Situated in the middle between authors and book retailers (Amazon!), book publishers must develop relationships with readers or face potential irrelevance. The key then for publishers is building an addressable audience that they can reach when it comes time to announce a new book, a new author relationship, or some other noteworthy news. That’s where Linkedin Company Pages come into play.
Like other forms of permission marketing—email, Facebook, Twitter, etc.—your Linkedin company page audience has opted in to receive updates on your activities. They follow you. Think of it as your corporate newsroom and with it you can:
- Provide regular activity updates
- Detail products and services
- Collect endorsements and recommendations from customers
- Share career opportunities
- Schedule promotions
Do you qualify for a Company Page?
As it does in other parts of its network Linkedin strives to maintain a professional network experience. In order to create a company page:
- You must have a company email address (email@example.com, not firstname.lastname@example.org or some other generic email address).
- The domain name must be unique to your company (again, gmail.com, yahoo.com, outlook.com are not unique to your company)
- Your company must be listed as your employer in the Experience section of your Linkedin profile.
- Your Linkedin profile strength must be listed as Intermediate or All Star (these refer to the completeness of your personal Linkedin profile)
- You need several connections (Linkedin uses this as a way to validate who you are. They figure if several people are connecting with you, you must be a “real” person.)
The basics creating of a Company Page
Creating a nice looking page is a pretty simple and quick process because most of the information should already be available from your company’s website. There are really only three items you need to prepare or know before beginning:
- A header image: a jpeg file that is 646 x 220 pixels.
- A brief company description, a list of your specialties, company locations (up to 5)
- Your logo in two different size formats: 100 x 60 and 50 x 50 pixels.
That’s it for the core information. Taking it a step further you should also click to Add product or service because Services is one of the menu items on your page. For publishers this could be a book (product) or distribution (for example, a service). [UPDATE: Linkedin phased this out effective April 2014.]
Again this is a pretty quick effort. All you need is descriptive information and an image file (PNG, JPG or GIF) that is 100 x 80 pixels.
I suggest you check out Company Pages maintained by others in your industry, especially those of your competitors. (Scholastic does a nice job.)
Other features you might explore depend on your business, the customers you are trying to reach, and your available marketing materials (and the amount of time you are willing to invest!).
- Links to YouTube videos
- Multiple versions of pages. For example, you can show a different header and content to visitors coming from other countries.
- Control the order in which your products or services are displayed.
How to get Followers
Now we arrive at the point of this exercise: getting people to visit your Company Page and ideally, follow you. There are a few ways to encourage this but like any social media effort it comes down to promoting your activity. Here are 5 easy ways to promote your Company Page:
- Add a company follow button to your website. (Similar to following someone on Facebook.)
- Post activity updates. Just like your personal profile you can announce updates via your Company Page. Text is limited to about 600 characters and you can include links.
- Join Linkedin Groups and notify them when you post an activity update. But be careful to share only those updates that are relevant to the group otherwise you might be flagged for moderation (your posts will not be automatically posted in the discussion feed and you could get banned from the group by the administrator).
- Ask your staff to share company updates with their network (they should also be following their own company 😉
- Add the Linkedin Company Profile widget to company websites. It’s like a mini-business card and you can get the code here.
Few of us need another social network to manage but considering the growing importance of Linkedin, and the level of professionals it can engage, it’s a modest amount of effort that can deliver a good return on your investment of time. They also index high in Google search results.
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