A couple months ago, LinkedIn killed the Products & Services tab on Company pages, and upset a fair amount of companies. LinkedIn suggested that businesses use its Showcase Pages instead, but some simply don't think this approach works so well.
Are you finding Showcase Pages to be helpful to your business? Do you miss the Products & Services tab? Let us know in the comments.
LinkedIn launched Showcase Pages in November. They let companies show off specific brands and products. Users can follow these individual pages just like they can with Company pages, but can follow specific brands and not the whole company, should they choose to do so. For example, a consumer could follow Microsoft Office, rather than Microsoft at large, and avoid getting Xbox updates, Bing updates, etc.
This strategy isn't sitting well with every company. Blogger Arik Hanson recently ran through a few reasons they Showcase Pages "actually don't make sense for most brands."
For one, while the Products & Services tab lent to a more "static and promotional" nature, the new pages are "heavily dependent on dynamic content," and require posting multiple times a week, as he notes.
This could inspire brands to spend a little more time getting customers to engage with their brands, but it's also one more thing to add to the social media to-do list. Frankly, there's about too much of that as there is for some businesses (especially small businesses) to handle.
"So, for brands that are already struggling to produce quality content on a regular basis, this means you have to add one more unique outlet to the mix," he writes. "And, it essentially means brands would be doubling their content workload on LinkedIn. I’m not sure that’s really doable for most brands."
He also writes, "If targeting content to more distinct audiences if one of our goals, why not just use the handy targeting feature LinkedIn already provides with your company page? That tool allows you to target by geography, job function, seniority and few other criteria. More than enough, right?
Hanson also suggests that the Showcase Pages are not ideal for recruiting purposes (a big reason many companies use LinkedIn).
At Social Media Today, Tracy Sestili writes about three reasons "you shouldn't create LinkedIn Showcase Pages". She also makes the point about having to update yet another page (or pages), but also that you'll have to build another following from scratch, starting with 0 followers.
"The concept of Showcase Pages is a good idea, but the execution of this feature enhancement seems to not have been fully thought through," she says. "What would have been better is community tabs within Company Pages."
Kevin Elliott at Kerigan Marketing Associates explains why they deleted their Showcase Pages. He writes:
When I saw the announcement about the Products and Services tab going away, I immediately built two Showcase pages, one for web design and one for our print and logo work, then started putting content on each.
I waited a week or so to see what would happen, and I notice two negative things right off. First, a person I had met at a business meeting followed one of our Showcase pages. Great, right? Well, I just happen to know that he thought he was following our general company page. By liking just the web design page, he would only see our content about web design. We do tons of web design, but we are a full service marketing firm, and I wanted him to see all our content, not just a piece. For him to see it all he would have to follow every one of our Showcase pages, something I could not ask. So, strike one. Consumers were confused by Showcase pages.
The second red flag was thrown when I searched for my Company page on LinkedIn. I would write the first word, "Kerigan", and the dropdown would give me suggestions. Sure enough, Kerigan Marketing Associates was in there, but our company page was listed after our print/logo page! Now, if you didn't know our business and you saw that, what would you think? You would think we were a print company only, not a marketing firm that does print and logo design work. Strike two, Showcase pages were misleading about what we do.
Yeah, that could be a problem.
Our own readers have had additional complaints about the pages. In the comments section of an article on the feature, Debbie Waller said, "I have set up a showcase page, it's OK but it has nowhere to publish the recommendations/reviews I had from other people on my products and services page. Contacted LinkedIn - they say I am welcome to publish whatever I want about my products. As I pointed out to them this is not at all the same as someone else saying what they think. They agreed to 'pass on my feedback', don't expect this to change though."
Another reader replied to her post saying, "Yes Debbie, you're right, and in fact, I contacted LinkedIn in advance of this change, and they promised to send a link where we could move our recommendations to the new showcases page. Which did not happen."
Others simply wondered simply why they would get rid of the Products & Services tab, which they thought was "a great feature" .
What do you think? Are businesses better off with Showcase Pages rather than the Products & Services tab? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Image via LinkedIn