As you may of heard, on April 14th LinkedIn's products and services feature will be going away on Company Pages. Instead, they're encouraging you to create Showcase Pages, which they started rolling out a few months ago. Showcase Pages are great for big companies, but not so much for the little guy. In fact, I found it a bit disappointing that LinkedIn doesn't have a solution for the small business owner.
Showcase Pages are great for big brands that have multiple business units or distinct product offerings where they have segmented audiences who would only have an interest in hearing news about one type of product offering. For example, Microsoft has Showcase Pages set up for SharePoint and for Small Business Owners. However, if you are a small to mid-sized business or a nonprofit, then you don't want to set up Showcase Pages and here's why:
- Showcase Pages are similar to Company Pages in that you need to build a following from scratch. (Yes, you will start out with zero followers).
- Showcase Pages, as designed, are separate from Company Pages so you'll have to do distinct updates to both, which means double the time investment on LinkedIn. The idea is that you'd build a community and relationships with people following that particular business unit or product. But, if you have over 100 people you can target, then why wouldn't you just use the targeting feature on your Company Page?
- Showcase Pages have distinct URLs and are not connected to your main Company page, so you'll be forced to add two LinkedIn logos/links to your website. But if you're big enough to have a Showcase Page, then chance are you probably already have multiple websites or sub-domains.
If all of this isn't enough to convince you that as a small to mid-sized business that you should not be creating Showcase Pages, and you still want to check it out, then here's how you create one. However, NOTE: if you create one and change your mind, you'll need to contact LinkedIn to delete it. They will delete it but it's not instantaneous.
The concept of Showcase Pages is a good idea, but the execution of this feature enhancement seems to not have been fully thought through. What would have been better is community tabs within Company Pages.
Tracy Sestili is the author of Taking Your Brand from the Bench to the Playing Field - Social Media Fundamentals for Business, available on Amazon.
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