Company Pages Adds Visual Excitement to LinkedIn

Before you bother reading this post, click over to LinkedIn to see if your company’s profile now has a “Products and Services” tab. It’s a new feature and is rolling out this week to all companies. If you don’t see it, get ready, because you will.

LinkedIn launched its revamped company profiles Monday, adding the products feature, and upgrading the layout flexibility of profiles — now called Company Pages — to make them more visual and encourage even broader use.

You do, of course, have a company profile on LinkedIn? Get one if you don’t. Either way, this is an opportunity to add visual excitement. You can use the products and services channel to highlight the kinds of projects and products that new hires will work on. Pair the description with a relevant video — say a couple of team members talking about the project — connect it to the job opening posted elsewhere on the company profile, and you have a strong presentation.

It’s even more critical that the message be as authentic and honest as possible, since LinkedIn members can post reviews and recommendations.

Sure, this new feature is intended to promote a company’s products and services, not especially for recruiting. And marketing and sales may have a different vision for how best to use this section. But even if they want to highlight the company’s various widgets and gizmos, recruiting can still piggyback to show just what it is the company is all about.

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Ever since LinkedIn began allowing members to follow specific companies — some 1 million companies are now being followed by 30 million users — it has been obvious that it was gunning for Facebook. On that site companies have been creating their own pages for some time, just like they did on MySpace before. With the launch of the rebranded Company Pages, LinkedIn is sending the message that it intends to remain the dominant business-oriented network on the planet.

Beyond a doubt, it has established its identity as career-focused. The Universum study discussed Monday in a post about social media surveys, found that among college students 75 percent use LinkedIn for career purposes. Only 1 percent use it exclusively for social connections. Contrast that with Facebook, which the Universum study says 76 percent use purely for social purposes.

John Zappe is the editor of and a contributing editor of John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.