Facebook, Twitter and Google+. For many businesses this is the beginning and the end of their social media strategy. But a strategy that goes no further than an active Twitter feed or a balanced Facebook approach, and measures success solely on the total sum of ‘Likes’, is one that will inevitably fail to reach its potential. Now businesses that ignore LinkedIn may be missing out on the opportunity to engage with a significant target audience.
The recent redesign of LinkedIn’s Company Pages is seen by many as the most significant step yet in the network’s progression from a social platform for professionals to interact and seek job opportunities to a fully integrated solution for both businesses and individuals.
The network's progression can be charted through a number of significant steps, as seen in this evolution of LinkedIn Company Pages infographic. Though the network was born in 2003, it wasn’t until five years later that they first introduced a directory with company profiles. Some social media agencies saw the potential straight away and were the driving force in making the change a success. After all, any arena that has 50 million users, as LinkedIn did by late 2009, is worth investigating.
In 2010 there were two significant developments. First, users were able to ‘follow’ companies for the first time thus allowing companies to extend their reach. Then, later that year, the Company Pages feature was released, granting companies more freedom over their LinkedIn presence with functions such as company updates.
Celebrations abounded in early 2012 as LinkedIn reached the milestone of 175 million users. Digital PR agencies and in-house professionals started to take even more notice of the site and it wasn’t too long before another milestone was hit – over two million Company Pages were now active.
But LinkedIn didn’t consolidate or let the grass grow under its feet. Instead, while its user base was rising and its company roster was flourishing, improvements were being made to Company Pages. The resulting redesign was announced in September 2012.
With a wider cover photo, an insights dashboard, targeted company updates with performance metrics and the integration of Company Pages into the LinkedIn mobile app, the revamp has received almost universal acclaim. The platform's potential for boosting business-to-business relationships and enhancing consumer interactions has never been greater than it is today.
Of course Facebook, Twitter and Google+ continue to be important facets within a social media strategy, but LinkedIn could now be your not-so-secret but oh-so-powerful weapon.