It was mid November last year when LinkedIn launched their Company Showcase pages (see here) and since then I have been observing how companies have been using them...or not!
The idea of a showcase page is to allow members to follow the specific brands and products they care most about rather than see updates that relate to the whole company. In a sense it seemed that this new feature was a hybrid between a company page and a products/services page in that it gave us the opportunity to share updates about a specific type of product in certain markets. LinkedIn have certainly used them this way by creating showcase pages for marketing, recruitment and sales products (see right). Each of these have very different markets and contact points.
So how are other companies utilising this feature? I took a look at the 12 company pages heralded as being 'best in class 2012' by LinkedIn and was shocked to find that only one of them (adobe) was using the showcase page feature...just one!!
OK maybe that list is a bit out of date so lets look at the 10 best company pages of 2013....errr just one again and guess who that was? Adobe again (who have over 3000 followers for each showcase page).
Below is the showcase page for their Creative Cloud product.
So what is going on here?
Why are companies not using this feature?
I think it is because it seems confusing. Why have a showcase page about products when we already have products and why have one when we can target our main company page updates to specific 'audiences'?
Perhaps they have a point but surely the likes of Mashable and Hubspot have enough creativity to think of an effective use of this feature? I use a showcase page for my podcast LinkedInformed (I'm on my 3rd episode by the way and I strongly advise you check it out :-)). Its not a product but it seems that the opportunity to have people 'follow' it and receive updates announcing each new episode is an ideal use of a Showcase page.
How about this as another idea....Recruitment!
This could be an ideal use of a showcase page. People generally follow companies for one of 4 reasons in my opinion;
- They are interested in your products/services and relevant information about them.
- They are a competitor 'spying' on what you are up to!
- They are a potential supplier i.e. they want to sell to you!
- They are interested in working for you.
Now if I fell into the first category and I was a potential customer of yours I would get pretty fed up if I kept seeing updates from you promoting vacancies. The problem is that from my profile you would not always be able to differentiate between a number 1 and a number 4 and so I would not be prevented from seeing vacancies by how you define your 'audiences'.
End result - I might take my business elsewhere and follow a competitor instead!
If however you could guide company page followers who want to work for you to a separate showcase page explaining that all vacancies will be promoted via updates from this page, then you have a solution...and a useful purpose for a showcase page!
What do you think? Are you using this feature and if not, why?