Back in November, LinkedIn introduced Showcase Pages to a number of large companies. Showcase Pages are now available to all. Here is a reminder of what they are and how to use them. In the past, by following a LinkedIn Company Page, you would see all relevant updates they were posting. This was fine, since you were following them in the first place. However, what if the company had many brands to manage?
The case for managing multiple brands
Not everyone wants to hear and see every piece of news from large companies with multiple brands. For example, PepsiCo's Company Page is dedicated to all areas of the company, which includes a product portfolio of 22 brands. What if I only want to follow news from Pepsi-Cola, and I don't have an interest in the other 21 brands such as Tropicana, Gatorade, Quaker, and Frito-Lay?
LinkedIn's blog describes the new Showcase Pages as… "dedicated pages that allow companies to highlight different aspects of their business and build relationships with the right community. Whether it's a brand, a business unit, or an initiative."
LinkedIn provides company page owners with an easy way to create Showcase Pages to send updates to the right audience. It also includes an analytics tool to keep an eye on how well your content is performing and who is interacting with it. Specifically, the analytics includes: engagement, trends, and demographics.
Smart move by LinkedIn
I have seen plenty of large companies create sub-brand Twitter profiles and Facebook pages, so this makes sense. It's a smart move on LinkedIn's part, because in the past large companies only had one place to post their content on LinkedIn. I'm certain many Xbox fans aren't terribly excited to receive info on Microsoft Office. Speaking of which, Microsoft is one of the first companies to use Showcase Pages, you can take a look here: www.linkedin.com/company/Microsoft. Welcome Satya Nadella. :)
When you visit Microsoft's LinkedIn page, you will see a section on the lower right side entitled "Other Microsoft Pages". Companies can have up to 10 Showcase Pages. Other examples include Adobe, Cisco, and HP. You will also notice that companies can advertise on Showcase Pages using Follower Ads. Sponsored Updates are also ads that a company can purchase to promote their Showcase Pages to those who are not yet following.
Can you handle managing yet another profile?
Like everything we do online, the more channels we create, the more we need to pay attention. This means that it is crucial for LinkedIn page administrators to keep a watchful eye on their Showcase Pages, so they need to be sure they have time for this. It is certainly worth doing if you manage multiple brands with multiple audiences, but don't just create a Showcase Page because the big kids are doing it.
If you feel like you may be driving your LinkedIn Company Page followers nuts by sending too many mixed messages regarding a number of brands that appeal to different people, Showcase Pages is for you, and did I mention it's free?
Have you seen good examples of a Showcase Page? Will you be using Showcase Pages for your business?
This article, “LinkedIn's Showcase Pages help businesses target specific audiences“, originally appeared in The Tennessean newspaper.