Understanding the Difference between LinkedIn Company Pages and Facebook Fan Pages

NealSchaffer
Neal Schaffer President, Maximize Your Social

Posted on February 27th 2012

LinkedIn Company Pages are actually a combination of a number of different modules that are rarely maximized by businesses.  In order to better understand how your sales and marketing team can best maximize this multi-functional part of LinkedIn, it’s important to understand exactly what the Companies functionality offers.

A good way to start is to compare the Company Page with the most famous corporate presence in social media:  The Facebook Fan Page.  You could say that a fan page provides details about a company in the “info” section, but this is not the primary way that people are introduced to a company or its page.  Rather, the ability for ‘fans’ to ‘like’ a page and then engage with it is what has allowed for the viral spread of information to flow through networks of Facebook friends.  The Facebook page also provides a platform for companies to launch campaigns through the use of custom applications as well as market their products and services through landing pages and other tabs.

Another thing to remember about the Facebook Fan Page is that they were originally called fan pages for a reason: They were organically created by and for fans of popular music, entertainment, and even sports figures.  Fan pages were never made for business purposes, and they were never meant to be controlled by a single entity.  Over time, as Facebook has concentrated on offering more functionality for businesses that manage pages, it has given administrators more control over those particular pages.

Company Pages, on the other hand, was created to help both job seekers and professionals conduct research on companies that are represented on LinkedIn.  The data was originally pre-populated through a combination of efforts by LinkedIn, user-generated content from profiles, and some statistical information from BusinessWeek.  In fact, the ability to search companies was not added until a few months later, and even then, it was designed as a tool people could use to map out their connections to a particular company.  In other words, if you were looking for a business provider with certain expertise, you could see if any of your first-degree connections were employed by such a company.  This component of the Company Page, which is really the purpose of the application, has not changed.

What some might not know is that LinkedIn recently added the ability for Companies to update their followers directly through publishing Status Updates.  This means that, similar to Facebook Fan Pages publishing posts into the news feeds of their fans, the same can be done on LinkedIn.  However, LinkedIn does not have  any EdgeRank-like algorithm like Facebook has. This means that, while only 17% of your updates reach your fans on Facebook,  your Companies updates reach all of your followers.

Now that you understand the basic structural and usage differences as well as the histories behind the LinkedIn Company Page and the Facebook Fan Page, let’s  examine the modules available with the current company pages:

  • Users can search companies by keyword, location, industry, relationship, company size, number of followers, and Fortune status.
  • The overview page for a particular company has information about who connects you to that company, as well as about its employees, Twitter updates, recent blog posts, mentions in the news and general statistics.
  • A statistics page, accessed through the overview page, is completely comprised of user-generated content from profiles and provides employee information for job seekers (such as job function composition, years of work experience, and educational degrees attained by current employees) as well as business intelligence that could be used for sales and business development purposes (such as new employees, former employees, and most recommended employees).
  • The careers page within a company’s page notes job openings.
  • The products and services page is created by the company to showcase its products and services.  LinkedIn users can recommend a company’s products and services and their recommendations appear here.
  • A “follow company” button allows any LinkedIn user to stay updated on new jobs, hires, and departures from any company’s page.
  • Companies can post status updates to appear on the news feeds of their followers.
  • Administrators of company pages have access to an analytics page as well.

Overall, Company Pages module offers a unique hybrid of components, both user generated and manually populated, that allow your business to have a singular corporate presence on LinkedIn.  Optimizing one’s profile gives your employees the opportunity to be found in searches; optimizing your Company Page increases the chances that your company will be found on LinkedIn.

Has your company found business through your Company Page?

The above is a summary of selected content from my critically acclaimed new LinkedIn for business book “Maximizing LinkedIn for Sales and Social Media Marketing,” available at Amazon, Kindle, Nook, or iTunes)

NealSchaffer

Neal Schaffer

President, Maximize Your Social

Forbes Top 50 Social Media Power Influencer two years in a row and creator of the AdAge Top 100 Global Marketing Blog Windmill Networking (recently rebranded as Maximize Social Business), Neal is a global social media speaker who also teaches as part of the Rutgers University Mini Social Media MBA Program. As an author, Neal is best known for his definitive book on social media strategy creation, implementation, and optimization “Maximize Your Social: A One-Stop Guide to Building a Social Media Strategy for Marketing and Business Success” (Wiley)  but has also published two other award-winning and critically acclaimed social media books: ”Maximizing LinkedIn for Sales and Social Media Marketing” and “Windmill Networking: Maximizing LinkedIn.”

As a leading social media speaker, Neal currently speaks on social media at dozens of corporate, professional association, and online events each year. In parallel, he continues to consult with, coach, and train clients on strategically leveraging social media for their business. Since launching his social media strategy consulting business in January, 2010, Neal has worked with dozens of companies, from small startups and solopreneurs to Fortune 500 enterprises and a Grammy Award-winning celebrity. In addition, Neal is also founder and editor-in-chief of Maximize Social Business, a leading social media for business resource featuring industry thought leaders.

Neal works with clients seeking his social media expertise in the following ways: 

Social Media Strategy Consultant - Neal works with companies in auditing their current social media efforts company-wide and creating a comprehensive social media strategy that aligns corporate objectives with the potential for social business. For smaller businesses who need to have an expert social media advisor on call for practical advice, Neal offers this service at reasonable rates to help as many companies as possible with their social media.

Social Media Speaker - Whether it’s a keynote speech, presentation for a professional association or a hands-on workshop for an internal audience, Neal delivers customized content with concrete takeaways to meet your needs.

Social Media Content Creator – Need a recognized social media author to ghostwrite or help in writing a social media book, ebook, whitepaper, or magazine article for your organization or enterprise? Neal is available for such work.

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Comments

Neal,

Great write up! I agree that the Company pages on Linkedin are underutilized. I do have a few questions based on your post: I don't see where you can display a company's Twitter feed within Linkedin. I can setup a Twitter feed on my personal profile, but not at the company level.

Also, I'm curious what your experience has been with the analytics provided for the Company profile. I'm only seeing analytics through the end of the previous month and I'm assuming it includes my clicks as an admin, which spike my results.

Thanks,

Kelly Fitzgerald
Digital Marketer

Axiom EPM