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July 07, 2014

Team Member Renee Spurling

Renee Spurlin


Executive Vice President

The top three social media giants we all know and love: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn each have their own unique purpose, audience and features. Primarily, Facebook is for friends and family updates, Twitter for conversation and #hashtags, and of course LinkedIn for professional online networking.  As the competition steepens for user attention and time spent on-site; the social sites we’ve come to utilize for different areas of our lives are now overlapping with similar features that can make the “purpose” of each a little blurry.

When Facebook implemented hashtags and Twitter profiles began to look a lot like those on Facebook, LinkedIn followed suit with a new look for premium profiles and new features to entice users to stay on the site a longer.  The world’s largest professional networking site, also added new tools for expanding your audience on LinkedIn. While it still keeps personal networks under lock and key, LinkedIn has rolled out several capabilities for company pages and executives to take hold of and increase their reach. Here are three new LinkedIn tools to start taking advantage of today:

  • Influencer Pages: Who influences you? Whether its Robert Scoble, Walt Mossberg or Sheryl Sandberg that gets your professional mojo going, well-known executives and subject matter experts have now been deemed “Influencers” on LinkedIn, allowing users to follow these individuals and gain insight from long-form, original content. Simply put, LinkedIn is encouraging members to use the platform for blogging.  Initially, the exclusive “Influencer” status generated interest, as thoughts and advice began pouring out from the likes of Bill Gates and Arianna Huffington, which led to a growing fan base of up to 500k followers for some. So what did LinkedIn do next? While Influencer status remains exclusive to prominent individuals, regular users began receiving invitations for a lower-tier option to publish posts on LinkedIn as well, inspiring professionals to share their own expertise and experiences with others.

  •  Blog-style Publishing: Much like the capabilities of LinkedIn's Influencers, this new publishing feature allows members to distribute long-form posts about their expertise and professional interests. What does it mean to publish a long-form post? And, what is the point? In an effort to increase engagement and time spent on-site, the publishing feature has been slowly rolling out to all users on LinkedIn allowing them to post “blogs” or free-flowing original content that becomes a part of your personal profile.  Not only do your followers see your published posts, but your publishing audience expands to outside your network, including the option for users to solely follow published posts! Additionally, these posts are searchable, further expanding your personal reach (outside of the Company Page) which gives executives, entrepreneurs and professionals in any industry opportunity to enhance their personal brands, boost SEO and garner greater brand awareness.

  • Showcase Pages: If your Company Page previously used the LinkedIn Products and Services tab, as of April 14, 2014, your content has disappeared. In its place, LinkedIn has created Showcase Pages to let you extend your Company Page presence to additional aspects of your business, and offer many of the same benefits of the old Products and Services tab. The overarching value of the new Showcase Pages, is to showcase a particular product or area of business to a targeted audience.  These pages allow for only a short description of the product or service at hand, but enable posts such as articles, company resources and thought-leadership content. Much like the new publishing platform for individuals, think of Showcase Pages as mini-blogs for your company’s specific products and services. Perhaps most important, the new Showcase Pages help you attract new audiences who may not be following your Company Page, as these pages show up in search results and across newsfeeds when users interact.

 Whether your brand differentiates itself by a number of products, outstanding service or killer leadership, LinkedIn is a great tool for boosting your company’s brand awareness, improving executive image, connecting with prospects and generating leads. As a top Atlanta and New Orleans tech PR firm, we understand the role social media plays in our technology clients’ public relations as well as brand management. Contact us on LinkedIn!