By Caitlin Rambo, Marketing Assistant
It is no secret: LinkedIn is the largest professional network available on the Internet. As of August 2011, LinkedIn CEO, Jeff Weiner, could proudly verify that the global network had over 120 million member profiles – with approximately half of these users located in the United States. In addition to individual user profiles, LinkedIn also offers company profiles. Over 2 million public and private corporations are listed on the network, and this number is growing as small businesses begin to make use of the platform.
In the past, company profile pages were a passive communication tool. Individuals would flock to the listings to pull information and statistics – which proved to be especially advantageous for job seekers.
The addition of the “company follow” feature two years ago provided further value, as individuals were able to become more engaged with the companies. Knowing exactly who their followers were in terms of demographics, companies published content that appealed to their audiences. Alternatively, the users that chose to follow provided social proof of the companies’ value to them.
Now, LinkedIn has again stepped up their level of engagement. Company pages have added a new feature: company status updates.
These updates are a great marketing tool to begin to utilize. Companies can now directly communicate with their audience by posting corporate news, product releases, promotions and other relevant information. The updates are automatically directed to the followers’ homepage news feeds, where the users can choose to engage by commenting, liking and sharing the content with others on their networks.
Updates are a great way to build engagement with current customers, potential employees and prospective clients alike. Many of us have learned to leverage the power of status updates on other social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. When utilized properly, this dynamic information sharing can lead content to “go viral” – an ambition that all marketers share.
Even more good news: LinkedIn has given us two metrics to monitor these conversations. Page administrators can see the number of impressions (the amount of times the update appears on various users’ news feeds) and the level of engagement (the percentage of users that decided to click, like, comment or share the content). Using these numbers we can see which content posts users best respond to.
There is one limitation. Status updates can only be posted by the administrators of a company’s LinkedIn page. However, if you are not an administrator already it is easy to become one. Connect to one of the current page administrators, and once the connection is made they are able to designate you a role on the page.
Company status updates are a great addition to the professional network. All users benefit from a higher level of interaction. Companies now have a voice that their audiences can engage in conversation with. Increased engagement translates to a more positive user experience as they interact with your brand. And the more positive affect of a consumer, the greater the probability of increased revenue potential with the user.