LinkedIn recently announced that they will Products and Services Pages will go away on April 14, 2014. This includes all of your content and all of the recommendations you have received on those pages for your company’s products or services.
What does this mean for franchise brands company pages?
Until April 14, 2014 you can continue to edit existing products and services, however, you are not able to add any new products.
The biggest disappointment is that you will lose all of your recommendations on these pages. Be sure to go and copy and save them prior to the deadline. LinkedIn claims that you will be able to request a copy of your recommendations that were present prior to March 4, 2014, but I would rather be safe than sorry.
What should you do with the content from these pages?
LinkedIn recommends using Showcase Pages and Company Updates as an alternative for sharing content. A big advantage of the Products and Services tab was the ability to build a mini-website within LinkedIn and to help generate more B2B leads.
Like profile optimizations, there are a few rules & steps to optimize showcase pages. Unfortunately, Showcase Pages only give you 200 characters to describe your products or services. Most of your content will be shared as updates just like on your LinkedIn Company home page. There is a limit of 10 Showcase Pages per parent Company Page. Users can follow your Showcase Pages and they can also Like or Comment on your posts. You have the opportunity to sponsor updates on these pages as well.
The net/net result is that your followers LinkedIn experience with your brand will become VERY similar to their experience on your Facebook presence. Static content is gone for the most part.
Best Practices for LinkedIn Company Pages and Showcase Pages:
- Post frequently. Sharing an update each business day would be a good starting point.
- Remember the 90:10 rule. 90% of your posts should be useful and relevant to the users. This gives you the opportunity for 10% of your post to promote a special offer or an upcoming event.
- Promote links to your website/blog. The key here will be to draw users out of LinkedIn onto your website or blog. This is where you have the best opportunity to tell your story and present enticing calls-to-action.
- Put recommendations from your Products/Services on your website. Get permission from the people who have recommended your products or services on your LinkedIn Company Page to allow you to place them on your website as testimonials.