Earlier this week LinkedIn unveiled their newest feature aimed at helping businesses strengthen and manage their reputation as an employer: Company Pages. Designed to bring together current employees while also highlighting products, services, and key information about the company, LinkedInCompany Pages is currently still in beta. Companies can customize pages to include (or exclude) current employees, new hires, products and services, available careers, and overviews, current network connections, recommendations, and demographics of the company.
The development of Company Pages highlights the professional tone of LinkedIn; It is not Facebook (where you may swap photos of barbecues, new family members and embarrassing holiday sweaters,) nor is it Twitter (where you share and microblog niche news). LinkedIn is a place to connect with past, current and perhaps future employers. LinkedIn is a place to connect with business partners. LinkedIn is a place to learn about a brand, not just as a consumer, but as business-to-business.
With Company Pages, LinkedIn is clearly creating their own identity as the social network for professional networking, while also giving control to brands and businesses to define their own role. The varying difference between LinkedIn’s “charter customers,” such as AT&T Business Solutions, and the default setup for companies, highlights how much customization can be achieved. A brand controls how demographics, employee data, and new hires are displayed to manage the company reputation – not just as a brand that offers a product or a service, but as an employer.
The new “Companies” tab is already live for LinkedIn users, though many will find that the companies they follow have a very rough, undeveloped beta page. The benefit to companies will be in how quickly human resources departments adapt these new pages and utilize them as a hub for hiring resources, as LinkedIn is already a primary resource for job seekers with more than 80 million members worldwide.
Will LinkedIn’s Company Pages benefit your professional networking activity? Or is this just another group feature of LinkedIn we don’t need?