Gartner reports states:
“As of June 2013, LinkedIn reports more than 259 million acquired users in more than 200 countries and territories.”
The seemingly sudden decision by LinkedIn to remove the “Products and Services” tab has been met with confusion and dissatisfaction by many businesses. But what does this mean for you as SaaS Marketers?
Among the losses you’ll see from the removal of this tab are the ability to send traffic to specific employees, the ability to add special offers which “live” on each product page, the ability to receive recommendations for specific products and services and the ability to upload a Youtube video of specific products and services.
So, as of April 14, 2014 your LinkedIn Products and Services pages disappeared. This also means that URLs that lead directly to your Products and Services pages no longer function. Perhaps most concernedly for marketers though is that customer recommendations that are already on your Products and Services pages will be lost.
However, it is not all doom and gloom. LinkedIn is recommending that in place of your Products and Services pages, you use these alternatives to share information;
1. Create Showcase Pages
LinkedIn’s showcase pages were introduced last year as a way to create separate pages for businesses to stage their products and services. It’s a great way for each company to build a venue for their followers. This way each product or service can be showcased separately, with a different appearance or product image than the main company page. Each company can create up to ten separate showcase pages for their products, so make this work to your advantage. Do you need more than ten showcase pages? Make a request to LinkedIn. Take stock of all your Products and services pages on LinkedIn and use the information that you’ve worked on in each of them to craft your new showcase pages
2. Company Updates
When you post an update, it will appear on your page and on your followers newsfeeds. Simply write an update in the “share an update” box on the company’s home tab but it will also show up in your customers newsfeed. Simply attach a media file using the attachment icon or enter a URL link if necessary. Now share it! This is a great way to continue keeping in touch and up to date with your customer base.
So whether you like the change or not, LinkedIn continues to be one of the more powerful marketing tools we have. Gartner analyst, Ben Pring, writes:
Social media is the perfect format and forum for introducing (and continually reintroducing) yourself, your ideas and your offering to anybody and everybody. Your passion and excitement about your “crusade” can be communicated through incremental, additive, ongoing articles, blogs and tweets that build your presence and reputation.
This means you can’t afford to ignore the impacts of the P&L tab loss or neglect your LinkedIn company profile. You should in fact use this change as an opportunity to make updates to the way you advertise on LinkedIn. It may not be easy to lose the products and services tab, but there are alternatives which, when used effectively will make your business more marketable.
The loss of the Products and Services tab is a challenge, but remember that LinkedIn is now the number 1 social network for driving traffic to corporate websites. So you need to make your company page the very best it can be and work on your company profile. Your LinkedIn strategy may have to change a little as a result of the move but work with the change, not against it and you’ll transition well through the closure.