So far, LinkedIn has about 350 million users, 4 million company pages, and 2.1 million groups worldwide making it a strong platform for business across industries. This vast number enables users to expand their professional connections and knowledge.
In a study by LinkedIn advocate Wayne Breitbarth in 2014, users were asked “which of the following LinkedIn features have you found to be helpful?”: “who’s viewed your profile” feature ranked as the most helpful with 75.7%, being able to send direct message to first-level connections ranked 2nd with 50.2%, and advanced people searching, 3rd with 43.3%. 45.3% of users search for companies while only 26.4% look for people in groups. These statistics may also be true not only for people building connections, but for those looking for jobs on LinkedIn too. According to statistics, an average of 2 people join LinkedIn every second, building more people professional profiles available. This goes to the question, if LinkedIn is a progressing business-oriented channel for social media users, what do users prefer when networking with people: personal profiles or company pages?
Company pages are a great way to introduce your business, streamline your company posts, and assemble your company followers. It allows someone to run sponsored updates to promote best posts. But It takes hard work to be successful in marketing your brand through company pages than a personal profile. The challenge starts with attracting your target market to hit the “follow” button. But there are limitations with using company pages such as not being able to join groups and edit posts. Using company pages limit what you can tell people as you can’t be yourself. You have to talk as if you are the brand.
But with personal profiles, you can do even more.
Personal profiles on LinkedIn easily allow users to personally interact with professionals and key people in the industry. It also allows users to be proactive by sending inmails, giving recommendations, adding and endorsing skills, following company pages, joining groups, following influencers and reading blog posts. In a nutshell, personal profiles on LinkedIn provide a better platform and a sight to showcase one’s work contributions, roles in a company, volunteering experiences, and employment history as a whole. It is similar to an online CV in a social media platform enabling professionals to converse about business and building connections. Even job seekers leverage LinkedIn profiles to attract HR professionals. They use the feature of searching people, title and groups in looking for connections to find jobs. The same way, recruiters also use LinkedIn profiles as valuable and convenient tools in browsing potential candidates.
When promoting your brand to hire the best talents, employer brand strategist Lars Schmidt suggests you can involve your people in recruiting by encouraging them to post the company’s cultures, exciting projects they’re working on and their expertise in the field. That said, more people look into personal profiles in referring to prospective companies rather than getting into company pages.
Man Vs Brand
So which is better for business, personal profiles or company pages? Consider this a trust issue: Who would you instantly add as a connection on LinkedIn - a company profile of the same industry as yours but you’re not very familiar with, using the company logo as the image or a General Manager of a company you’re not familiar with but in the same industry as yours, with whom you share similar connections? Let’s face it, people want to communicate with real people and not with brands. They want to be assured that they’re talking to a real person, even if it’s a few people behind one personal account, as opposed to several people hiding behind a logo.
Even if your brand is multinational and is known all over the world, if you connect by using its name, the possibility of building relationships with other people will be low. People may think it’s either an aggressive means to market the brand. But if you give a face to the name, they may learn to trust it more.
About the Author:
PEEPO is a Client Experience Associate at Beepo, an outsourcing and offshoring company located in Clark Freeport Zone, Philippines. He earned a Bachelor's Degree in Communication Major in Advertising and Public Relations at Holy Angel University in 2009. Peepo joined the Team in 2015, working on Beepo’s marketing and content development. He also works on client accounts developing marketing programs that deliver traffic, leads and help drive sales.
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