Two changes to LinkedIn over the past couple of weeks confirm the network platform is taking some big steps to transform itself into more than an organizational recruiting tool and resume library.
With the addition of Showcase Pages and a LinkedIn—Pulse partnership, LinkedIn is clearly betting we will want more places to find noteworthy content and will be happy to discover it on LinkedIn rather than Facebook, Google+ or sophisticated owned channels similar to what Target has done with ‘A Bullseye View’.
Showcase Pages is a sophisticated upgrade to the frequently underutilized ‘product/services’ tab on many company pages. The layout makes it look very much like a Google+ page, with a large photo and tiled columns for original or curated content. Since many companies feel safer on the LinkedIn professional network and believe it to be more sober and business-oriented, it could become the place where they feel more comfortable posting and interacting with LinkedIn members.
Two tips though:
- While LinkedIn positions a Showcase Page as where members “will be able to follow the specific brands and products they care most about”, use it with marketing blinkers on and an organization’s Showcase Page will become just another barren repository for product announcements — followed by no one.
- Just as a company needs a distinctive and captivating tone + voice in its social posts, Showcase Page original and curated articles should have a consistent angle and frame of reference and echo the organization’s character and market position. Visitors need to know what to expect from the page. A curated mess of miscellany, without theme or thread, may get the initial attention of the curious, but will soon disappear as they lose interest in a mishmash they can find anywhere.
Replacing LinkedIn Today, this mobile app marriage of LinkedIn and Pulse aims to “offer a more relevant news experience with content tailored to your professional interests both on the Pulse app and on LinkedIn.com.” Individuals download the Pulse app and sign in with their LinkedIn ID. Then LinkedIn will “automatically bring in the channels, influencers and LinkedIn content you already follow into your Pulse experience.” Enhanced social sharing features will encourage sharing on an individual’s own Linkedin updates and other networks.
The kicker is that it will also push content recommendations based on the preferences it has scraped from a user’s LinkedIn profile. The opportunity for publishers is obvious. But companies with native content channels relevant to LinkedIn members — if considered professional news by the Pulse algorithm —may also find the connubial relationship between LinkedIn and Pulse broadens their readership and grow their connections.