I logged into my company’s LinkedIn Company page yesterday and lo and behold there was a giant banner across the screen warning of upcoming changes. Turns out LinkedIn has decided to remove the Products & Services tab within Company Pages. The removal of the Products & Service tab is scheduled for April 14, 2014.
The Products & Services tab was home to an image carousel/slider that you could link to your Website, embedded video, and, of course, a listing of your company’s products and services. When a product or service item was clicked, a page devoted exclusively to that product or service opened. This deeper page contained a description of the product or service along with recommendations from clients.
Why is LinkedIn Removing Products & Services from Company Pages?So why is LinkedIn removing this feature? Honestly, I have no idea why LinkedIn does half the things that LinkedIn does. They have removed so many awesome features and tools: Signal, Skills, Events, etc… Of course, I do have my suspicions and I believe that this is LinkedIn’s way to get companies to use Sponsored Updates.
But this is what LinkedIn says:
At LinkedIn, we aim to provide a simple and efficient experience for our members. To do this, we’re continuously evaluating how our current products and features are used, and seeking new ways to focus our resources on building the best products. (LinkedIn)
How do I showcase Product & Services on my Company Page now?LinkedIn suggests using their new Showcase pages.
Showcase Pages allow you to extend your Company Page presence by creating a dedicated page for prominent products and services. A Showcase Page should be used for building long-term relationships with members who want to follow specific aspects of your business, and not for short-term marketing campaigns. (LinkedIn)
The Showcase Page is very much like a mini-Company Page. You add a banner image along with a logo image (2 sizes: Standard and Square). There’s room for a Showcase Page description, Website URL, and you can select your industry from a predefined list. Additionally, you can select different Admins to manage the Showcase page and you can feature a LinkedIn Group.
Pros & Cons of LinkedIn’s New Showcase Page
The most powerful part of the Showcase Page is the ability to post status updates. However, the drawback that I see is in order for Status Updates to provide value, you need followers. Without Followers, no one will see your updates. Sadly, when you create a Showcase Page, the followers you have on your Company Page do not automatically follow the Showcase Page. In order for people to see these status updates, you will have to either actively get followers to your Showcase Page OR pay LinkedIn money to show your update to people who don’t follow your page.
Yep, we are talking about sponsored updates! Of course, that’s a blog post for another day.
What About Services & Product Recommendations?If you optimized your LinkedIn Company Page, chances are you worked hard to get recommendations on your Products and Services pages. Now with Products and Services going away, all those recommendations will disappear too.
ALL IS NOT LOST!
Here’s what LinkedIn says:
“If you’re a Company Page admin, you can save recommendations by copying them from the tab into your own document. You can also request a copy of the recommendations that were present as of March 4, 2014. The recommendations will be available through Customer Support until Friday, May 30, 2014. Note: If you want to use the recommendations in promotional or marketing materials you’ll need to get permission from the individual who made the recommendation.” (LinkedIn)
I requested a copy of the recommendations that are on my Company Page. I can’t wait to see what I receive. As it is, it’s not clear to me why I can’t simply copy and paste the recommendations myself. Once LinkedIn gets back to me, I will update this post with the results.
In ConclusionMy belief is that the Showcase Pages are still in their infancy. I believe LinkedIn will add some bells and whistles to the Showcase Pages eventually. I’d love to see the return of the image carousel and the ability to embed video.
What do you think? Do you like the new Showcase Pages? Are you sad that LinkedIn chose to remove the Products & Services Tab?
Let me know what you think in the comments! Just scroll down!
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