By: Kevin Elliott, firstname.lastname@example.org
Digital Marketing Manager at Kerigan Marketing Associates
A few weeks ago, LinkedIn announced it would be doing away with the Products and Services tab on Company pages. They would be replacing them with "Showcase" pages, which would allow businesses to segment their offerings, one per page, and share content on each page relevant to the topic.
People could then follow just the pages that were most relevant to them. It is LinkedIn's attempt to be more content marketing friendly, and a good idea. Then why did we just delete ours?
When I saw the announcement about the Products and Services tab going away, I immediately built two Showcase pages, one for web design and one for our print and logo work, then started putting content on each.
I waited a week or so to see what would happen, and I notice two negative things right off. First, a person I had met at a business meeting followed one of our Showcase pages. Great, right? Well, I just happen to know that he thought he was following our general company page. By liking just the web design page, he would only see our content about web design. We do tons of web design, but we are a full service marketing firm, and I wanted him to see all our content, not just a piece. For him to see it all he would have to follow every one of our Showcase pages, something I could not ask. So, strike one. Consumers were confused by Showcase pages.
The second red flag was thrown when I searched for my Company page on LinkedIn. I would write the first word, "Kerigan", and the dropdown would give me suggestions. Sure enough, Kerigan Marketing Associates was in there, but our company page was listed after our print/logo page! Now, if you didn't know our business and you saw that, what would you think? You would think we were a print company only, not a marketing firm that does print and logo design work. Strike two, Showcase pages were misleading about what we do.
I was done. I went to the Showcase pages to hit the delete button. But guess what? There isn't one. LinkedIn does not allow you to delete your Showcase pages, even if you are an admin on the account. Not sure why this is so, but it is. So I went to the forums, and found this link to contact LinkedIn support to have the pages removed. They did delete the pages for me with no problems, but still.
Yes, but under the right circumstances. For instance, if you are a company like Microsoft. Big, rangy businesses can certainly benefit from Showcase pages. They are large enough, and have so many offerings, that it makes sense for consumers to follow just that segment of their business and receive only that content. However, for the average business user on LinkedIn, I'm afraid using many Showcase pages may actually dilute your branding on the social platform. Most of us are just not big enough yet to segment our messaging that much, at least not on LinkedIn.
We small businesses need all the attention and focus we can get, and when we earn one of those valuable connections on a place like LinkedIn, we need to make them count. Showcase pages, at least for us, were too cute by a half. It is a good idea, but just not practical for us.
Thanks for reading. Have you had any experience with Showcase pages? Please share!
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