Two of the most frequently asked questions I get when it comes to LinkedIn are, “How do I get more followers on my LinkedIn company page?” and “What’s the difference between a LinkedIn company page and a personal profile?”
For those more familiar with Facebook than LinkedIn, the differences between a business page and a personal profile on LinkedIn are similar to the differences between a business page and a personal page on Facebook.
If you are like many people, you may not generate a lot of activity or business with your LinkedIn company page, but that doesn’t mean your business shouldn’t have one.
Your LinkedIn company page will never replace your LinkedIn personal profile in its importance and ability to generate new leads. Still, your business will greatly benefit from having one for several reasons. I explain the reasons in this article.
But first, I want to explain why your personal LinkedIn profile will always be more important.
Why Your LinkedIn Profile Is More Effective Than a LinkedIn Company Page
People connect with people, not logos
When you’re on social media, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or any other social network, do you prefer to interact with a human being or a logo?
People enjoy talking to logos just as much as they do talking to automated message systems. Responses from a logo often feel canned, missing that human element we all desire. (Some companies are an exception to the rule, but very few.)
It is very challenging to “be yourself” when you are acting as your brand. The most memorable experiences people have with businesses typically involve a particular person going above and beyond to address their needs.
LinkedIn company pages are passive, personal profiles are active
The most crippling aspect of LinkedIn company pages is the fact that you are not able to proactively connect with targeted prospects, have one-to-one conversations and develop relationships.
You are 100% dependent on organic interactions (which are minimal) and paid sponsored updates.
Many businesses experienced success using LinkedIn Sponsored Updates, but they can get expensive. Plus, they aren’t enough to justify your company page becoming the cornerstone of your LinkedIn strategy unless you have a huge advertising budget.
The magic has always been with personal profiles and the relationships you develop through them – and that’s not likely to change for a long time, if at all.
Of all the money companies spend on digital marketing, the highest ROI will always come from providing social selling training to the sales team. That’s because the sales reps can connect with prospects and build relationships with them via their personal profiles, which cannot be done through a company page.
LinkedIn personal profiles allow you to be proactive in your outreach
The most successful B2B companies (and individuals) know how to leverage relationship-building in the right ways to meet and exceed their sales goals.
LinkedIn company pages are entirely passive and don’t allow you to increase engagement if it is low on your page.
Personal profiles, on the other hand, give you endless opportunities to find and interact with targeted prospects, drastically increasing engagement, if you’re willing to put in the time.
Through your personal profile, you can:
- Connect with (almost) anyone you want. You can’t send a connection request to prospects through your company page, but you can through your personal profile. It is essential for generating new leads. Of course, you can’t (and shouldn’t) connect with everybody on LinkedIn – you want to be targeted in your outreach, focusing on prospects, clients, referral partners and influencers.
- Send personal messages. You may not speak unless spoken to with company pages. In my opinion, this reduces LinkedIn company pages to merely being a medium for broadcasting content and the occasional promotion. Personal profiles give you the freedom to continually network and build relationships through private messaging with your connections.
- Publish content directly on LinkedIn Publisher. With a company page, although you can share images, videos and links, you cannot publish original content on LinkedIn Publisher, impeding your ability to establish your authority on your topic and build trust.
You still need a LinkedIn company page
Regardless of the drawbacks of a LinkedIn company page I just outlined, it is still worth your while to create one.
But don’t fool yourself into thinking it’s going to be some sort of untapped goldmine of exposure for your brand (unless you spend big money on advertising).
If you manage your expectations, you’ll find that a LinkedIn company page will have its place in your overall LinkedIn marketing efforts.
Below, I explain the benefits of having a LinkedIn company page.
It looks professional
Whether you are a large company or a one-person show, if a potential prospect looks for your company page and doesn’t find it, it will not help your credibility.
That being said, an incomplete or unprofessional looking company page can be equally as harmful. It is essential to create a complete and professional looking LinkedIn Company Page, learn more how to do that here.
No more grey box
Having a completed LinkedIn company page with a proper logo will ensure your company is well represented and looks legitimate on:
- your company page
- your profile
- your employees’ profiles,
- in the search results.
What looks more professional: grey box or logo?
More opportunities to be found
Having a company page provides additional ways for prospects to find you and your content on LinkedIn. This includes company page status updates, job postings and employees’ profiles.
Additionally, your LinkedIn company page is extremely SEO-friendly. Often, your company page will come up high in the search results when someone Googles your company name.
Your employees can be connected to it
Having even only a few employees connected to your company page provides you with increased organic exposure.
Also, your LinkedIn company page becomes a clickable link within the personal profile of each person who works for your company.
Highly targeted LinkedIn advertising
Your company page can post status updates, targeting a specific audience.
To narrow down your audience, use filters in the Target Audience Settings.
To expand the reach of your status updates or your company page in general, you can choose to pay for LinkedIn advertising.
While advertising on LinkedIn can be more expensive than on other social platforms, you can target your ads to people who may not be spending time on other social platforms, such as high-level executives.
With the right LinkedIn advertising campaign, you can get your message in front of key decision-makers, making it a worthwhile investment.
Have both a LinkedIn personal profile and a LinkedIn company page
If you own a business, it is essential to have both a LinkedIn company page and a LinkedIn personal profile.
When you create your company page, set reasonable goals and expectations about its usefulness.
Ultimately, your LinkedIn company page is one more place for potential prospects to learn about your company and ways you can help them overcome their specific problems or challenges.
I hope this was helpful in distinguishing the differences between a LinkedIn company page and a personal profile. If you found this post useful, please share it on LinkedIn.