This is a question that I’ve thought about for quite awhile. Which one will be more effective for your business: a LinkedIn company page or a personal Profile?
Part of it depends on the type of business you have, how large your company is, and who your employees are. I’m going to break down the pros and cons of each so you can understand where you need to put your efforts on LinkedIn.
The LinkedIn Company Page
When I first started using LinkedIn for businesses, it was all about the company page. It’s similar to how we use every other social media platform. There’s a Facebook business page and then there’s your personal Facebook account. They’re definitely not equal.
One LinkedIn, the company page is what your employees can connect to their account. They can say “I work at this company” and that automatically makes them followers of your company page.
Others can also decide to engage with your company page and they might do that if they’re big fans of your business or if you’re providing some helpful content.
A downfall of the LinkedIn company page though that it’s hard to engage with people. Unlike Facebook, you can’t just comment on posts as your business.
LinkedIn allows you to add some community hashtags to your account. You can monitor these hashtags and respond to trending posts within these fields. However, you’re limited to three hashtags. That’s not giving you too many options for engaging with people.
If you’re a local business, it may be hard to narrow in on engaging with people in your area from your LinkedIn business page.
That’s where LinkedIn personal profiles come into play.
The LinkedIn Profile
Initially, I saw LinkedIn personal profiles as pages that helped you look for a job. However, I’m now starting to see more benefit for using these personal profiles to build up a company instead of just building up the individual.
Social media is all about the humanization of a brand and what’s more human than an actual human! Having someone you trust as a brand ambassador on LinkedIn or even editing your own profile so that you’re a good company ambassador can make a huge difference in your LinkedIn engagement.
Case Study: Binghamton University LinkedIn Profile
Take this case study as an example. I used to work at Binghamton University and decided to reach out to test my theories that a personal LinkedIn page can be more effective than a brand page.
Maggie Wolford is the Director of Graduate Recruitment and Admissions for the engineering school at Binghamton. When COVID-19 hit, her graduate recruiting efforts came to a halt. Not being able to travel or speak one-on-one with students, means that she has to use online tools to make up the difference.
I worked with Maggie to revamp her LinkedIn profile. Her personal profile is now more like a landing page for her ideal client, potential graduate students. The headline has changed to show how she can help students and her cover photo makes clear what a connection with Maggie means.
I also rewrote her about section to include some of the key words and information that students are often looking for. Now, her personal profile serves are a tool specifically for graduate recruitment whereas the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science business page has many different purposes that might dilute any one particular message.
Once the personal profile was updated, I started finding students that matched what Maggie was looking for. She had a list of universities that they often recruit from. I was able to search LinkedIn for students of those universities and connect with them.
That connection alone means that these students will at least see Maggie’s headline and cover photo. They may also click through to the About section and then they can even message Maggie directly.
This is a way to build leads in a direct fashion since traditional recruitment events are no longer available. Every day, I add at least ten more students through Maggie’s profile to continue getting the name of her university out to her ideal client.
A technique like this could be applied to a variety of industries. LinkedIn lets us find people based on really specific information. If you know the job title of your ideal client, you can find and connect with them on LinkedIn with a landing page profile that makes clear exactly what someone can expect to get from you.
My experiment with Binghamton University is still in the early phases. I’ll be sure to share any measurable results as they come in.
Engagement from LinkedIn Profile
Aside from being able to directly connect with your ideal clients, you can also do more to engage through your personal profile. You can comment on any post that you see, you can engage with the people you just added, and you can share posts just like you would on a company page.
If you can’t tell, I’ve been converted to loving LinkedIn Personal Profiles more than LinkedIn Company Pages.
If you’re a major business or have lots of turn-over, it might not make sense to invest in personal pages. For fields where there’s a more direct relationship, that personal touch is going to make a big difference.