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May 7, 2012

LinkedIn for Business: Optimizing Your Company Profile – Part 2

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Taking full advantage of LinkedIn for business using the company profile feature is a great way for B2Bs to reach their target audience. Last time, we looked at how to optimize the “overview” tab on the LinkedIn company profile. Today, we’ll take a closer look into the “products and services” tab, offering some very cool functions for highlighting your goods and also for segmenting content by audience. There are lots of possibilities to market within this tab; let’s have a look.

Product and Services Tab

First, for editing purposes, always be on the tab you want to edit and select Admin tools > edit. Same goes for editing individual products and services, you must select one first, then edit.

Product and Services Overview

The product and services description is a great place to give an overview of your offerings. You can drill down into individual services and products later in the page. Here, you have 2,000 characters with spaces to introduce what your company has to offer. Note: the character cutoff before the “more” link is 291 with spaces.

Think of this “real estate” the same way you would any type of promotion within a limited space; you want to highlight and entice your users with the most important key terms and takeaways up front. So how will you best optimize the title of your products and services overview  as well as the body content?

For the title, think about using words related to what your business does, versus just a generic “welcome” message. Same goes for the body text – what company specialties did you add in the overview tab? Not a bad idea to include those in the copy here as well.

In the body text, you can do some light customization to layout, like bullets points and bold font – nothing fancy. But you may want to consider using bold on key terms that you want to stand out. People are used to seeing their keywords bold in the SERPs, so this could be a familiar way for people to scan and collect information quickly.

The body text condenses itself when you publish, so don’t bother trying to make separate paragraphs with hard returns. This is where you’ll want to put a little thought into how the information is presented so it’s not overwhelming, especially if you have a lot of text. Bullet points might be your best bet.

Product and Service Spotlight

Here, you can upload up to three custom banners that link out to any Web property you’d like, whether it be quote forms, marketing campaign landing pages, pages within your site or somewhere else you want to drive the LinkedIn community to.

What’s awesome about this section is the ability to show different products and services to different audience segments – but we’ll get to that later.

The banner images can’t exceed 2MB and can be PNG, JPEG, or GIF. They will automatically be resized to 640 x 220 pixels, so you may want to size them accordingly before loading so they aren’t warped once resized.

LinkedIn states it creates a rotating banner for you out of those images, but the user actually has to manually press the arrow to be presented with the next one; you might want to consider placing your most important banner first, in case a user does not manually rotate them.

Don’t forget to add a URL to each banner to the page you want to drive traffic to.

Individual Products and Services

Scrolling down the page, you see there’s a products and services section where you can add up to five products or services, and highlight them individually on their own tab. LinkedIn gives a great step-by-step guide on how to get started with products and services section, so I’ll leave that to them. But here’s some tips and things to think about:

  • Outside of individual products and services you offer, what other things can you promote? If you have a blog, newsletter, ebook or other type of content you’re promoting, you can do this here.
  • LinkedIn has recommended in several instances to add as much content as you can surrounding your products and services, so try to use every field available to you in the editing mode. You can upload a logo, add a video and add key contacts for the service. Administrators for the company page need to be personally connected on LinkedIn to any person they want to add in as a point of contact for a service.
  • You have up to 2,000 characters with spaces to talk about your individual products and services. Apply the same discretion and marketing savvy here as you did in the product and services overview. Use key terms to describe your service or product and make it compelling. Here, you’ll be able to do a little more formatting of the text by breaking it up in paragraphs. When you list your number, in many cases it converts it to a click-to-call format.
  • In the “list of key features” area, you have 10 fields to add in text that will create a bulleted list about the products and services. LinkedIn tells us to use this space “to list the key benefits or use cases of your product or service,” rather than key terms you want to be found for. It certainly can’t hurt to use a mix of both, if it comes naturally, for each bullet point.
  • Anywhere that you can use key terms related to your business, do it. Don’t keyword stuff, but make sure that your business is well represented with the words you use throughout the titles and descriptions in this section.

Solicit Recommendations

Unlike Yelp, LinkedIn supports and promotes going out there and asking people to endorse you, your products and your services. The recommendations feature allows you to gather and feature endorsements on individual products and services in this section of your company profile.

You need to be connected personally to these people, however,  in order to ask them for a recommendation. So start connecting with people using that database of names and companies you have on file. Make it a habit of connecting with new leads on LinkedIn, so the request for a recommendation comes more naturally and not right after you connect with them.

LinkedIn tells us the recommendations show up not only on the products and services section of your company page, but also on the profile of the person who recommended you. Though I had a hard time finding the recommendations myself on a person’s profile, they are easily viewable on the products themselves.

The stats LinkedIn provides shows you how many times the recommendation for that product has been viewed organically, and the impression per reviewer. Think about how those who have more optimized profiles and higher follower counts could affect the impressions of these recommendations. This is where quality over quantity could be more valuable.

Segment by Audience

How cool is this: You can serve up an entirely different product and service pages depending on the audience that’s visiting you. If you have several products and services that cater to different types of clients, this feature is for you.

The features that are customizable for this function is the product and service spotlight (the banners) and the individual products and services (up to five for each segment). Think of the possibilities. You can have varying promotions, content offerings and more that cater to each type of audience.

If a user doesn’t fall into the audience criteria you’ve defined, they are led to the default segment. So have something more broad for that particular audience that highlights your most important – or all – of your services.

Take a look at your followers list to get an idea of the type of audience that’s interested in your business already. Also check out your page statistics for more insight. Use that data plus what you know about the people who buy particular products or services you offer to help you define segments.

In part 3 of this LinkedIn for business series, we’ll look at promoting, growing and tracking your presence on LinkedIn.





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