In what is starting to feel like an almost daily flurry of changes, LinkedIn is at it again. On April 14, say farewell to the Products and Services tab on your LinkedIn Company Page.
As usual, LinkedIn’s official statement regarding the change suggests that it is all about making life “more simple and efficient for members”, but I’m betting that’s not how Company Page administrators (and that includes me) are feeling about this latest change.
“At LinkedIn, we aim to provide a simple and efficient experience for our members. To do this, we’re continuously evaluating how our current products and features are used, and seeking new ways to focus our resources on building the best products. This sometimes results in the retirement of certain features. So on April 14th, the Products & Services tab will be removed from all LinkedIn Company Pages.”
What This Means for Your Business
First, page administrators have spent countless hours building and keeping fresh the product and services pages for their company. Now they need to download/copy/paste that information to a document and save it. Do it before April 14 or your information is history!
Second, administrators will have to build “Showcase Pages”, which are essentially sub-pages of the main Company Page. This information isn’t automatically transferred over, you must manually rebuild them!
While the idea of a dedicated page – limited to 10 – for your product or service sounds nice, you have to do the work to recreate them, encourage people to follow the individual pages and dedicate more resources to posting status updates on each individual Showcase Page to drive engagement and traffic to your page. Before you go creating all those Showcase Pages, be sure you understand the ongoing support that will be involved.
Third, a key strategy for most of my clients was to secure recommendations from their customers about their products and services. Guess what – recommendations now go by the wayside. Yes, you can copy them and keep for later use but no longer will people see them associated with your Company Page. Ouch.
Here’s what LinkedIn has to say about Showcase Pages:
“While Products & Services is going away, companies can get more visibility for their products and services by using Showcase Pages and Company Updates as an alternative for sharing content:
Showcase Pages allow you to extend your Company Page presence by creating a dedicated page for prominent products and services. A Showcase Page should be used for building long-term relationships with members who want to follow specific aspects of your business, and not for short-term marketing campaigns.
Company Updates are key to building relationships with your page followers. When your followers engage with your updates, it spreads your message to their networks and provides you even greater reach. Updates can be seen by your followers not just on your Company Page, but also on their newsfeed (across all devices including mobile).”
When Does It End?
I’m all for innovation and change, but at what point will individuals and companies say enough? User adoption is tough enough even for platforms as popular with B2B sellers as LinkedIn. Constant changes – without warning – put a big burden on people to continually learn new features or recreate their work and time is tight as it is. It seems to me that LinkedIn is taking a big risk in assuming that their members will continue to go along with it all.
What do you think? At what point is good, good enough? Is a revolving door on feature changes a good thing? If so, when?
This morning, LinkedIn connection Steve Jones directed me to the LinkedIn help forum where there are a lot of unhappy people voicing their opinion about this change. LinkedIn doesn’t seem to care. The decision most certainly is an arbitrary one to delete member data (yes, I know you can save it, not the point). Seems to me that won’t go far in terms of instilling trust that people should use their platform to share their content. Thoughts?