LinkedIn goes corporate

LinkedIn officially launched their new company pages, built from their database of information entered by individual members, providing even more opportunities for SEO and Web marketing to members and businesses.

So, the other day I posted about how you can fit LinkedIn into your SEO and Web marketing mix through optimizing the links within your profile as well as linking back to your public LinkedIn profile, participating on LinkedIn Answers, and optimizing member profiles. Of course LinkedIn is built around individual members, so business interaction is very individual to individual ... there's something kind of nice about this, more personal feel.

Conceptual LinkedIn Company Pages.
Conceptual LinkedIn Company Pages.

LinkedIn had been experimenting with a Company Pages directory {see right as it is no longer on the site} and a few Company Profile pages, like the one for Apple {see below as it is no longer on the site}. This was an exciting find and the potential of this new feature was even more exciting to ponder. But ponder no more as LinkedIn has just launched the beta for their new company pages, with promises of much more to come, which you can get a little more background from the engineering side and the product management side. This development really brings in a whole other layer to LinkedIn and what can be done. You could search before based on company information with sometimes hit or miss results, but this integration not only takes that extra work and effort out of the equation, but serves up the information with a bow on it with an amalgamation of new and different information.

Apple Computer, conceptual alpha version company page.
Apple Computer, conceptual alpha version company page.
New Apple Computer company page.
New Apple Computer company page.

LinkedIn was already proving to be an important social media opportunity for businesses to explore, but this makes it a no-brainer for reputation management, brand development, as well as marketing, lead generation and sales. It will really be interesting to see if they bring in more of the departmental breakout like they had on what I assume was the conceptual, alpha-level pages.

So what can you start to do right now to tap the extra value? Along with the important things I mentioned before, now more than ever, focus on building up multiple connections with leading companies within your industry to influence their inclusion under the "... most connected to" within the "Related Companies" section in the right-hand sidebar.

Right now, it appears that these pages are only available to other members when they are logged in though. Perhaps going forward they'll open these up, or a trimmed down version to the public and the search engines. Kudos to the LinkedIn team on continuing to add real, useful features. My colleague Chris Smith has a some ideas on improving the new homepage layout that I think would be pretty good as well.

If you are logged into LinkedIn, you can compare and contrast the Apple company page, to Netconcepts, and CNET's.

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