LinkedIn has updated its company
pages to help organizations become more engaged. Here are five steps to help
your association harness the new capabilities.
By Carla Kalogeridis
and other organizations can increase their opportunities to network with
members, potential members, vendors, and customers through a well-developed
presence on LinkedIn, says Stephanie Sammons, CEO of Wired Advisor, a blogging
and social media platform for financial professionals.
updated its company pages to help organizations become more engaged. For
example, organizations can update their individual company pages to allow
followers to receive updates and insights about job opportunities, organizational
news, and more. However, these are far from the only kinds of updates that an
association can post on its company page. "Think about this as a brand-new
opportunity to showcase your thought leadership,” Sammons says.
first glance, it appears that LinkedIn’s company updates are designed to help
big brands and corporations, Sammons believes that small associations and
professional service organizations that get creative about their status updates
and commit to being active with their company pages can also benefit from
increased engagement with industry peers, prospective members/customers,
strategic allies, and potential new hires.
Sammons’s five steps to expanding your organization’s reach through the
LinkedIn company pages:
Step #1: Update/create and complete
your company page. Sammons
says that LinkedIn provides the opportunity to integrate rich media content
such as images, hyperlinked banners, links to your website and blog, and videos
from YouTube into your organization’s profile. "Take advantage of these
benefits to make your page more attractive, engaging, and interesting,” she
create or enhance your existing LinkedIn company page, Sammons says focus on
the following tips:
· Populate your company overview page using informative descriptions about
whom you serve and how you serve them. Include the key specialties of your association in the
designated "specialties” area and use keywords here that will resonate with
your target markets. Also, be sure to pull in your blog posts by inserting your
blog feed URL.
· Build out your products and services pages on your profile. On these pages you can include an
image, description, list of key features, landing page URL to your site, or a
link to a special promotion, Sammons says. You can even embed a YouTube video
both on the products and services overview pages, as well as on each individual
product/service page. "Take advantage of the opportunity to integrate rich
media,” she advises. "It will liven up your company page significantly.”
have completed setting up your LinkedIn company page, enable the page for
status updates. You must officially designate who can update the company page
within your settings. Once you’ve completed this, designated people within your
organization can post status updates to your page.
Step #2: Build followers for your
LinkedIn company page.
"Before you can really start to see any benefit from your LinkedIn company
page, you have to work to get followers, just as you work to build a community
of followers with your Facebook business page and Twitter profile,” Sammons
says. "Otherwise, your updates won’t be visible unless someone visits your page
directly and decides to share or comment on a status update.”
advantage, she says, is that increasing your organization’s followers will
increase your visibility because your updates will be seen throughout LinkedIn
and can easily be shared by your followers with their professional networks. "Building
followers for your organization isn’t just a one-time process,” she warns. "You
should constantly be working to build followers for your company page on
LinkedIn in order to expand your reach…You simply need to focus on gathering
some of Sammons’s suggestions to quickly build your unique business community
for your company page on LinkedIn:
· Encourage existing employees to link
up with your page (existing employees can help extend your company’s reach by
sharing your status updates with their connections on LinkedIn).
· Follow the company pages of industry
peers, vendors, current members, and prospective members and customers (many of
them will reciprocate the action).
· Send a call-to-action announcement
to your existing database of members and prospects asking them to follow. Always
provide two to three concrete benefits for why someone should follow your page.
· Post a call-to-action to follow your
page within relevant LinkedIn groups.
Step #3: Provide interesting and
value-added company page updates. Although LinkedIn suggests that you post status updates to
your company page about jobs and breaking news, these types of posts are all
about your association, points out Sammons. "If you want to engage followers,
make it all about them and provide interesting and value-added updates that can
help them to succeed,” she says. "This is your opportunity to establish your association
as the industry expert.”
Step #4: Engage and network with
people from companies you follow. Want to get on the radar screen of an organization that
your association would like to work with? Watch for their company updates and
engage with them, suggests Sammons. "Just as you can engage with individual
status updates that you see on LinkedIn, you can do the same with company page
updates,” she says.
To find the
right companies to follow on LinkedIn, Sammons suggests using LinkedIn’s
advanced search features to find and follow industry partners, groups in your geographic
location, companies that you currently do business with, companies that you’d
like to do business with, and organizations within your same industry
(competitors and non-competitors).
Step #5: Monitor and focus your
says that while LinkedIn provides an analytics feature to help your
organization monitor and track visitors to your company page, these metrics do
not highlight how effectively you are engaging your target markets. However, she
points out that on the main landing page for your company profile, you will be
able to see who has engaged with or commented on any of your company updates.
time specifically for ‘company’ networking on LinkedIn,” she suggests. "Update
your company status frequently, check for comments and engagements on those
updates to determine what’s working, and continue building followers for your
remember to keep your LinkedIn company page fresh and interesting,” she
continues. "Add new videos or images from time to time, run special promotions,
focus your time with your social networking efforts, you can accomplish greater
success rather than just skimming the surface.”
reminds organizations not to forget that their LinkedIn company page will also
be indexed by search engines, which can provide another positive gateway online
to your association.
Carla Kalogeridis is editorial
director of Association Media & Publishing.