You probably know, although many don’t, that with LinkedIn, as well as having a Professional Profile page you can also have a Company page.
You don’t actually have to own a company – as in a Pty Ltd, or Inc., or LLC etc., – to set up a “Company” page. A brand will do.
Setting up a Company page is very easy, and it’s another way to promote your brand. It’s also very easy to make some basic mistakes in both the setting up and the management of your page. In this post I provide a list of six of those basic mistakes.
Mistake #1: Not Thinking Enough About the Page Name
One of the first actions in setting up a LinkedIn Company page is giving it a name. The name you give will become part of the page’s web address, the URL. So this is your one chance to embed your desired brand in the web address.
When you name the page, LinkedIn takes the company/brand name words and hyphenates them, in the format linkedin.com/company/your-brand-name. For example, LinkedIn has my Des Walsh dot Com brand page as http://linkedin.com/company/des-walsh-dot-com LinkedIn also provides each company page with a URL ending in a number, so http://linkedin.com/company/1818924 also works and will probably be what someone sees if they just search on the company name or if they click on the relevant link on my professional profile.
The main practical reason for thinking carefully about how you name the page is that it can help you avoid or mitigate Mistake #2 – Profile links not connected to the Company page.
Mistake #2: Profile Links Not Connected to the Company Page
You know how LinkedIn lists your company name under whatever position you have listed yourself as holding (and any previous companies under older positions)? The mistake is when those links do not go to the Company page because they are not exactly the same as the page name.
The difference can be as minor as an ampersand. For example, if my company was named Des Walsh & Associates (as it used to be) but in my LinkedIn profile I had listed it as Des Walsh Associates, omitting the ampersand, that profile would not link to my company page. The listing on the profile has to be exactly the same as the name on the company page.
I’ve seen examples of where key people in company did not show up on the company page, because of that simple mistake. If you have several or many company staff, and they have all been left to list the company as they each choose, you should not be surprised to find that some are not listed at the company page.
Mistake #3 Not Ensuring That Everyone in the Company is Connected to the Company Page
From my observation over many years, I am convinced that many companies, even quite large ones with prestigious brands, devote few resources and little or no attention to ensuring that all employees have their company listed, and listed accurately, on their professional profiles.
So it is important to ensure that that current employees and new hires understand that it is expected that they will list their current employment on their professional profile and do it in such a way that it connects to the company page (see 2 above). The broader aim here should be to ensure that individual employees’ profiles are of a standard that reflects the company’s best image of itself, but that’s for another post!
And if you are the owner, are you sure your profile is being listed with the company page? I’ve seen a number of company pages where the owner is very much identified with the brand, but the description of the company and what it does makes no mention of the owner!
Mistake #4: Having Only One Admin for Your Company Page
Not having more than one administrator for your company page is at best an optimistic approach but basically not smart. It’s not even a matter of people getting ill, or worse, dying, and being thereby unavailable. People go on holidays. People even leave the company, and how easy it is for no one to think at that time “Who is going to administer the LinkedIn company page now?”.
So there is no shortage of reasons for having more than one administrator. Believe me, you really don’t want to have to rely on LinkedIn to sort it out for you if you haven’t bothered to have more than one admin. It’s just a couple of keystrokes we’re looking at here.
Mistake #5: Not Including Attention to LinkedIn for Departing Employees
Understand that when employees leave they don’t always update their profiles, so they could be still showing up on your company page as employees. In some circumstances that can be very problematic or even quite harmful for your brand. For example, you could even have people who have been dismissed but having their profile showing them as being still in your employ.
Yes, LinkedIn can fix it but it is not a process you would *choose* to go through. Make it a part of the exit interview that they understand they need to update their profile, with an end date to their employment by your company, even or especially if they do not have a new position they are going to.
A related problem is when someone who has nothing to do with your company is listed as an employee – I have seen this happen. For this one you may need to enlist LinkedIn’s support.
Mistake #6: Not Listing Your Products or Services on Your Company Page
It is odd, but I have seen it quite a few times, that companies have gone to some trouble to provide company history and other background information on the Company page, but have included little or nothing about their products or services. It’s as if they have nothing to sell.
My guess is that this is another instance of company owners or executives not really paying any attention to how they are presented on LinkedIn.
A Question for You
Do you have a company page and if so what steps have you taken to make sure it is working effectively for your company’s benefit?
This post is the first in a series of seven over this week, as part of my participation in the ProBlogger Challenge Group, with the theme “Find Your Blogging Groove”. It’s open to all, from newbie bloggers to seasoned ones, and instigator Darren Rowse has attracted a great group of people, over 1,200 at this time and growing. Why not join us? Here is the Facebook Group link.