Why LinkedIn Company Pages are More Important than Groups

LinkedIn Company pagesBuild your LinkedIn strategy with Company Pages for more engagement, traffic and real customer opportunities

When I first started out with my LinkedIn marketing strategy it was all about groups. I thought groups were the best way to reach new people and promote our small business… more so than a Company Page. And at that time they were. But LinkedIn Company Pages have come a long way in the past few years and present far more opportunities for growing your business.

Before Company Pages became the dynamic showcase that they are today (more on that in a bit), we chose to move forward on a strategy of creating a business-specific LinkedIn Group and join as many relevant industry groups as possible. The LinkedIn group was for dealers and direct OEM customers, who it turns out were somewhat reluctant to discuss business plans among competitors. We got some initial sign-ups but it honestly never took off like we had hoped. Discussions were not happening and it became more of a self-promotional group.

While I think that there is still a place for Groups on LinkedIn to grow your connections (in fact I maintain several around industry niche topics like Small Business Marketing Tools and my boating industry group Marine Marketing Tools), I think that a much smarter approach for businesses is to focus on growing and promoting their individual Company Page. You can still participate in groups, but starting a Group is not as important as investing in your Company Page.

Marketing Opportunities with Company Pages

The biggest reason for a Company Page vs. Group for your business is the ability to grow a specific following for your company – putting your company front and center.

Here are some marketing opportunities specific to Company Pages:

Direct News Feed Updates – unlike Groups where new posts only go to digest emails (that most people have opted out of lately), any new status updates, news or posts to your Company Page go directly to your follower’s feed. And the viral effect can be huge as people like or comment on your update that interaction appears in the feed of their connections.

Sponsored Updates – much like Facebook boosted posts, you can sponsor an update to have it go beyond the reach of your Company Page followers.

Advertising – there are no advertising options for Groups on LinkedIn – the only advertising options  are for external links or pages on your Company Page… you can even select specific pages like products or overview page.

Dynamic Company Content – the opportunities for showcasing your business are far greater on your Company Page than anywhere else on LinkedIn. In addition to a continuous flow of new updates and content, you can create an overview page with large header image, product specific pages, a career opportunities page and sidebar showcase opportunities for videos and groups you like.

Showcase Pages – if your company owns or manages distinct brand names you can create a “spin-off” page specific to your company brands to showcase them as a subpage with separate followers, analytics and more.

Analytics – a Company Page will give you actual insight into the performance and engagement of  your page. You can get follower insights and post-specific metrics so you can see what content is most interesting to your followers.

So if you are trying to decide to focus on developing a LinkedIn Group or Company Page for your business, the impact will likely be far greater with a Company Page.

What are my next steps? I’ll be transitioning our business Group followers to our official Company Page and then promoting our Page with ads and sponsored updates. And with more focus on Company Pages from LinkedIn directly (in terms of new feature roll-outs) it seems to be the right strategy.

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With nearly 30 years of integrated marketing experience, Diane is the founder of SBMarketingTools.com and author of the award-winning book PR Tools to Toot Your Own Horn. Diane also runs Marine Marketing Tools, a site that bridges her passion for boating and small business marketing, and two boating lifestyle sites: MyBoatLife.com and BoaterKids.com.