There's a reason LinkedIn Inc. has emerged as the go-to b2b social media site: The company works hard to make itself the essential social media platform for businesses. The most recent effort includes updates to its popular Company Pages.
Last month LinkedIn redesigned the pages it allows company subscribers to set up on its site to provide greater brand prominence and improved navigation. It also added a feature that alerts users to network activity.
LinkedIn's redesigned Company Pages feature enhanced brand imagery and more prominent updates, enabling a company to display a large photo at the top of its page along with its logos. Some LinkedIn customers using the new layout are Citigroup Inc., Dell Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., Philips Healthcare and Royal Philips Electronics.
A new addition is a notification button at the top of the toolbar that alerts followers when they have new inMail, and when others “like” a shared post, view their profiles or accept an invitation to connect.
The redesign was introduced to make Company Pages more responsive and easier to push key content, said Marc Bishop, director-global product marketing at LinkedIn Marketing Solutions. It's also designed to make LinkedIn more mobile-friendly while streamlining navigation.
The mobile aspect is especially important: 23% of LinkedIn's overall traffic is from mobile platforms, more than double the percentage last year. Bishop said the company expects this percentage to continue to grow.
** “The redesign should make it easier to build relationships with professionals,” Bishop said. “It's easier to express your brand personality, and there's a [new] large space to showcase your brand, and key content and updates. We've made status updates more prominent, along with key products and services content.”
These were features that Philips Healthcare was glad to take advantage of. Philips Healthcare is a global healthcare company offering imaging systems and patient solutions to health systems throughout the world. According to Clive Roach, social media strategist at Philips Healthcare, the company was an early adopter of social media, including LinkedIn's Company Pages.
Roach said LinkedIn represents his company's “biggest presence” in social media.
“We were impressed with the redesign,” Roach said. “The products tab allows us to introduce products—and people can recommend products—so there's a sales element. You can see which products are recommended and which products have been shared.”
Philips' LinkedIn Page has almost 170,000 followers, and the company integrates it with other social media platforms. For example, a recent thread promoted a competition on Pinterest, while others have promoted the company's YouTube channel and highlighted traditional-media mentions of Philips and its products.
“We use LinkedIn as a major part of our platform,” Roach said. “When we have something new to say, I'll do an update on LinkedIn and then update other media platforms.”
The transition to the redesigned Company Pages began Sept. 19, and will automatically be rolled out to all companies using LinkedIn. Bishop said the response has been good.
“We tested the redesign with user and customer feedback,” Bishop said. “Those responses were baked into the feature set.”
Overall, Bishop said, the Company Pages are designed to make it easier for companies to create “brand experiences” through the page or groups, and that the typical social media user is more likely to trust information from LinkedIn than other forms of nonbusiness social media such as Facebook.
“For b2b companies, these are complex business decisions,” Bishop said. “Customers in the b2b world are more willing to let companies help them make these decisions. There's much greater receptivity to a company message on LinkedIn than on nonbusiness social media.”