If your manufacturing company has a company profile page on LinkedIn, you’re going to want to pay attention to some changes coming down the pike. LinkedIn recently announced that on April 14, 2014, they would be discontinuing the “Products & Services” tab on company pages to make way for showcase pages, which were introduced in November of last year.
Before you sound the alarm, using showcase pages instead of the product and service listings is good for business.
Advantages for manufacturers
Showcase pages allow you to extend your company page presence by creating a dedicated page for your most important products and services. You can share dedicated content on your showcase page just as you currently do with company page status updates.
These features help you build long-term relationships with LinkedIn members who want to follow specific areas of your business that interest them most.
While showcase pages might not have been developed with manufacturing companies in mind, they certainly work well with your business model.
Many manufacturing companies have a complex and vast array of products and services, each with different audiences.
Showcase pages give you the ability to address different markets and serve these customers the information they’re most interested in. In a way, showcase pages let you segment your audience and these people can choose to subscribe to any of your pages in order to receive updated content in their news feeds.
Showcase Page success
Currently, you can only have 10 showcase pages per company page, but just because you can have 10, doesn’t mean that you should.
Only promote the areas of your business that are most important because that’s what your audience is going to want to receive information on anyway.
From a management standpoint, you’ll want to limit your showcase pages to only the most important areas of your business because you’re going to have to update the information fairly regularly. So think about who on your team is going to be posting updates and if they actually have time to build, manage and update 10 showcase pages.
If your LinkedIn company page currently operates under the “set it and forget it” mentality, you’re going to want to change that today. Once you’ve built out your pages, you’re not done. In fact, the most important part of showcase pages comes after they’ve already been built.
Status updates are crucial to the success of building deeper relationships with your audience on LinkedIn. People will be following your updates, so it’s important to post regular updates with relevant, interesting information.
One way to make sure you stay on task with this is to create an editorial calendar. Although creating this might seem overwhelming and time consuming, it’s definitely worth the time and effort. Commit to posting showcase page updates at least once a week per showcase page. Here are some ideas of things you can post about:
· Product/service specific information
· Tradeshow appearances
· Company news and blog posts as they pertain to each showcase page
· Industry news and blog posts as they pertain to each showcase page
It’s important to remember that your company page and showcase pages should be treated as separate entities. Highlight any overarching company information, announcements or news on your company page, and segment any product or service information by your showcase pages.
Showcase Pages: The bottom line
Although you might have liked the simple product and service listings currently on LinkedIn, showcase pages let you deliver relevant content to prospective customers about the areas of your business that interest them most.
So don’t look at this as an annoying change you have to respond to. View this change as a way to develop deeper relationships with your audience.