LinkedIn Pages Like Facebook and Twitter

LinkedIn is making some smart moves to personalize LinkedIn Company Pages, effectively creating a look and feel that is much like that of a Facebook page, while also respecting the professional culture of LinkedIn.

Personal is the New Professional

People do business with people first, and then with the companies that stand behind them. The new LinkedIn Company Pages bring the comments of their employees front and center. This gives outsiders opportunities to size up the company culture, while also learning who may be more likely to engage, among other things.

On Facebook you Like or subscribe to a Facebook business page, whereas on LinkedIn you follow a Company Page. The difference between Liking and following seems to reflect the nature of the respective networks; one is casual and the other professional.

On Facebook people like pages, with the leaders predominantly being consumer brands. Curious about business opportunities with a particular company?  Follow their LinkedIn Company Page. There’s nothing creepy or unprofessional about it. It’s no different than tracking a stock you may wish to invest in.

Notifications Encourage Engagement

In addition to literally taking a page from the Facebook playbook, LinkedIn is also adopting a highly useful Twitter feature – notifications.

While interruptive, there is no question that notifications encourage engagement.

My personal experience is many of the 3rd party services that promise to help you stay in touch with your online communities will fail you from time to time. The reason is likely that they are not quite on the inside and therefore subject to unforeseen changes.

Whereas, a notification directly from Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter is more likely to be reliable, and should therefore prove to be a welcome feature.

Here’s a preview of the new LinkedIn Company Page.

What do you think? Are you ready to create your LinkedIn Company Page?

I’m not ready to say game-changer yet, but the thought has crossed my mind. Stay tuned.

You can get a few more details here and here.

And this comprehensive article on  10 LinkedIn Tips for Growing Your Business will help you to get more from Linkedin in general. It includes a couple of video tutorials that will show you a new trick or two.

Do you think LinkedIn can give Facebook and Twitter a run for leadership in business marketing?

Leave a comment below and share this with your community.

Until next time, Jeff

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Google+ Pages for Business Are Now Open

Google+ has opened the doors for creating a presence for your business.

Not surprisingly, Google+ has named these business profiles as pages – just as they are known over at Facebook.

However, that’s where the similarities end.

Google+ Pages are Simple and Flexible

At 40 million users vs over 750 million for Facebook, Google+ nevertheless has more than one competitive advantage. One of them is the ability to use hindsight and avoid what has been problematic at Facebook.

The greatest challenge with Facebook pages is there are limitations – and the rules are constantly changing. One example is that the Facebook Mark-Up Language (FBML) will no longer be supported next year.

Those of us that have used FBML need to reconstruct our pages using iFrames, which more than likely means using an outside service such as Tabsite.

Google+ seems to have borrowed a page from Steve Jobs – taking a minimalist approach to their business pages.

You have fewer choices with Google+ pages than Facebook pages, but that also means it’s easier to set up your page.

Most importantly, it does appear that you will have the flexibility to make new choices, such as renaming your page as you wish at a future date. This will surely encourage more businesses to establish their presence on Google+.

Google+ Pages are Personal and Social

When you set up your Google+ business page you will immediately recognize that it looks very much like your personal Google+ profile. This is undoubtedly intentional.

On Facebook, there is a clear divide between pages and personal profiles. For one, Facebook pages are public and visible to search engines, whereas Facebook personal profiles are not.

On Google+ all of your shared content is public and searchable – to the extent that you have chosen to do so with settings.

Facebook will most likely never make personal profiles public. The reason is that massive storehouse of data is useful for selling targeted advertising within Facebook. Most people are probably in support of that.

However, if you are trying to create more visibility for your business in an environment that is trending towards social, Google+ is clearly a better choice. Both your personal and business profiles can be public.

This gives you the opportunity to share with the world who you are – as a person and a professional. Of course, we all know that merging the two is the magic that brings in more business.

Why? People want to do business with people they trust – not with faceless businesses that happen to be skilled marketers.

Google+ Direct Connect is Social Search

This little feature is not yet ready for prime time, but if it catches on will certainly demand that you have a Google+ page for you business.

Remember that Google is all about search – controlling over 60% of all search results. So, it’s natural that they would incorporate this into their public social network.

Google+ Direct Connect works by using Google search to bring more traffic directly to your Google+ page. 

Here’s how it works. Instead of searching for your business name, one can simply add a + in front of your company name and it will take them directly to your Google+ business page.

Why would someone do this? Because they want to know more about your company on a human and social level.

Consider this. Would you rather learn about a company from their static website or from the commentary of their social community?

That’s the value of Google+ Direct Connect. It may take a while for this to stick, but I am comfortable that it will.

What’s the next step.

Get in there and create your Google+ business page.

The risk is low and the potential reward down the road is significant. What have you got to lose? Enough said.

Leave a comment below or share this with your community with any of the share buttons below – or on the little red bar at the bottom of this page.  

Until tomorrow,  Jeff

If you happen to be new with Google+ these articles will help you get up to speed quickly:

Google+ and The Power of Interaction

What if You Could Start Fresh with Social Media?

Will Google+ Be An Email Killer?