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 vs. a personal profile?”
For those that are more familiar with Facebook than LinkedIn, the differences between a business page and a personal profile on Facebook are similar to LinkedIn. 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 that your business shouldn’t have one.
Your LinkedIn Company Page will never replace your LinkedIn personal profile in importance and the ability to generate new leads. This being said, there several reasons why your business will greatly benefit from having one, which I will expand on 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 like talking to logos just as much as they enjoy talking to automated message systems when calling their cell phone provider. It’s missing that human element we are desire.
Often it feels that every word that comes from a logo has that canned feeling that lacks human authenticity. (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 experiences with businesses that are most memorable are the ones that involve a particular person going above and beyond for you.
LinkedIn Company Pages are Passive, Personal Profiles are Active
The most crippling aspect of LinkedIn Company Pages is the fact that you aren’t able to proactively connect with targeted prospects, have one to one conversations, and develop relationships.
You are 100% dependent on the interactions that come to you organically (which are minimal) and with paid sponsored updates. Many businesses are successful with using LinkedIn Sponsored Updates, but they can get expensive, and they aren’t enough to justify Company Pages 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 there – and that’s likely not going to change for a long time (if at all).
Of all of the money, companies spend on digital marketing, the highest ROI will always come from providing social selling training for the sales team because the sales reps can connect with prospects and build relationships with them via their personal profile. That 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 create results when engagement is low on your page. Personal profiles, on the other hand, give you endless opportunities to find and interact with targeted prospects, if you’re willing to put in the time.
- Connect With (Almost) Anyone You Want. You can’t send a connection request to prospects as your Company Page, but with your personal profile, this is an essential function to generating new leads. Of course, you can’t (and shouldn’t) connect with everybodyon LinkedIn – you want to be targeted in your outreach and focus on prospects, clients, referral partners, and influencers.
- Send Personal Messages. You may not speak unless spoken to with Company Pages. In my opinion, this limits the abilities of LinkedIn Company Pages to merely 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 to LinkedIn Publisher. While you can share updates in the form of images, videos, and links, you cannot publish original content on LinkedIn Publisher with a Company Page, which helps you to establish your authority on a topic and build trust.
Regardless, You Need a LinkedIn Company Page, Here’s Why
It is worthwhile to create a LinkedIn Company Page, 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 LinkedIn Company Pages will have their place in the overall spectrum of your LinkedIn marketing efforts.
Here are some of reasons and benefits as to why you should have one for your company.
It looks professional.
Whether you are a large company or a one-man show, if a potential prospect, customer or connection wants to learn more about your company and they can’t find it when they search, this will not instill trust or establish your credibility in your industry.
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 that your company is well represented and looks legitimate on your company page itself, and on both your own and your employees’ profile pages, or anywhere else it happens to show up in the search results.
What looks more professional?
Grey box or no grey box?
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.
This provides you with increased organic exposure, even if you only have a few employees. Also, your LinkedIn Company Page becomes a clickable link within the personal profiles of each person that works for your company.
LinkedIn advertising with highly targeted audiences.
When posting a company page status update, LinkedIn allows you to target a specific audience.
There are many helpful filters you can choose 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 other social platforms, you are able to highly target your ads to people that may not be spending time on other social platforms, such as high-level executives. Getting your message in front of key decision makers could make it a worthy investment if you set up the right LinkedIn advertising campaign.
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 as well as a LinkedIn personal profile.
When you create your company page, be sure to set reasonable goals or expectations about what it will help your business to achieve. Ultimately, your LinkedIn Company Page is one more place for potential prospects to learn more about your company and how you can help them overcome their specific problems or challenges.
I hope this was helpful in distinguishing the differences between a LinkedIn Company Page vs. a personal profile. If you found this post useful please share it on LinkedIn.