LinkedIn has recently launched “Status Updates” for its company pages.
This nifty little update was first announced by the LinkedIn team on their blog in early October, but has recently received an official release, with e-mails sent to business people all over the planet. Needless to say it's been getting a lot of attention as a result.
The benefits of this particular update barely need spelling out. It is now possible to transmit messages to a company's entire fan base on linked in; Updating them on anything from special offers to new products and services without ever being invasive and ensuring that the message can be seen and shared by anyone who takes an interest. A nice addition to your Social Media Marketing armoury, I'm sure you'll agree.
Exciting as this may seem, it is not particularly useful if you are looking to use LinkedIn to reach new prospects. In fact, short of having a very active profile (which is still by far the best approach), the ways of expanding your audience are generally limited to LinkedIn's PPC service and the natural brand power of your company. In-fact, I might go so far as to say it's a slightly less effective tool than twitter, though of course it's not something to neglect if your serious about your digital approach. Plus, you could argue that the audience will be more relevant, especially for a B2B company.
So, although it is now possible for companies to “tweet” through LinkedIn (for want of a better word), there is still a problem of how to expand their audience, a problem against which I am constantly battling.
Now, although this new update doesn't make my day job any easier (in fact it gives me one extra thing to think about since I can't yet sync it with my company's Twitter account) this doesn't stop me from getting excited about it.
The reason for my excitement can perhaps be eluded to in just one word:
Anyone who uses Facebook regularly will be aware that fan pages were implemented as a way for non-individuals to have a voice on the platform. This has included the use of status updates and a wide array of apps. From embedded media players, links to other sites to competitions and online stores.
Linked in already uses apps on individual profiles, but up until now it has treated it's company pages as a fairly passive point of reference for people. It seems to me that enabling status updates for these pages is the first step towards mimicking Facebook in that area.
I think we can expect the degree of customisation allowed to company pages to change massively over the next few months. From what is currently limited to an inbuilt banner system in the product and services tab of a page, to a wide variety of different apps that allow an exciting range of functionality.
If this is an accurate prediction, the possibilities become almost endless.
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