What is this new feature, and how can it benefit company pages?
LinkedIn has introduced Company Page Invites for all business pages, and it can be accessed through your admin page. This feature lets you send invites to your target audience, something similar to asking friends to join groups on Facebook.
Using this approach, companies can now grow their connections easily by sending request for people to follow their page direct to their target audience inboxes. It is aimed to help smaller businesses, with less employees and therefore ability to win follower, to quickly build a following and make posting content to the page worthwhile. Currently small businesses, especially those with just one employee, struggle to win followers and let their audiences know the page is there.
It is good news for all company pages but can this really increase your page’s engagement?
Sending invitations to your connections to boost followers will certainly help you increase your number of followers, but unless you have interesting and useful content very few people are likely to return to the page regularly.
Think about what motivates you to revisit a company page. What is your particular interest in that company and why are you interested in hearing from them? What are you interested in hearing about? What would make you return regularly? Put yourself in your audiences shoes and consider what your audience want to see and why they might come back regularly.
Will it build my influence?
If you’re positioning yourself as a key person of influence and thought-leader, this new feature is fantastic for boosting your perceived popularity and gaining the followers. Before now, it has been a difficult slog to win company page follower, for which the pay off hasn’t compared to the benefits of gaining followers on Twitter and Instagram for example.
For the reasons above, gaining company page followers have been less of priority, and probably not on the agenda for most people, as they have instead favoured gaining direct followers on other platforms where the main focus is their feed, and not a toss up between following a person or a company feed.
Someone who have used their company profile to really build prestigious as an influencer is The Daily Sales author Daniel Disney who chose to invest his time and energies building his profile with a successful LinkedIn Company page. Last week he tipped over 450k LinkedIn followers. For a solo expert entrepreneur, this is some achievement and has most certainly benefited his reputation and career.
Is it worth the effort?
Building up to 450k took a lot of time and a focused effort. Daniel reports that in his early days it was a slow build, but at a certain point the page hit a tipping point and growth became organic.
This is something you’d expect.
A large number of followers is social validation that the page contains something of value. Daniel was dedicated to creating good content and posting it regularly. As his number of followers increased, so did his exposure creating a compound effect, and his numbers increased exponentially.
When choosing which platform to invest your time in, and let’s assume right now that it is LinkedIn since that is the one we are talking about, it’s important to consider your business objectives and where best to focus your time. If you’re going for Influencer status quickly, investing your time in followers is valuable.
However, if you have a different objective, like mine, then followers might not be such a priority. Instead your priority could be on winning lots of quantifiable paid business and doing quality work, and not necessarily building the followers.
For this, you will need to know who is following you on LinkedIn so you can engage with them. If you focus on company followers alone, you leave the fate of your business in the quality of your next post and who engages with it with a Like or Comment, to see your audience. Why? Because on a free account you can not see who is following your company page.
This is different to a personal account where you can easily see who is following you and invite them to connect. In many respects, building up your personal followers and connections is a far greater objective as your opportunity to start a conversation and win a sales appointment is far more likely.
Do you know that people engage 10X more with personal pages?
So should I get inviting people?
Taking the time to invite people to follow your page is important. It is far better to maximise the number of followers you have than ignore it all together and with LinkedIn’s easy-to-use feature, investing 10 minutes a day inviting people from your network to follow your page is worthwhile.
It’s important though to first consider the content you are going to share on you page and begin sharing regularly. As you send invitations, your prospects will be reminded of your business and will check out your page. So make sure you have posted recently (or regularly for a few weeks) before beginning.
Get started posting now
Your company page is also gaining added exposure and you want to be ready. When a person accepts your invitation to connect, the confirmation page will now offer the chance to visit your company page.
Whether they will, will depend on why they are connecting with you in the first place. Not everyone who connects with you will be doing so for your company. People connect for lots of reason, the biggest one being you. If they have connected with you as a person, and are not in your target market, and therefore not interested in what you actually sell or the problem your company solves, we need to be realistic, they aren’t going to follow you back.