On April 14, 2014, the Products & Services tab will disappear from all LinkedIn Company Pages. You can edit existing information on that page up until then, but you will not be able to add new products and services. If this is causing your company to head into a frenzy, stay calm. There are a few things you can do to help your business adjust to the changes:
1. Save your recommendations from the Products & Services Page.
The Company Page admin can copy recommendations from the tab into their own document to save. Also, admins can request a copy of the recommendations from LinkedIn Customer Support until Friday, May 30, 2014; however, if you want to use the recommendations for promotional or marketing materials, you need to get permission from the people who made a recommendation to use it in that way.
2. Transfer sharing of products and services information to Showcase Pages and Company Updates.
LinkedIn has recommending using other features on the network to fulfill the role of the Products & Services Page. Here are a couple of options suggested by LinkedIn:
Showcase Pages allows LinkedIn users to create a dedicated page for key products and services. LinkedIn recommends that companies use Showcase Pages to establish long-term connections with LinkedIn users who want to follow certain features of your business. Therefore, LinkedIn Showcase Pages are not ideal to be used for short-term marketing campaigns, which are better suited for Company Updates or Sponsored InMail, but Showcase Pages are suited to engaging a particular target audience over time.
Company Updates help establish relationships with followers to give your business greater reach: If a follower engages with an update, the company’s message is extended to that follower’s network. Company updates are visible on your Company Page, but they also show up on followers’ newsfeeds across all devices. Company Updates can be used for more immediate news or short-term campaigns.
Many LinkedIn users are concerned about all the recommendations and customer testimonials that are stored on their Products & Services Page and fear how the deletion of this page will effect their SEO rankings, but at this point, businesses can only look forward and embrace Showcase Pages to continue a strong business presence on LinkedIn. To understand more about the change, here are some of the reasons LinkedIn is switching to Showcase Pages.
Why LinkedIn is moving toward Showcase Pages
LinkedIn is looking for ways to more directly connect companies with specific target audiences. With Showcase Pages, businesses can use each page as an “extension” of their Company Page. Showcase Pages can focus on a certain business unit, initiative, product line, or brand so that businesses can segment audiences into more specific target markets and create messages and content to cater to that audience.
From your company’s home page, there will be a box that links to all your Showcase Pages in the right sidebar (Above shows the sidebar for Cisco). Users can then click on the pages that interest them most and connect with that branch, product, or service of your company.
While the Internet’s constant change can sometimes drive business owners crazy trying to keep up, it is also what draws people to the Internet. If you stay informed and adjust to each change, your business can continue to use Internet and social media platforms successfully to connect with audiences online. We may not always like the upkeep, but every company should appreciate the opportunity to connect with customers each and every day on platforms like LinkedIn.
For more info and help from LinkedIn, click here to visit the announcement on the LinkedIn website.