When we speak to audiences, Mike and I often refer to the different cultures of LinkedIn and other social media platforms. LinkedIn is a business networking platform so much so that often when the media refers to “social media” they leave LinkedIn out of the reference.
Case in point: this morning, I had an interesting “How to LinkedIn” question from a fellow group member:
Hi, we have a business page for (our company) and as far as I can see we can’t “like” anyone through that. I am not sure why.
Here’s how LinkedIn works:
An Individual registers for a LinkedIn profile… one profile per person (similar for Facebook Profiles and unlike the one per email address policy of Twitter) and you may ONLY use your natural name and lettered credentials in your name field. Including anything other than your natural name in that field will cause your account to be shut down-not suspended, but closed.
Individuals engage with each other and connect to other individuals they know or want to know. This process is more like Facebook than Twitter. Once you connect, it’s a mutual connection. You can also engage in groups and in other areas of LinkedIn and they provide various methods to message other members: InMail, introductions, group member messages, and of course, messages to your connections. Individuals may also Follow Company Pages to get updates when they post a status, add a new career opportunity, add new employees or add products and services, et. al.
As Individuals indicate where they are employed, or professionally associated, they can “attach” themselves to a Company Page.
For example, I indicate on my profile that I work at Integrated Alliances. Because we set up a Company Page, whenever anyone who works with us adds a position to their profile and indicates their “employer” as Integrated Alliances, they are attached to the Company Page and included in the listing of “employees”.
So, having explained that, let me now say that although Company Pages can BE followed on LinkedIn, the Company Page itself cannot “follow” anyone else, be a member of a group, ask a question, or otherwise engage on LinkedIn outside of the realm of the page itself.
Why? Because LinkedIn is a professional networking site. The site is comprised of “professionals” who are affiliated with companies. Although Companies now have a voice – even a targeted one – through the use of Company Page status updates and other features of the company page, LinkedIn’s core mission is to provide an avenue for professional networking and marketing for professionals. It is individuals, even on behalf of a company, who engage on LinkedIn.
Read more about Company Pages here: LinkedIn Unveils Company Page Follower Statistics.
Do you have a Company Page on LinkedIn? Post the URL here in the comments so others can find and follow your company too. If you’d like help setting one up or customizing it to bring you maximum benefit, let us know. You can reach our team at firstname.lastname@example.org or via the contact form at the top of the right sidebar of this site.