Products & Services are going away April 14. Here’s what to replace them with [Click to tweet]