From April 14th LinkedIn will no longer support product and services pages on Linkedin Company Pages, they announced today.
In a Help Centre Article ‘Company Pages Products & Services Page – No Longer Supported’ Linkedin explain that the Products and Services tab will be removed as a result of ‘continuously evaluating how our current products and features are used’ – i.e the system, whilst incredibly powerful, isn’t being used enough by Linkedin users to merit its continuation.
This is a huge shame for people who do use Company Pages because the products and services tab enabled you to create a targeted, mini-website on LinkedIn. Pages could be targeted to different sections of the LinkedIn network, by geographic location or industry, for example.
Visitors could view featured products, services and other collateral on the product pages and recommend them directly on LinkedIn. When people recommended your services on a product page, this was shared with their LinkedIn network. Building up a collection of recommendations added to your credibility as an organisation, right within the LinkedIn ecosystem. I’ve certainly found them useful for generating credibility for my consultancy.
Companies like Hubspot have made great use of the product section of their company page to offer ebooks, guides, trials, special offers as well as their key products.
But product and services pages will soon be gone, so what can we do instead?
Get a copy of your recommendations
Firstly if you have recommendations for your products and services you can request a copy from LinkedIn via the information page. Then you can use the Recommendations elsewhere (if you have the recommenders permission).
Alternative Recommendation Systems
There are other ways you can get recommendations on Linkedin but they are both part of the individual network system. The Linkedin Recommendations system is the one I prefer, though there is also the Endorsement system which I’ve blogged about here. Because these systems are associated with individuals, if the individual leaves the company the recommendation leaves with them.
Create Showcase Pages
Showcase Pages could be seen as Linkedin’s alternative to the Products and Services pages. They are free subpages of your company page, which can feature updates in the way your company page does. People can follow your company, and/or any number of your showcase pages.
The downside of showcase pages is that you need to build a community of interest around each one, but they are more interactive than product pages, in essence featuring their own content stream similar to a Google+ page.
For examples of showcase pages check out Microsoft’s Company Page where they have showcase pages for some of their brands.
Goodbye Product Pages, hello Showcase Pages
I’m disappointed that Linkedin will be dropping products and services, as whilst they did have limited use they worked well for small professional firms who learned how to use them properly.
Will you be switching to showcase pages?