LinkedIn's New Features - a Lot Like Facebook & Twitter with More Opportunities for Marketers

Posted on October 12th 2011

Earlier this week I told you how LinkedIn Is About To Up The Ante For Marketers And Brands. Well the changes were announced and as expected the big change was to the "Follow Company" feature that now surely looks a lot like Twitter and Facebook. 

Let's say you're a company. Well not literally, that would be painful but figuratively. You're a company and you have your obligatory Facebook and Twitter accounts (and you're waiting on the Google+ to follow suit) and you post status updates, links, articles, photos, etc., to your (hopefully) legion of fans. Meanwhile over on LinkedIn your company profile is fairly bland. You can post job openings and post some "stuff" about your company such as your services. But a status update? No, for that you had to go to Facebook and Twitter. 

Well not any more... 

Thanks to the aforementioned changes, admins of company profiles on LinkedIn can post real, honest-to-goodness status updates and actually include a link! No photo sharing available, yet. Well that's not entirely true. You can post photos as long as they attached to a link, rather than just uploading a photo as you would via Facebook or Twitter. This is very exciting for now all updates you make to your company status will appear on your follower's LinkedIn home page. Your followers will have the option to Like, Share or Comment on your status update and in turn this "engagement" will also be seen by all of your followers' respective networks, providing your company, your brand with a whole new and expanded audience. 

So just as your company or your brand gets more exposure when one of your fans or followers share something via Facebook or Twitter to their followers/their network, the same will hold true for LinkedIn. So the need to get more followers for your company and brand just went up... way up for the more followers your company has, the more chance for expanded exposure within the LinkedIn world. 

Here's a couple of key points to keep in mind about the new changes to the "Follow Company" feature:

  • Followers of your Company will see the Status Updates on their homepage (when they login to LinkedIn) or by going to your Company’s “Overview” tab. Each Follower’s network will also have an opportunity to see the posts- as long as the follower comments, likes, or shares.
  • In order to post a Company Status Update, you must be an Administrator of your Company Page, and your Company Page must be set to “Designated Admins only”.
  • Posts can be up to 500 characters (including spaces).
  • You will be able to see impressions and engagement on each Company Status Update. An impression = views of the status update. Engagement = total interactions (comments, likes, clicks, shares)/total impressions. This data appears approximately 24 hours after an update is published and will continue to update on a daily basis.
  • Businesses that post an excessive amount are subject to review by LinkedIn and could risk having their page deleted.

Also, here's a brief video LinkedIn created to explain the new "Follow Company" feature:

So there you have it... Everyone and their mother knows that LinkedIn is where the professionals are, right? You want to reach the key decision makers, the top dogs, etc... Now in addition to your own personal LinkedIn profile, you need to be cognizant of the importance of your company's profile and the need to share content via the status updates and keep the content fresh and steady.

Doesn't matter if you're a B2B marketer or B2C marketer or an advertiser or a brand or whatever... your company profile just got a whole lot more important. And you need to make sure you integrate LinkedIn with your Facebook and Twitter accounts for there may be a whole slew of people you may not reach via Facebook or Twitter but you could be via LinkedIn. 

Sources: learn.linkedin.com, The Star Group, LinkedIn's New Features Look A Lot Like Facebook & Twitter And Mean More Opportunities For Marketers

steve olenski

Steve Olenski

A regular contributor to Forbes, among other publications, Steve was named one of the Top 100 Influencers In Social Media (#41) by Social Technology Review and a Top 50 Social Media Blogger by Kred. He is a also a member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Digital & Social Media Marketing and co-author of the book StumbleUpon For Dummies. Follow him on Twitter@steveolenski or at the nearest coffee shop.The views expressed here are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Oracle Marketing Cloud.

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Comments

Posted on October 13th 2011 at 8:20AM

Now this is the feature that can really start the ball rolling in LinkeIn for many companies.  Anxious to become involved.

 

Posted on October 13th 2011 at 8:52AM

I don't see this as a good thing. Please see my blog post at http://bit.ly/oNXPAQ. Why would a company with so may fans risk alienating those fans?

Courtney Hunt
Posted on October 22nd 2011 at 5:54PM

I read your post, Jeff, but I couldn't really understand your argument. Following a company is something people opt into. If an individual doesn't want to receive status updates from companies. they simply wouldn't follow them, so I'm not sure how this feature can be alienating. What am I missing?

Posted on October 13th 2011 at 9:27AM

Very interesting.  I wonder if they'll update the API to interact with company profiles as well.  

Posted on October 13th 2011 at 9:38AM

About time too. Linked has always been the site for professionals but sadly lacked in ways to promote a business. This is definitely a feature which should help lift LinkedIn above a glorified CV site.

Posted on October 13th 2011 at 9:52AM

Maybe I've jumped the gun! I Can see the section in my company tab but the site won't let me designate anyone as the Admin. Ideally it needs to be me. Wonder if I'm missing something?

Posted on October 13th 2011 at 2:06PM
I think this is just what linkedin needed. Should increase user engagment.
Posted on October 13th 2011 at 3:27PM


I understand why LinkedIn feels like they have to do that but honestly I feel like LinkedIn was the only real free social (Networking) site.  When I went to LinkedIn, it was all about networking and you had to get to know people. 

 

The wall that isn't knowing people that is a way not to talk one on one.  It is an expression but we don't need another place that is so crowded.  

 

That is the  best thing about twitter believe it or not, you have to talk to people there.  There aren't any distractions like video's and super huge pictures or contests and events.

 

It's real relationship building and LinkedIn "was" a real networking. They will never beat Facebook so why try? 

 

To me I think if you can't beat them do something different so you stand out. It was nice to have something different.  Anyway, that's my perspective apparently not LinkedIn's :) 

Posted on October 13th 2011 at 4:42PM

I'm with Jeff Taylor on this (nice post). LinkedIn is taking a big risk of serving the needs of the corporate-user (i.e. companies) at the expense of the core individual-users. What seems to be couple things not being considered when looking at this decision by LinkedIn:

1. People do not join LinkedIn to network with companies, they do it to network with people. I'm not even sure how you would "network" with a company. Professional networking is all about the human relationship. I fear this new focus on the corporate-user may lead to even more decisions that could get in the way of the primary value LinkedIn provides.

2. No official research done here, but way people use LinkedIn is different than that of Facebook and Twitter. Specifically, unless you are actively looking for a job, most users are not visiting the site on a regular enough basis for "status updates" to retain value and context in the way a FB or Twitter update does. Simply based on the fact that seeing a 3 week old post from XYZ Inc. will struggle in retaining its relevance for "followers". 

3. Are we really in need of another "thing" to follow? And before you say yes, really think about it. 

 

Courtney Hunt
Posted on October 22nd 2011 at 6:08PM

See my reply to Jeff's comment below... In addition:

1. LI is more than an individual social networking platform, and has been for a long time. And company information and individual interactions are not mutually exclusive. From a business development perspective, for example, let's say company X is a prospect so I elect to follow them on LI. If X then announces a new product/service/initiative, a key leadership change, or just some industry news that's relevant to my BD efforts, I now have new information and an opportunity to reach out to the indviduals with whom I'm connected. The same thing can be said if I were interested in a company for a job. Opting in to their status updates enables me to receive actionable knowledge directly from them. Why wouldn't I want that?

2. You're right, this is an empirical question, and I would venture to say the data wouldn't support your narrow point of view about why and how people use LI - there is no dominant approach. I do agree, however, that people interact with LI differently than they do with FB and Twitter - and that, specifically, LI is more closely tied to their professional rather than personal/consumer identities. Given that, it makes sense to allow companies to provide relevant status updates via LI. As the owner of several small enterprises in the BtoB space, for example, I would much prefer to share company status updates via LI than FB - and I've already gotten better traction doing so.

3. As with many platforms and features, this is opt-in. If you don't want to follow companies, you don't have to.

Posted on October 13th 2011 at 11:18PM

The more they look a like the better for these guys: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4ALfeTqJrM

Posted on October 20th 2011 at 6:49PM

Great information to know and pass along. I never really understood how to benefit others over at LinkedIn, now I know. Please, do keep the great tips coming.