11.02.2011 | Katherine Turney
I can still hear my former professor repeating to the class, “Connections, connections, connections.” Though my classmates occasionally grew tired of this advice for starting a successful career, I certainly benefitted from the repetition. What I learned from my professor is that one of the most valuable tools when seeking and maintaining a career is, indeed, connections.
In the class, we discussed many social media sites, including LinkedIn due to its facilitation of professional connections. As an avid user of LinkedIn, I constantly receive email updates announcing various website enhancements. It has been particularly interesting and impressive to see the recent, increased attention LinkedIn directs toward enhancing features for companies using its networking capabilities. With a growing number of individuals and companies joining the website (there are currently more than 2 million listed companies and more than 100 million members), LinkedIn has improved its platform to focus on companies and boost their presence on its network.
In the past, LinkedIn had more focus on individuals and little reason for companies to pay much attention to their presence on the networking site. With new enhancements and features for companies, that has changed. It is therefore crucial for companies using LinkedIn to gain a good grasp on these enhancements so it is possible to optimize their profiles and improve visibility on LinkedIn. A few good tips on developing a stellar company profile can be found here.
LinkedIn is a unique service in the social media landscape and the recent enhancements herald user-friendly features seen on other websites such as Facebook and Twitter. In 2008 for example, LinkedIn introduced company profile pages to allow companies to provide relevant information about their organizations. In 2010, LinkedIn introduced a feature to “follow” these company pages. This is similar to how one could follow a company page on Facebook or a company’s Twitter account. To deepen the professional-to-company connections, LinkedIn recently introduced another feature that makes having a company profile even more valuable.
On Oct. 6, LinkedIn launched a feature called “Company Status Updates,” which provide a way for companies to become more engaged and connected with their communities of followers. LinkedIn outlines the benefits of the new feature this way:
“Company Status Updates are a powerful new way to engage directly with your followers. Influence consumer perceptions and purchase decisions by messaging followers across LinkedIn and the Internet. Post relevant updates, like company news, product promotions, videos, and industry articles. Amplify your brand message and benefit from follower engagement (likes, comments and shares), interactions that are virally distributed across a follower’s networks.”
For companies, this means they can tactfully share any important insights and news to their followers, who then may comment, like or share the status updates from their personal accounts. This new feature makes it easier for companies to communicate with their LinkedIn audiences about anything from job postings to new business achievements. Overall, these status updates allow companies to strengthen connections and gain visibility, as well as engage with customers, former employees, recruits, potential partners and others. Professionals already following companies on LinkedIn using the “follow” feature will begin receiving status and news updates from the company directly on their LinkedIn home pages. For more information on company profiles and status updates, go to LinkedIn’s learning center.
LinkedIn seems to be combining many of the best qualities of Facebook and Twitter to enhance its features for companies. It has employed these new social media features to help foster stronger connections, uphold transparency and gain visibility, while maintaining its own unique platform. The changes also showcase the benefits for companies that have a presence on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn would undoubtedly receive approval from my communications professor regarding these recent changes. They not only enhance the overall platform, but create an environment to foster connections for business professionals and now companies as well.