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Linkedin is Killing Products/Services Pages in Favor of Showcase Pages: What This Means for You

March 27, 2014 Leave a comment

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.

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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:

Linkedin Showcase Pages Appear in Search

 

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.

 

 

Unexpected Reveals in the Age of Radical Transparency

December 5, 2012 Leave a comment

Linkedin Company Insights

Government reform activists are constantly working to shed light on the dark dealings in politics, particularly on government employees and officials moving to the private sector to lobby the agencies and offices they used to occupy.  In the past, this information was difficult to obtain.

Enter Linkedin.

Like all social networking platforms, the strength of Linkedin is in its ability to mine profile data with algorithms to create connections and paint a picture unseen from other vantage points.  Also like other social networking platforms, they’ve been steadily adding features and doing more with the growing body of data they hold.

Even with a free Linkedin account and a few minutes of research, one can look up the top ten lobbying firms in the US for 2012 and get a glimpse of insight about the comings and goings of employees from and to the public sector by looking at these organizations “Company Insight” pages on Linkedin:

  1. Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber & Schreck (4 employees from the US House of Representatives)
  2. Hogan & Hartson (4 employees from the US Securities and Exchange Commission, 3 from the US House of Representatives)
  3. Quinn Gillespie & Associates (one employee recently departed for a job as a Press Associate for the Senate Finance Committee)
  4. Holland & Knight (9 employees from the US House of Representatives)
  5. Ernst & Young
  6. Williams & Jensen (one employee recently departed for a job with the US Department of Energy)
  7. Van Scoyoc Associates (3 employees from the US Senate)
  8. Cassidy & Associates (4 employees from the US Air Force)
  9. Akin, Gump, Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP (10 employees from the US Senate, 9 from the US House of Representatives)
  10. Patton Boggs LLP (9 employees from the US Department of Justice, 6 from the US House of Representatives)

 

Someone with more programming expertise than I could easily create an automated program to mine and archive this publicly-available data (and mash it up with other bodies of data).

Something important to consider about all of this information is that it came from the users themselves; not from the companies.  As always with data security, even the most robust program is only as strong as its weakest link.

There is very little that is certain about our rapidly-evolving world, but one certainty is that more data will become public and we’ll have more and better ways to understand and sift through it.

Any institutions that rely on a lack of transparency are going to be in for unexpected surprises if they don’t fundamentally change their practices, or invest in some heavy-duty online reputation management.

Fair warning.

How Not to be a Social Media N00b – Resources From the 2012 NCMPR National Conference in San Francisco

March 25, 2012 Leave a comment

San Francisco Trolley

On March 11, 2012 I did a pre-conference workshop at the 2012 Conference of the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations (NCMPR).  It’s an organization for marketing and PR professionals in higher education at 2-year colleges.  Below you can find the resources from that presentation (the slides, handout, audio, and some video).

ncmpr2012hownottobeasocialmedianoob

If you found the materials or the workshop to be helpful, I’d appreciate a review on Linkedin.  Hopefully I’ll get the opportunity to do more workshops like these.

Video:

Handout:

  • How Not to be a Social Media N00b (.pdf) [I essentially crammed a variety of social media resources into this handout with brief descriptions so that attendees wouldn’t have to scramble to take notes while I blathered on.]

Slides:

Audio:

Chart – Social Media Platforms by Number of Users

March 8, 2012 12 comments

I threw this chart together for a presentation I’m doing; it includes current numbers for some of the more prominent social networking platforms (including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Spotify, Wikipedia, Foursquare, Pandora, Digg, etc.).  Hopefully I’ll be able to kick out updated versions every few months. [Updated to include MySpace – originally I had left them off because they’re the only major social networking platform that has actually lost users.]

Visualizing Social Media Platforms by Number of Users

Why Would You Hire a Social Media Strategy Company That Isn’t Social?

December 2, 2011 2 comments

The answer is you wouldn’t.

Yesterday I received a spam email from “Paul” at “Social Brand Online” in my Linkedin inbox.  Here’s the text in it’s mass-produced, cut-and-paste glory: Read more…

Networking Tips for Public Relations Students

September 26, 2011 9 comments

Last week my better half Adrienne Wallace and I spoke with Grand Valley State University’s Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and offered some advice on how students should network with public relations professionals.  Networking is critical to virtually any profession, but it’s particularly important in PR given how much of the job is social (connecting not only with prospective employers, but media contacts, and colleagues who can be great resources one may need for projects).

If you’re a PR student and you’re not networking and taking internships (ie building work experience) – you’ll have a very hard time finding employment when you graduate.  While job posting platforms like Monster, Indeed, Linkedin, Beyond, CareerBuilder, Brazen Careerist and PRSA’s Job Center are great resources – the vast majority of jobs are not posted anywhere and are acquired based on who you know.

Here’s the gist of what we told them in case any other students find it to be helpful: Read more…

Case Study: Kids’ Food Basket “Toyota 100 Cars for Good” Social Media Campaign Results

August 24, 2011 1 comment

Andrew Zimmern Retweets Adrienne Wallace's Appeal for KFB

As promised, here is the analysis of the social media campaign used to help win Grand Rapids-based nonprofit Kids’ Food Basket a much-needed delivery truck from Toyota’s “100 Cars for Good” campaign.

To show all the public relations majors out there that “Management by Objective” isn’t just an esoteric concept you memorize in a PR 200 class and subsequently forget, I’ve framed the analysis of the campaign in terms of the “RACE” acronym (Research, Action, Communication, Evaluation). Read more…