In another major content and design change from a leading social media platform, LinkedIn has decided to retire their Products and Services Tab and will replace it with the recently introduced Showcase Pages. In this post, I will outline why LinkedIn made this change, what you need to do now to minimize any downside of this change and what you should consider before creating a Showcase Page.
LinkedIn has been doing quite well over the past year, expanding their presence from providing B2B networking and job opportunities to a top provider of traffic to company websites. Now public, LinkedIn is under extreme pressure to leverage their 300 million users into revenue from advertising and subscriptions. Other social media platforms have rolled out new redesigns that maximize visual presentations and LinkedIn has been forced to follow suit. Meanwhile, top brands are looking for new opportunities to promote their products and advertise on those pages directly. Showcase Pages address all of these needs but not necessarily your needs.
How are Showcase Pages different from the Product and Services Pages?
The Showcase pages will allow you to post an update directly on the page which was not possible on the Product and Services Pages. This option will provide you better targeting options, especially if you have a broad target audience and want to do a better job segmenting your content. In addition to advertising, analytics will be available for you to track engagement, trends and demographics of your followers. Design has also been improved with a large hero image. You will be able to create up to 10 Showcase Pages off your company page. Here is Nowspeed’s Social Media Marketing Showcase page.
What do I need to do about my existing Product and Services Pages?
On Monday, April 14th, the LinkedIn Product and Services tab will be retired so it is important to archive a copy of these pages before this deadline. Spend particular attention to any recommendations of your products or services by customers or partners. These can be very valuable for your marketing efforts.
Should I create a LinkedIn Showcase Page?
You will first need to decide which of your existing products or services should be promoted and remember you are starting with zero followers on your Showcase page. The biggest impact of creating a Showcase page will be your time, you will now need to create and post relevant content on this new page in addition to posting on the primary company page. While you probably won’t post as often on the Showcase page, it could add an additional 50% to the amount of time you are spending updating your primary company page. Adding ten Showcase pages could increase the time you are spending on LinkedIn by a factor of 5 or more. It might make sense to first create one Showcase page as a test to see how much time it is adding to your workload. Based on the time effort and the potential for brand dilution, some people are recommending that you shouldn’t create Showcase pages, especially if you are a small business.
Will these new Showcase pages increase engagement on your LinkedIn page?
The jury is still out on the impact of Showcase pages but what is true is that the changes to social media platforms are coming fast and furious. Marketers need to be responsive to these new changes but should be cognizant of the reality that using social media platforms to promote their brands is a form of digital sharecropping. Brands don’t own their social media platforms, they only invest time and effort to create content for their audiences on these platforms that can be taken away at any time, either by changes like this one or by account suspension.
Can we help?
Good luck with your new LinkedIn Showcase pages if you decide to create one or more and please contact us if you need help building your new pages or if you are not getting the results from social media marketing that you want or expect.