Monday, November 16, 2015

LinkedIn Showcase Pages

Own a business? Then you need to have a LinkedIn presence.

If you cater to a business audience, you definitely need a LinkedIn company page. But even if you own a business-to-consumer small biz, having such a page may be beneficial to your online marketing efforts.

First of all, LinkedIn company pages costs nothing more than a few minutes of your time to set up, even if you consider yourself "web challenged." And secondly (and most important in my opinion), is that by having such a page you may derive some optimization benefits for your website.

But LinkedIn does not stop there.

You may also (and you really should), launch a LinkedIn Showcase Page for your business.

As I worked on a LinkedIn business page for company a few days ago, I noticed a link inviting me to create a "showcase" page. By the way, you can create as many of them as you deem necessary.


I decided to use the LinkedIn Showcase Page as a way to highlight the services I offer through My Grill Pro, which in this case involves cleaning outdoor kitchen BBQ grills for local residential customers in Seminole and West Volusia counties in Central Florida.

Here's a screenshot of the new Showcase Page:

My Grill Pro's LinkedIn Showcase Page


HOW MUCH?

Setting up a LinkedIn Showcase Page is free. For how long I have no clue, although I don't think that will change anytime soon. LinkedIn Showcase pages have been around since 2013, if my information is correct, but it wasn't until I created a LinkedIn Business page for My Grill Pro, that I realized they were an option.

Keep in mind that you will need to create a LinkedIn Business Page for your business before you can create a showcase page, since showcase pages are extensions of it.

I also like the fact that you can view a Showcase page even if you're not a LinkedIn member. It will extend an offer to join to those who are not, of course, but they are still able to read the posts. However, if someone wants to post a comment, they must be a registered LinkedIn user.

My Grill Pro LinkedIn Showcase Page when viewed as a non-member


WHAT'S IN A NAME?

Perhaps a great deal!

I had a few issues when I first named my showcase page, and I assume that's because—as mentioned above—they are an "extension" of the company page. However, you can rename your showcase page, as long as part of the original name remains. At least that's how I understood it when I renamed mine.

In hindsight I should've been a bit more careful when choosing the original name, but I did not expect it to look like a full-blown social media webpage. So be careful when choosing a name for yours. Again, you can edit the name after the fact, but it seems the one you choose first becomes the de facto page title.

Of course you can always create a new Showcase Page if necessary, but I don't think you can delete showcase pages once published.


SHOULD YOU LAUNCH YET ANOTHER SOCIAL MEDIA PAGE?

Only you can answer that question.

I like LinkedIn and use it daily. My network includes more than 4,000 members even though I've been very selective about that since day one. Does that mean that the My Grill Pro Showcase Page will have an immediate 4,000-plus followers?

Of course not.

Right now I am the only follower and I am okay with that, as these pages do better when they are allowed to grow organically. I will promote it of course, but the reason I created a showcase page has very little to do with "likes" or "followers."

My rationale is twofold:
  1. To reach a segment of potential customers who may not use other social media channels, such as Facebook or Google+.
  2. Because I believe that a channel connected to the LinkedIn network can be helpful as far as search engine optimization is concerned.
Again, setting up a LinkedIn Showcase Page is quite easy and because of the powerful "social juice," you'd be smart to take advantage of showcasing your business.