Understanding the Difference between LinkedIn Company Pages and Facebook Fan Pages

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LinkedIn Company Pages are actually a combination of a number of different modules that are rarely maximized by businesses.  In order to better understand how your sales and marketing team can best maximize this multi-functional part of LinkedIn, it’s important to understand exactly what the Companies functionality offers.

A good way to start is to compare the Company Page with the most famous corporate presence in social media:  The Facebook Fan Page.  You could say that a fan page provides details about a company in the “info” section, but this is not the primary way that people are introduced to a company or its page.  Rather, the ability for ‘fans’ to ‘like’ a page and then engage with it is what has allowed for the viral spread of information to flow through networks of Facebook friends.  The Facebook page also provides a platform for companies to launch campaigns through the use of custom applications as well as market their products and services through landing pages and other tabs.

Another thing to remember about the Facebook Fan Page is that they were originally called fan pages for a reason: They were organically created by and for fans of popular music, entertainment, and even sports figures.  Fan pages were never made for business purposes, and they were never meant to be controlled by a single entity.  Over time, as Facebook has concentrated on offering more functionality for businesses that manage pages, it has given administrators more control over those particular pages.

Company Pages, on the other hand, was created to help both job seekers and professionals conduct research on companies that are represented on LinkedIn.  The data was originally pre-populated through a combination of efforts by LinkedIn, user-generated content from profiles, and some statistical information from BusinessWeek.  In fact, the ability to search companies was not added until a few months later, and even then, it was designed as a tool people could use to map out their connections to a particular company.  In other words, if you were looking for a business provider with certain expertise, you could see if any of your first-degree connections were employed by such a company.  This component of the Company Page, which is really the purpose of the application, has not changed.

What some might not know is that LinkedIn recently added the ability for Companies to update their followers directly through publishing Status Updates.  This means that, similar to Facebook Fan Pages publishing posts into the news feeds of their fans, the same can be done on LinkedIn.  However, LinkedIn does not have  any EdgeRank-like algorithm like Facebook has. This means that, while only 17% of your updates reach your fans on Facebook,  your Companies updates reach all of your followers.

Now that you understand the basic structural and usage differences as well as the histories behind the LinkedIn Company Page and the Facebook Fan Page, let’s  examine the modules available with the current company pages:

  • Users can search companies by keyword, location, industry, relationship, company size, number of followers, and Fortune status.
  • The overview page for a particular company has information about who connects you to that company, as well as about its employees, Twitter updates, recent blog posts, mentions in the news and general statistics.
  • A statistics page, accessed through the overview page, is completely comprised of user-generated content from profiles and provides employee information for job seekers (such as job function composition, years of work experience, and educational degrees attained by current employees) as well as business intelligence that could be used for sales and business development purposes (such as new employees, former employees, and most recommended employees).
  • The careers page within a company’s page notes job openings.
  • The products and services page is created by the company to showcase its products and services.  LinkedIn users can recommend a company’s products and services and their recommendations appear here.
  • A “follow company” button allows any LinkedIn user to stay updated on new jobs, hires, and departures from any company’s page.
  • Companies can post status updates to appear on the news feeds of their followers.
  • Administrators of company pages have access to an analytics page as well.

Overall, Company Pages module offers a unique hybrid of components, both user generated and manually populated, that allow your business to have a singular corporate presence on LinkedIn.  Optimizing one’s profile gives your employees the opportunity to be found in searches; optimizing your Company Page increases the chances that your company will be found on LinkedIn.

[magicactionbox]

Has your company found business through your Company Page?

The above is a summary of selected content from my critically acclaimed new LinkedIn for business book “Maximizing LinkedIn for Sales and Social Media Marketing,” available at Amazon, Kindle, Nook, or iTunes.

Neal Schaffer
The Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Maximize Social Business, Neal Schaffer is a leader in helping businesses and professionals strategically maximize their use of social media. Neal is the author of three social media books, including the recently published definitive social media strategy book Maximize Your Social. Forbes lists him as a Top 35 Social Media Power Influencer and AdAge lists his blog, Maximize Social Business (formerly known as Windmill Networking), as a top 100 global marketing blog. Neal provides social media strategy consulting and coaching, having worked with Fortune 500 companies and a Grammy-award winning musician. He has presented worldwide on social media at more than 150 events and also teaches social media marketing at Rutgers University. +Neal Schaffer
Neal Schaffer

@nealschaffer

Author, @MaxYourSocial | Founder @msocialbusiness | Trilingual Social Media Strategy Consultant, Coach, and Speaker | 日米ソーシャルメディア専門家|G+: https://t.co/BqaJvubiP8
.@Sprinklr Glad you enjoyed the post! There is going to be an #employeeadvocacy track at the @socialtoolssmmt ... hope to see you there! - 44 mins ago
Neal Schaffer
Social Media Marketing World

Comments

  1. Paul says

    Great advice! I have a question. If a company has many products and different countries around the world have products that are only specific to that country, should a brand allow multiple company pages ie. JoeBlogs UK, JoeBlogs France, JoeBlog USA etc… It doesn’t seem reasonable to have a single brand page containing hundreds of products… interested to hear your ideas.

  2. says

    Paul, if you have separate digital properties (=websites), doesn’t it make sense to, in addition to having one “global” Company Page, to replicate your digital properties on LinkedIn? That way you can also localize the language for each target demographic. I think very few companies have taken a hard look at how to Internationalize their presence in social media, but I recommend it highly, especially if you’re in a diverse market like Europe.

    Hope the advice helps – and would love to hear if you agree or disagree.

    • says

      Thanks for the comment Clarie – and VERY interesting blog post. It depends on who your company’s target public is, but for many, LinkedIn indeed can be a more effective platform for them than Facebook.

  3. says

    While Facebook fan page is evolved for business, LinkedIn is created primarily for enhancing business career. With various modules working together, it gives business all the attention it deserves by promoting user engagement to a greater level.

  4. says

    LinkedIn Company pages are a great alternative (or addition) for those companies who don’t necessarily garner the “fan” status of Facebook. The fact that only a small percentage of your Facebook fans actually see your posts should be enough to convince more companies to focus on their LlinkedIn Company Page.

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