This article was updated June 2nd, 2017 to reflect changes in features and LinkedIn's User Interface.
LinkedIn designed showcase pages as a way for brands with multiple products and services to create pages dedicated to those diverse offerings. Showcase pages are much more functional than that. They can be used to target any customer or client segment. But there are some rules and some limitations. For example, you can only create showcase page names that aren’t taken. Many people have written about showcase pages. In this article, I’m going to share seven tips we’ve found help our clients create focused, and compelling pages that gain followers, drive traffic and increase conversions.
A Brief Look at Showcase Pages
Showcase pages are displayed below the company description and Insights (if available). By default, two showcase pages are displayed, and you can expand the section to see more. Showcase pages have the following benefits and limitations:
- They are focused on content and promotion.
- You can see page analytics and update notifications.
- You can sponsor updates from the page.
- You can feature groups on the page.
- You can post to showcase pages from many social media management tools like you would your company page.
- They appear in search results on LinkedIn.
- Members can follow your showcase pages.
Are showcase pages the same as company pages? Not quite. Employees can associate themselves with company pages, but not showcase pages. Job postings and career pages can also only be associated with company pages.
Showcase pages are intended for long term use, with a defined product or service line, or market segment. They allow you to distribute content to those segments of your audience and allow those people to tune into a specific subset of your products and services. They aren't intended to be used for one-off events, or even marketing campaigns that have a lifespan of a few months. They're designed to attract followers that you can establish a long-term relationship with.
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1: What Showcase Pages Should You Create?
Showcase pages are designed to show content. You should think of showcase pages in the same way you think about your customer segments. Consider creating a showcase page for any customer segment you create content for. If a product or service requires different content or has a different value proposition, it may benefit from a showcase page. Cisco has showcase pages for different product lines, as wells as services, partners, support. Our showcase pages are focused on four lines of service, Inbound Marketing and Content, Cloud Computing Consulting, Training Classes and Certification, and Software Development and QA Services.
There are other ways you could organize your showcase pages including:
- Products and services.
- Types of customers (Women’s Services, Men’s Apparel, Youth Football, Retirement Services, etc.).
- Help and support.
- Product use cases.
- Customer stories (Success Stories, Testimonials).
- Individual store fronts (Featured Store).
- Recruiting focus.
2: Creating a LinkedIn Showcase Page
To create a showcase page do the following:
- Access your company page with an account with admin permissions.
- Select Manage Page.
- In the page manager, in the menu, select Admin Tools > Create a Showcase page.
3: Naming LinkedIn Showcase Pages
One of the tricky things about naming a showcase page is that showcase page names must be unique. If someone else has used a name you would like, you have to think of some other name. But that’s not the only thing that makes naming showcase pages a little tricky. You need to consider all of the following:
- Your showcase page name must be unique within all of LinkedIn: Showcase pages are essentially treated like company pages. Your name must be unique. When you attempt to publish, LinkedIn will tell you if your name is in use. The new interface is very easy to use and shows you your new showcase page URL at the time of creation. To differentiate your showcase pages from others already on LinkedIn, consider adding a short company name or acronym to the name. For example, we added our standard company acronym, CTC, for Carver Technology Consulting. We chose to add the acronym to the front of our showcase page names, "CTC Inbound Marketing and Content." You could also add it to the end of your names, "Inbound Marketing and Content Services From CTC." We prefer shorter showcase page names, which concisely convey the focus of the page.
- Use keywords in your name if you can: You should include keywords in the names for your showcase pages whenever possible. By including keywords, there’s a greater chance people searching LinkedIn for products and services in your industry will find your page. Including keywords will also help search engines outside of LinkedIn index them so that they will show up on search results pages.
- Consider how the name will appear on your LinkedIn Company page. The new UI has improved how showcase page names are displayed. In the old UI, they were displayed on the right-hand side of the page. Names were cut off after 22 characters leaving the name unclear, uncompelling, or both. Now, as part of the vertical company page feed, you see the full showcase page name. However, if you're using a company name to differentiate your showcase pages, long names may drown out the purpose. For example, if we preceded or ended all of our showcase names with "Carver Technology Consulting," that's probably all you'd see at first glance when you looked at our showcase pages. Remember, LinkedIn is a social network, sometimes one glance is all you get.
- Experiment with different combinations to find a unique name that works best. Consider rearranging words, using special characters, even dashes and underscores to get a name that is appealing to your target audience and meets the criteria we’ve listed. For example, a car dealer showcasing their service department might use any of the following:
- Auto Service
- Automobile Service
- Service for Autos
- Service and Parts for autos
- Service & Parts for cars
- Parts & Service for Autos
- Performance Service & Parts for Automobiles
Putting it all together. Brainstorm good names that describe the content you’re going to present. Include keywords that are relevant to your industry in the full name (potentially at the end of the name). Identify wording combinations that that sound good when spoken, are easy to understand, and are compelling when viewed on your company page. Try them and see what's available.
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4: Renaming LinkedIn Showcase Pages
We’ve seen some clients contact us after setting up their showcase pages with buyer’s remorse. They’ve thought about their showcase page name for a while, and have decided they want to change it. There's bad news and good news. First the bad news; Showcase page names are subject to the same name change rules as company pages. You can make only minor changes to names (such as making a word plural or singular). Anything more you have to make the change request through LinkedIn support. If your page has been active for a while and has a lot of followers, this may be the best choice. If your page is new, we recommend creating a new showcase page, transferring the content, and notifying any followers. If you have a lot of followers, you can always incentivize them with an ebook or some other type of offer.
5: Configure All Showcase Page Information
Like most social media account profiles and pages, it's important to completely fill out all the information for the showcase page and add images where you can. The information you will need to provide is in the About us section and can be configured on the Overview tab when managing the page. The information needed beyond the showcase page name is:
- Cover photo: This should reflect the product, service, or market segment being showcased. Consider using a cover photo that is the same, or similar to the one used on the corresponding landing page on your site. The image file must be a PNG, JPEG, or GIF file that is 8MB or smaller, with minimum dimensions of 1192 by 220, and maximum dimensions of 1536 by 768 pixels. You can add larger files, but they will be automatically cropped to fit. After adding the image, you can drag the image vertically to make the most desirable portion of the image visible.
- Logo: The logo appears to the left of your showcase page name, industry, and website URL. We recommend using your approved corporate logo without alteration, or with only minor alteration such as a different colored background. This logo will appear next to the showcase page name in search results on LinkedIn, so you want your corporate logo here. The image file must be a PNG, JPEG, or GIF file that is 8MB or smaller. The image will automatically be resized to 300 by 300 pixels. Images that are smaller than 300 by 300 are upscaled and often do not look good.
- Company description. This is a 2,000 character description of what the page is about. The types of content that will be posted on the page. This is displayed directly under the page name and website URL. This is likely the first thing people will read. We prefer to concisely describe the services the company offers related to the page focus, then explain the type of content people can expect to be posted to the page. Make your text and the content you publish compelling so that people will want to follow and come back.
- Specialties. You can add up to 20 specialties that are showcased on the page in white over blue highlight. You don't have to select from any lists; you can just type what you want so consider incorporating keywords associated with your industry and your brand.
- Website URL. This should be the main landing page on your website associated with the product, service, or market segment. This is displayed just beneath the page title. If people want to know more about the products or services you offer related to this showcase page, this is where you want them to go.
- Address. The address for the company, or a specific team.
- Company Size. Select from the size ranges provided.
- Industry. Select the industry that is most relevant to the showcase page.
- Year founded.
- Featured Groups: You can feature up to three LinkedIn groups on the showcase page. Once you do, it will add the list to your right sidebar for visitors to see. They show the groups you're a part of, further highlight the specialty that the showcase page focuses on, and show your community involvement on LinkedIn.
It's important to view your page in both member view and in the search box once you've updated your pages to make sure they look good.
6: Content to Share on Showcase Pages
You can post whatever type of content you choose on your showcase pages. We typically recommend posting:
- Original content that is relevant to the showcase page.
- Curated content from your customer base about your products and services (such as use case videos, and testimonials). After all, you want your showcase pages to showcase your products, services, and knowledge.
- Curated content that helps make a case for your products and services. These might be any articles that speak to problems your company helps solve, product comparisons, or articles your experts have commented on.
If your employees and thought leaders are active participants in or manage a LinkedIn group that tightly aligns with the focus of the showcase page, consider featuring that group on your showcase page to highlight that community participation.
Social Media management software such as Hubspot, Buffer, HootSuite, and Sprout Social can connect to LinkedIn company pages and can usually also connect to showcase pages for posting content. From showcase page management, on the Updates tab, you can also do things like pin posts to the top of your showcase page, see per-post analytics data, and sponsor posts for broader reach and visibility.
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7: Promoting your Showcase Pages
Once you create your showcase pages, you should promote them to make your target audience aware of them. There are some ways you can promote your LinkedIn Showcase pages:
- Cross promote. Let people on your other social networks know about your showcase pages, and the type of content they will find there. Repeat these posts at regular intervals at different times of the day. Several times per week for four weeks after creating a showcase page, then once a week continuing.
- Consider adding follow buttons. Add a follow button to the landing page on your website that corresponds to the LinkedIn showcase page.
- Use sponsored updates. Sponsor some of your favorite posts to extend your reach and make the page visible to your network, and extended network.
- Create Snip.lys to other content and banner ads to drive traffic and follows. We love Sniply because it lets us use content to drive traffic. If you use Snip.ly, create a Sniply to easily allow people to follow the showcase page. Use it whenever you promote content that's posted on the showcase page.
CarverTC is a HubSpot partner agency in Portland Oregon. We specialize in lead generation, customer acquisition, client engagement and competitive advantage for technology companies or any professional services organization with complex messaging.