29 Aug 2013

Linkedin Q&A Series: Personal Profiles vs. Company Pages

LinkedIn WebinarAfter yesterday’s LinkedIn webinar, we received a landslide of questions and followups, so we’ll be answering many of these questions on both the Vocus blog and the SHIFT blog over the coming days. Today’s question comes from Michael, who asks:

“I’m a consultant and spent a few years developing my Linked In personal profile, which features my company name and info prominently. Do I have to start over with a company page or can I transfer followers? Is there an advantage over a personal profile?”

To switch from a personal profile to a Company Page does indeed require a reboot, but it’s worth it for three reasons.

Asymmetric Relationships

LinkedIn is one of the last surviving social networks that, at an individual level, requires a symmetric connection. For you to connect with me, I have to connect with you. Contrast this with networks like Google+, Twitter, and Facebook, where you can follow me but there’s no obligation for me to follow you back. Asymmetric relationships tend to promote growth of networks as it allows for more numerous, if weaker, connections.

A Company Page on LinkedIn removes the requirement of symmetrical networking, which means that people can establish a relationship with you faster. They don’t have to wait for your approval or action – all they do is hit follow, and they’re “in”.

Sponsored Updates

If you want to make use of the new Sponsored Updates that we talked about in the webinar and that deliver strong advertising results, you’ll need a Company Page. Personal profile updates are not currently eligible to be sponsored. This is important because Sponsored Updates permit you to reach outside your network of existing connections and followers by using LinkedIn’s advertising targeting system, putting your updates in front of the specific audience you want to reach.

Analytics

LinkedIn personal profiles have very meager analytics, mostly comprised of the number of times you appeared in search and the most recent people to visit your profile. By contrast, LinkedIn Company Pages deliver analytics on reach, engagement, and the makeup of your audience by industry, company size, seniority, and geography. If you’re trying to assess what kind of audience you have, the Company Page and its analytics are the way to go.

Thanks for the great question, Michael! We’ll tackle more questions in future posts, so stay tuned.

Christopher S. Penn
Vice President, Marketing Technology

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1 comments
intranetfuture
intranetfuture

Your last 2 are good points but I would disagree with your first point on the advantage of Company Pages being asymmetric. Surely when it comes to business networking the point is cultivating strong one to one (symmetric) connection with other individuals which is done with a personal profile?