Linkedin, the world’s largest professional network with over 80 million members worldwide, have launched a powerful new tool, Company Pages, to help companies attract new customers by showcasing products, services and recommendations to their followers.
In terms of features Company Pages offers a lot more than the Company “Profiles” of the past. Companies can now create products and services tabs (including video) that showcase their various offerings. They can also create products and services pages for up to 5 different categories including industry, geography, job/role and company size and/or rank. In addition to these features, users can submit twitter feeds, publicise blogs/vacancies/news mentions/employee data and access basic analytics on followers (providing they are logged in as an administrator).
Perhaps the most important new feature is the Recommendations facility, which is the Linkedin version of Facebook’s “Like” button. This facility enables Linkedin members to leave comments regarding a company’s products and services. Company employees/representatives can then either delete these comments or respond to them. The recommendations facility also allows companies to ask for recommendations.
Linkedin believe that Company Pages will help to bring brands to life by showcasing them in an environment professionals turn to when making critical decisions. They also believe that by making it easy for employees and customers to become brand ambassadors, Company Pages will help grow businesses virally through word of mouth advertising.
Only time will tell whether Linkedin’s beliefs come to fruition. Either way it’s certainly a step in the right direction and perhaps somewhat overdue considering the progress made by other social networks.