It Can Be 'So Much More' - the Potential of LinkedIn Company Pages

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"What makes a great corporate page on LinkedIn?" So begins Mark Ragan, CEO of SIPA member Ragan Communications, in an excellent  archived video on their site.

The subject came up recently on the SIPA Discussion Forum. In the video, Ragan interviews Yumi Wilson, then the corporate communications manager at LinkedIn and now a journalism professor. "The most important thing is to keep content on the page fresh," Wilson said. "People are looking for living, breathing documents. Things that are dynamic and moving... Think about your followers. They want to see something new."

She pointed to Oracle's LinkedIn page and a photo of CEO Larry Ellison and his crew after they won the America's Cup yachting race. "Water's splashing, and it just captured coming from behind, transformation and victory. Just imagine that as an image to represent a company. Maybe it's my journalistic background, but I just thought, 'Wow, what a moment to capture.'"

I'm not sure SIPA members have a sporting achievement quite on that level—we do have some good runners—but Wilson did convey the potential of a LinkedIn company page. Mashable has one of the most effective LinkedIn company pages, and because of that has 810,707 followers. They post a lot of original content, from "5 words you should never use in a job interview" to "Here's why you shouldn't rule out subscription services just yet" to "Facebook just launched its new Stories feature and it's a complete game changer."

Ragan indicated that the perception needs to change when it comes to LinkedIn. "Most of these people that have these corporate pages, they're not thinking of them as publishing platforms, they're thinking of them as static platforms," he said. "I put it up there, I'm done."

"Think about your company page as so much more than a page," Wilson said. "Your followers want to see something new. So let's say you can get your CEO or one of your executives to do a Q&A, and you're only going to feature it on your company page. If I'm not a follower and I find out, I will become a follower. And if I am a follower, I'm going to come back." She also talked about "that 80-20 rule for posts—80% useful information, 20% self-promotion."

At SIPA 2017: Growth Now, June 4-6 in Washington, D.C., Jaclyn Baldovin, online content manager for Business Management Daily, will lead a session titled LinkedIn Marketing to Grow Your Lists and Maximize SEO.

In the recent Forum discussion, Paul Gerbino, partner, Triumvirate Content Consultants, wrote, "Just as with a website, [a LinkedIn company page] creates a perception of legitimacy for your company name, which is very descriptive. I often click on the company name listed under the title on the 'Experience' section of a personal profile. On the company profile page you can deliver details on what your company is, what it does and the benefits it can provide.

"While [many people] have an impressive number of LinkedIn contacts, it is for all those who are 2nd and 3rd level contacts. For those who are not connected with you personally, it establishes a global image for [your company] as a reputable organization. It is all about branding, perception and touch points." (Gerbino will lead a session of his own at SIPA 2017 on Content Licensing.)

Baldovin recommends creating showcase pages as your sub-brands and then tying those sub-brands back to the main company. "We want to tie our sub-brands back to Business Management Daily," she said.

Steve Phillip of Linked2Success advises to post useful updates once a day from your personal LinkedIn profile and your LinkedIn company page. "This activity has had a significant impact on brand awareness for our business and others we work with," he said. 

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Ronn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering a variety of topics before joining SIPA in 2009 and SIIA in 2013 as editorial director…