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6 things you should know about LinkedIn Showcase Pages

UnknownIf you hadn’t heard, LinkedIn is removing the ‘Products & Services’ tab from Company Pages on 14 April 2014 with significant implications for companies that have invested time and effort in building their presence on the professional social network. They recommend that firms use their existing Company Pages to update followers on products and services, or use the new Showcase Pages feature.

However, before you rush in to start creating Showcase Pages, here are 6 things you need to know.

1. Showcase Pages might not be the best solution

If your products and services are aimed at different industries, markets or customer segments, then Showcase Pages make a lot of sense. They appear as ‘children’ of the main Company Page, with their own branding, updates and followers. But because they are so separate, they don’t always make sense for smaller single-product or service companies or those that don’t have the resource to manage/maintain them. In my opinion, they’re not really ready for prime time yet either. Let’s hope LinkedIn addresses that before April 14.

2. There’s a limit to the number of Showcase Pages you can have (kind of)

LinkedIn lets Company Page administrators create 10 Showcase Pages. If you want more than that, you have to contact them. And remember you can’t currently delete Showcase Pages you have created – you have to submit a support request.

3. Company Pages and Showcase Pages must be managed and edited independently

Showcase Pages work well when you need to devolve administration to others in the organisation. A Showcase Page is essentially a completely separate Company Page and must be managed and updated separately by multiple different administrators. It also has separate analytics data, so you won’t be able to see aggregated insights.

4. You can’t migrate your followers

You cannot migrate your existing followers to a Showcase Page though, so you will be starting from scratch.

5. Any product/service recommendations you currently have will disappear

Although it isn’t answered specifically in LinkedIn’s FAQs, it would seem that any product/service recommendations will disappear when LinkedIn turns the feature off.

6. The name of your Showcase Page is important

The name you choose for your Showcase Page forms part of its URL and hence has an impact on SEO. All Showcase Page names must also be unique, so you can’t choose a page name that another company is already using.

The social brand value of the world’s biggest brands

I’ve just finished working on a major report for Sociagility, which looks at 50 of the world’s most valuable brands and re-ranks them according to their ‘social brand value’. No prizes for guessing that Google comes out on top, but some quite revealing insight into the others, including:

  • Disney fares pretty well, ranking 2nd overall but being the most consistent performer across all the attributes we evaluated.
  • Way down the ranking at 13th, Johnson & Johnson actually cleans up when it comes to receptiveness – an indicator of the more ’emotional’ side of health care and pharmaceuticals, perhaps?
  • The technology brands in the top 50 – including Apple, BlackBerry, Google and Microsoft – risk a perception of arrogance, having above average popularity scores combined with below average receptiveness scores.
  • Financial services brands (VISA, Goldman Sachs and J P Morgan Chase) are amongst the worst performing brands, but the big surprise is that telecoms brands (Deutsche Telekom, Movistar and China Mobile) are down there too.

A summary report can be downloaded from our website, or you can register to download the full version containing additional data and insight.

PRINT™ links social media performance to brand value

Yesterday, my consultancy launched a solution to some of the more common questions marketers and social media strategists are asking of their organisations’ social media performance:

  • Does our brand’s social footprint add value?
  • Can this be defined and measured in a meaningful way?
  • How can we use this information to make improvements?

We, like many of our clients, have been frustrated by the lack of a practical set of metrics, or even a common measurement framework. The tools we found were too narrow in scope, too vague in their outputs or simply too expensive.

So we set out to develop our own methodology and it is launched today.

It is called PRINT™ because it measures social footprint based on five attributes – popularity, receptiveness, interaction, network reach and trust. We think it has the potential to become a valuable KPI for marketers and social media strategists because it allows brands to compare their social media performance directly with other chosen brands, across multiple channels. And the output is a set of specific actionable insights.

Above all, unlike other public measures of ‘influence’ (e.g. Klout, PeerIndex, etc.) PRINT™ correlates closely with established measures for brand value and growth from respected sources like Millward Brown (BrandZ) and Interbrand.

It comes in three flavours:

  1. PRINT™ Benchmark – a one-off report for £950 (US $1,500)
  2. PRINT™ Annual – a one-off report plus 2 updates over the course of a year for £1,800 (US $2,900)
  3. PRINT™ Tracker – a one-off report plus 11 monthly updates for £4,250 (US $6,800)

There’s more information about PRINT™ available on our site – including a sample scorecard, insight charts, FAQs and a summary of our investigation into the link between the PRINT™ Index and brand value/growth. If you like what you see, please share it.

If you’re already sold and ready to buy, go straight here.

We’re already applying the PRINT™ solution to our own clients, but we’re also keen to investigate different sectors too. So watch out for the Sociagility Social Top 50, our list of the top global brands ranked using PRINT™.

Complete a survey on corporate social media challenges

I’m working on a report for my new consultancy, Sociagility, on the internal and external challenges organisations are facing from social media. It looks at how organisations of different sizes and in different sectors and geographies think they are doing against different challenges, and how important these are.

You can contribute to the research by taking this survey. At the end, you can request to see your own report, benchmarking your organisation against others, and can sign up to have the report emailed to you when it goes live.

At the heart of this research is understanding the importance that organisations place on key contributors towards becoming ‘socially advanced’, and how well different types of companies and markets are performing against these. We feel that it’s critical for anyone responsible for social media initiatives in their organisation to know that they are doing the most important things well, but equally there is little point spending time on effort on things that aren’t important, as this could be better directed elsewhere.

This is where we need your help. In order to survey and benchmark the importance and performance of socially advanced organisations, we need to know how and what you think. We are interested in all different points of view, but especially want to hear from corporate social strategists and senior marketing and communications executives in medium to large companies across the globe.

To get you in the mood, here are some early findings so far (and here’s a bit more of the detail):

  • The biggest gap between importance and performance is in the area of metrics and return of investment.
  • Internal issues rank highly – many organisations rate their own social media policies low on the scale, even though most think they are one of the most important elements of becoming socially advanced.
  • Being true to the brand is becoming an increasingly important characteristic – although many organisations don’t think they are achieving it.

Take the survey here – it consist of just 5 questions that should take no more than 10-15 minutes.

And please spread the word too. We’d like as broad a participation as possible across different organisation sizes, sectors and geographies in order for it to be relevant and valuable to as many of you as possible.

Thanks in advance.

5 reasons to forget about social media ROI

“How do you measure the Return on Investment of social media?”

Sound like a familiar question? Yep, us too. In fact, I’ve often thought it would be easier to measure the ROI of answering that one question than to measure the ROI of social media itself.

Because it’s so difficult? Nope. ROI is one of the easiest calculations in the world. Just divide the financial return you’ve received from social media by the amount you’ve invested in it. And there’s the rub. I’d wager that half of those investing in social media right now can’t quantity the financial return, and the half that can probably don’t know how much they’re investing (hard and soft costs). That’s before you even consider those who can’t do either. And that’s why every conversation I’ve ever been party to about the ROI of social media ends up talking about measuring fans and followers, web traffic and conversions, or influence and reach.

That’s not to say these are bad things to be measuring – right now they may well be the best metrics to track progress against objectives. But let’s not get these confused with ROI.

To help, here are five reasons to stop asking what the ROI of social media is.

» Read the full post on the Sociagility blog


How social are you?

How social are our organisations, really? For anyone tasked with navigating their company through the social quagmire, it’s a question often asked and rarely answered meaningfully.

My consultancy, Sociagility, is hoping to change that with our new social agility benchmark.

By going through the 5-10 minute online assessment (which is completely confidential), you receive an instant response that ranks and categorises you and your organisation against others.

At the end of the assessment, you’ll receive a report that gives you:

  • Your Social Agility Score – an indication of your organisation’s social agility on a 0-10 scale
  • Your Social Agility Profile – an assessment of your organisation’s progress towards social agility
  • A benchmark for how your organisation compares to others
  • Recommendations for how you can improve

Early indications are already showing that the most important factors for organisations trying to achieve competitive advantage from social media include:

  • the ability to change
  • understanding its impact on marketing
  • awareness of what is being said and
  • ensuring that activity reflects the personality of the brand

We’ll be producing a full report in due course, which you can opt in to receive as part of the assessment.

Click here to get your score

From Social Business to Social Agility

Having dismissed the term ‘social business’ as inappropriate a few months ago, it’s with a rather sheepish grin that I write this post introducing the concept on which our new consultancy has hung its hat, boots and all.

In case you hadn’t already worked out the neologism, Sociagility is about helping organisations achieve social agility. Aside from the fact that I like the term ‘agility’ better than ‘business’ (the latter being, according to the inimitable Euan Semple, often mistaken for just busyness), why ‘social agility’..?

Read the rest of this post at:

Independence Day..?

It’s been an odd few months. After 10 years’ loyal service, at the beginning of March I resigned from Hill & Knowlton. Since then I’ve been on gardening leave, which has given me time not only to finish my forthcoming book and spend some time with my family but also to think about what I’d like to do next.

One of the things that has become clear during this time is that, whilst the ‘digerati’ continue to spout forth on everything social, the people that really matter – the brands and organisations being talked about online – are the only ones who can deliver against the authenticity, honesty, transparency mantra that has become the social media norm.

Further, I realised that the agency model that I’d spent the last decade being a part of wasn’t really geared towards truly integrating social media into clients’ businesses and making them the experts.

I therefore decided that – whatever I did – it had to be focused on helping organisations build and sustain their own capabilities in order to succesfully integrate social into their marketing, communications and business strategies – and not to be yet another social ‘expert’ trying to do it for them.

So from today I’m pleased to become part of Sociagility, a new consultancy set up by an ex-colleague to help brands employ the right people, systems and content needed to achieve cost-effective competitive advantage from social technology trends.

You’ll hear much more from me about Sociagility here on this blog, and also on the company’s, but if you want to get a quick idea of what we’re about you can head over to the website, leave a comment here or connect with me on Twitter.