Last week, employment-oriented social networking platform Linkedin announced that it was killing the “Products/Services” section of Company pages in favor for what is calling “Showcase Pages.” If you currently manage a company page you have until April 25, 2014 to make the switch.
What You Lose:
- YouTube Embed: Products/Services pages permitted Company Page managers to embed a YouTube video on the page
- Rotating Banners: You’ll no longer be able to rotate feature images calling out special offers or features at the top of the main products/services page
- Bullet Points: This feature is not available in Showcase Pages – the only option for adding information about a product is to post updates (which tile down in chronological order)
- Recommendations: The only third party endorsement on a Showcase Page is the followers, whereas Product/Services pages allowed customers to post reviews
- Disclaimer: Product/Service pages allowed disclaimers at the bottom of pages
- Special Promotions: Previously users had the option to include some brief text and a link to a special promotion related to the product
- Contacts: Each product had the option to list Linkedin profiles for employees at an organization that could be contacted for more information
What You Gain:
- A Giant Cover Image: Showcase pages have a cover image at the top that is considerably larger than the cover image for Company Pages: 974 x 330 pixels (max size 2MB). One note: you’ll want to be careful how you use this image (and perhaps add a gradient at the bottom) as the bottom third is taken up by overlayed content (the page title, a follow button, and an avatar image). This could be an implication that Linkedin intends to change the cover image size for Company Profiles as well.
- Diversification: Users can now follow individual Showcase Pages without following the Company Page they are associated with. For umbrella brands, this will be helpful for reaching audiences that might be interested in an individual product line, but not interested in
- Search Visibility: Showcase Pages now appear in Linkedin’s graph search, which is the biggest positive development about Showcase Pages:
I can’t blame Linkedin for this change; I’m sure it was driven by a lack of traffic to the product/service pages – which tend to be stagnant once they’re created by an organization. Hopefully Showcase Pages will drive more traffic and spur companies to be more active about publishing timely information about themselves on Linkedin, because it’s truly a fantastic platform with a large and valuable audience.