In Lockstep with LinkedIn Showcase Pages

On April 14, 2014, LinkedIn will remove the Products & Services tab from all Company Pages, in favor of presenting that content through more engaging and valuable features―namely the Showcase Pages.

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The Showcase Pages build upon the principle of the Products & Services tab: highlighting subsets of the parent company. However, where the Products & Services tab only offered brief product descriptions and customer-sourced recommendations, Showcase Pages provide the opportunity to promote specific products or market to specific buyer personas. That means more targeted, relevant content to the right audience which, ultimately, will drive more engagement.

Addressing more than one buyer persona on LinkedIn can often seem like a juggling act, especially if they’re very different. Companies run the danger of not giving one enough attention or alienating personas with untargeted content. The problem is only compounded when companies use multiple LinkedIn pages for these personas, and then try to connect their content back to the parent company. It’s not very efficient or intuitive.

Showcase Pages fix this problem by allowing for the creation of niche, audience-centric pages directly off of a parent company page.

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Start with the Right Segmentation Strategy

LinkedIn users can follow singular Showcase Pages without following the company or any of the other Showcase Pages. This allows businesses to cater to the audience specific to the page by delivering more relevant content, messages and promotions.

For example, a pet supermarket won’t have to subject dog-loving customers to the latest updates on how to control hairballs in cats. With Showcase Pages, marketers can share content that’s personalized to the audience they’re selling to. This allows companies to delve deeper into each of their buyer personas and keep content personal and interesting. Once that content is published, LinkedIn provides businesses with useful, dedicated analytics for each page.

You can create up to 10 Showcase Pages for your Company Page initially. But if your company wants and can support more, LinkedIn can assist with any additions.

Before you merely start duplicating entries from the existing Products & Services tab, stop and think strategically about how you really want to segment your Showcase Pages to allow for the most efficient and relevant communications with your buyer personas. If you’re a big company, then you may want to segment by business unit, product, application or audience. If your business offers a number of different products and services, maybe consider a category family (i.e. Medical Devices vs. Defibrillators)

If you’re a start-up, think more in line with your audience segments or different buyer personas.

Showcase Pages also offer simple ways to create a customized page for certain campaigns or events. The pages could also be used as a help center, FAQ forum, or outlet for product training.

The format of a Showcase Page URL is as follows:[showcase_page_name]. LinkedIn is not currently offering customizable URLs so, again, some thought needs to go into creating an easily recognizable and memorable LinkedIn URL for these pages.

What You Need to Know to Take Action

It’s important to understand the differences between Showcase Pages and other LinkedIn Pages. Some key contrasts:

> Showcase Pages have a larger hero image.

> They have a two-column newspaper-like layout for content posts.

> Unlike Group Pages, businesses can advertise and buy sponsored updates.

> Unlike Company Pages, there are no careers, products, or services tabs at the top of the page.

> All Showcase Pages link directly back to the business page. This means your pages are all centralized around your company.

> Employee profiles cannot be associated with a Showcase Page.

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You should also note that after the April 14 deadline, any recommendations on the Products & Services tab will cease to exist. However, Company Page administrators can save recommendations by copying them from the tab into their own document or by requesting a copy of the recommendations (as of March 4, 2014)―directly through LinkedIn Customer Support until Friday, May 30, 2014.

Once you decide how to segment the Showcase Pages, creating them is fairly easy. The information and content you’ll need:

> Showcase Page name

> Showcase Page description (75-200 characters)

> Industry

> Name of at least 1 Showcase Page administrator

> Hero Image (recommended)

> Healthy stream of topical content to populate the updates

During the course of this transition, if you’re still unsure of how best to proceed, Carabiner Communications can assist you―from segmentation strategy to content development to creating, administering and promoting the new pages. 

How are you planning to segment and tailor content to your LinkedIn audience with Showcase Pages?

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