Last week, we talked about how you can follow companies on LinkedIn (and why you would want to!). Today, we’ll chat about creating and maintaining a company page. Attorneys, your firm may already have a company page, so make sure to check this out first – this may be something that your marketing department is handling.

We already have a company page for the ILN, so I won’t be creating a new one of those.  But I am in the process of launching a new website for my photographic services, so now is a good time to start a company page for that. 

To do that, we’ll begin by going to the main Companies page, as we did in the previous post, by clicking on "Companies" in the menu.  From this page, we’re going to click on "Add a Company" in the right hand corner.

That brings us to this page: 

As you can see, only current employees are eligible to create a company page – but as I’m sure you can imagine, someone could falsify this if they really wanted to.  For that reason, it’s a good idea to secure your online real estate, so to speak, and make sure that your firm is directing any messages being put forth from company pages.  As added security though, LinkedIn does require that the email address entered be from a domain name registered to the company and the email must be included on your LinkedIn profile. 

I’ll fill in this information, click the check box to verify that I’m an official representative, and click "continue."

Once you do that, you’ll be alerted that an email confirmation has been sent to the email address associated with the company and further instructions await you in there.  The email will look something like this: 

 

As you can see from the email, I’m required to click the link within in order to confirm my address and finish creating the company page.  The reason for this is to avoid anyone creating pages with fake email addresses.  I can either click the first link – where it says "click here" or I can click the full link below that (or paste it into my browser if I want to).

So we’ll click the link and it takes us to a page like this on LinkedIn:

 

This page will give you specific instructions on what to do, and what happens next. I’ll click "Confirm" and it takes me to my login page.  I login with my primary email address (not the address I’m adding above, but for you, it will be in most cases).  I’m then redirected to my company editing page, where it’s confirmed that the company has been created on LinkedIn.

 

From here, we have a lot of options to work on to create a full and complete company page – and we want to do that so we look social media savvy and anyone coming to this page will get the fullest picture. We’ll start at the top left and work our way down and over.

The first part allows us to optimize our overview page description for other languages. This will be especially useful to those of you outside the United States, for whom English isn’t your first language. Again, LinkedIn is limited in the languages they are currently permitting, but they are expanding on this all the time as they grow.  

Since English is my native language, I’ll just leave this set to "English." 

The next section is a setting for who can administer the page.  This is particularly important in terms of controlling any edits.  If everything should be going through the marketing department or marketing committee, then you should click the radio button for "designated users only." This will ensure that only those that you want to edit the page can edit it – otherwise everyone from associates to assistants up through the managing partner can make changes to the company page. 

I’m the only employee of Lindsay Griffiths Photography, so I’ll also change this to designated users only.  You’ll notice that when you do this, a box opens below that allows you to manage the administrators for this page.  LinkedIn lets you know that you must be connected to someone in order to designate them as an admin.

 

To add an admin, you start typing the person’s name in the text box above as indicated.  As you start to type, anyone with those letters in their name will come up in a list underneath (if you’re connected to them) – we’ve seen this before when adding and searching for contacts and companies.  To add them, you can then click on the name you want to add and they’ll be placed in the box below, as I have done with myself.  

In the future, you can manage these people by clicking the "x" if you want to remove them – if someone changes jobs for example, you’ll want to remove them as an administrator of your page. 

The next section allows you to add your logo – adding your logo to your company page is much like adding a photo of yourself to your profile – it’s a necessity.  You want people to associate the company with your logo, so including this is very important.

You can see that you have the option to add your standard logo – this will be a rectangle and the full size logo that appears on your company page – and a square logo – this is what’s used in the network updates throughout LinkedIn.  You’ll want to do both.  In my case, I don’t have a formal logo as of yet, but I’m using a photo throughout all of my materials that I’ll include here as well.

To add a logo, I’ll click the "Add logo" link beneath each of the options. From here, a new box pops up that allows me to browse to the file I want to use. I’m notified that the image I choose will be resized to the dimensions listed above (100×60 pixels for the standards logo and 50×50 pixels for the square logo), so I may want to make sure that my picture is formatted for this – I won’t go into doing that here, because there are so many different ways, programs and platforms to use that it gets overwhelming.  If you’d like assistance in resizing a photo, you can contact me directly and I’d be happy to help.

Note also that the maximum size of a file you can upload is 2MB, so you want to check that your file is small enough before uploading.  Many design files come in various sizes, so you will probably have a small jpg file that would be suitable. 

Once you’ve uploaded your logos, the next step is to add a company description. I like to keep this consistent across platforms and marketing materials, so I’ll include the shortened version of what is on our website – I keep a "web version" of my marketing materials on file, so that I can pull from this or our website directly whenever I want the blurb that we use for this.  Similarly, here, I’ll use the blurb I have on my photography website: 

 

The next section invites me to specify my company’s specialties.  For firms, this would be practice areas and industries.  LinkedIn gives you four boxes to start with, but you can click to add more if you’d like: 

The next two sections enable you to add the twitter id for your company, if there is one, and your company’s RSS feed, again if there is one.  Since I use my Twitter id for personal and professional reasons, I’ll include that here, along with the RSS feed from my photography blog. 

 

Let’s note two things here – one is that unfortunately, you can not save your progress without inputting all of the required fields first.  So if you’re likely to have to walk away from this in the middle, you may want to first create a word document with all of this information, so that if you have to re-input it, it’s a bit easier.  The second is that not everything here is required – those things with a red asterisk must be filled in, but everything else is optional.  We’re filling in most everything because the more complete the company profile, the more valuable it is for you and your firm (that’s true of your personal profiles too!).

The bottom item on this side of the page is deciding whether you’ll show news about your company in your news feed or not.  My default on this would be yes, unless your firm tends to get a lot of negative press for one reason or another. You may go through a period of negative press – I think we all do – so if that’s the case, you can always turn this off temporarily. It defaults to "show news about my company,’ so keep that in mind. 

 

There are still more fields to fill in and options to choose – next, we’ll head up to the right side of the page, where there is a column requiring still more information.  The majority of this is required information, so make sure to fill it in.  

The first is the type of company – this ranges from public to self-owned/employed, with all the variations in between, so choose the one that best fits your firm.  The next is the size of the company, from "myself only" through "10,000 +" people.  For me, this is myself only, so that’s what I’ll leave it at.  Next, I include the URL for my website, choose the main industry for the company and it’s operating status and put in the only optional thing here – the year founded: 

The last thing we need to do here is add physical locations.  You can add up to five different locations – I know for some firms, this is not a long enough list, so you’ll want to make sure to include them in your company description and perhaps just put the headquarters location so that you don’t make any of the other offices feel left out. 

For each location, you’ll add a description (i.e. "headquarters" or "main office"), the address, phone and fax numbers, and how many employees are located in that location. Note that this is also optional, so if you’d like to be considered worldwide and not local, you can just leave this blank.  Since I’m running my photography business from my home and not a studio, I’d rather not publicize my address, so I’ll leave it blank. 

Once you’re comfortable with all of the information you’ve included in here, you can scroll back up to the top and click "Publish," to make the information public.  

It will then automatically take you to your overview page: 

Don’t worry – although you as an administrator of the page can see who edited the page last, and when, this is not public. So people viewing your page won’t know if it’s a bit out of date. That being said, you do want to make sure to maintain this page periodically (perhaps quarterly) to keep it from being too stagnant.  

Let’s talk about a few other things now that we’ve created the basic profile.  We’ll first look at the admin tools that they offer by clicking on the button on the upper right hand side of our company page. 

From here, I have the option to edit the page, delete the page, or promote my company.  Editing will bring you back to the page that we just filled in, allowing you to make any necessary changes.  Deleting is self-explanatory, so we’ll say a few words about promoting your page. 

LinkedIn recently came out with advertising within their site, similar to Facebook advertising.  If you’d like to advertise your company through LinkedIn, this is the way to do it.  As a marketer, I’m loathe to recommend any advertising unless it’s a part of your overall marketing strategy, so make sure that this fits in with your strategic plan and budget for the year – know what you want out of it.  

We won’t go into detail as to how you can use LinkedIn Ads, but just know that they are there if you would like to use them. 

From this main page, you can also follow the company – and yes, even as the administrator, I highly recommend you do this, so you can see if anything funny seems to come up. And you can "share" the company, as we talked about in the last post, which allows you to post it to your updates. This is a good idea too, since it will alert your connections that you have a company page that they may want to follow. 

There are also additional tabs to explore: 

We’ll click on Careers next: 

As you can see, the Careers section of the company page allows you to post any job openings at your company – the reasons for using LinkedIn to do this are included above.  If you’d like to post a job, you can click the "post a job" button.

You can also upgrade your page to become a premium business – this will differentiate your business in a number of ways and help deliver a custom experience.  Since this is an upgrade, there is an additional associated costs, but it may be worth researching depending on what your goals for LinkedIn are.  There are buttons that allow you to contact LinkedIn about this service, as well as learn more about it. 

The next tab is "Products & Services:"

This is a recent feature of LinkedIn company page, and a particularly valuable one.  Using products and services, as we saw in the last post, allows you to get recommendations from your customers – you add your products or services, and customers can recommend these products, and the buzz from this can really benefit your business.  

This can be a bit difficult for law firms, since attorneys tend to work more as individual practitioners grouped together under one firm umbrella, but for firms that have teams that work together, or services like e-discovery document oversight, this can be especially beneficial.  This can also really set your law firm apart, since not many will practice law in that way. 

To add a product or service, you would click the button, which takes you to a new page: 

Again, LinkedIn does a great job of taking you through this step by step, so it’s a fairly simple process.  First, we choose whether we’re adding a product or service.  I’m adding a service, which will be the case for most law firms as well.

The second step is to select a category – legal is included as one of the choices here.  I’m choosing "other" since there aren’t any photographic options in the list.

The third step is to name the product or service.  At the point at which you’re adding this, it’s likely that it’s a well-defined service within your firm.  I’m including "Children’s Photography" here.  You can also choose an image to represent the product or service. If you have a separate logo for that service, this is a good time to use it. 

In step five, you’ll describe your service and in step six, list key features (features are in a bulleted list): 

 

And this is where you can add your disclaimer as well! We all know how the bar rules love to require attorneys (and even non-attorney employees of law firms!) to have disclaimers!

Step seven allows you to add a URL for that particular product, if you have one – again, this is the case of anything with a red asterisk being required, but everything else is optional. 

Step eight enables you to designate a contact from the company to handle that product – that way, if there is someone who is the head of the team handling e-discovery, they should be noted here. Again, this can only be people that you are connected to on LinkedIn, so make sure you’re well-connected if you’re going to be managing this!

Step nine would allow you to add a promotion for this product or service if you have a special offer – my assumption is that this will be few and far between for law firms, but periodically this may come in handy. And finally, steps 10 and 11 allow you to add a YouTube video to your product or service – if your firm is doing YouTube video instructions on the product or service, this would be an excellent place to include it!

From here, similar to the main company page, you would again scroll up to the top to click "Publish." That will automatically bring you to the product or service overview page: 

You’ll note that there’s no photo included – there seems to be some difficulties in uploading images today (I can upload them, but they don’t appear), so just imagine that this is working for now! 

From here, you can click the "Request recommendations" to ask for people in your LinkedIn network to recommend this particular product or service. This will open a new window that will give you a pre-defined email where you can add your contacts to request recommendations: 

The text box at the top allows you to add people in your network that you’d like to, and then you can switch the email address that you’re sending from to another associated with your account.  Since I’m not asking for recommendations for an ILN product, I’ll switch this to my photography email address. 

You can personalize the email body as much as you would like, then when you’re ready, click "send message" to send the requests. 

To add additional services, you can click again on the "Products & Services" tab, and use the Admin tools as we would for them main company page, but for products and services to repeat the process. 

The final tab won’t be of much interest at the outset of creating a page, but it will as your page grows and develops – this is Analytics.  Click on that tab to get a sense of the statistics about your company.  For the purposes of this tutorial, I’ll switch over to the ILN’s company page, so you can see some more well-established analytics: 

 

At the top, we can see page views and unique visitors – the blue line indicates the number of views and visitors by month to your company page, while the dark green line shows you similar companies – this is helpful in getting a sense of how you stack up against your competitors. 

At the top of each of these graphs, you can see that while this is showing you total page views, you could also filter this by who has viewed the overview page, the careers page, and the products & services page. 

The next graph is click on the products & services that you have listed – we don’t have any listed for the ILN, so we won’t look at this graph. 

Following that, we can see the LinkedIn members who are "following" the ILN, as well as their job functions: 

As you can see, the number of members following the ILN has steadily risen over the past year, and 100% of the visitors to this page are within the law practice and legal services industries.  Note that above that graph, we could also look at this by job function and by company. This can be particularly useful so that you can see how many senior people are viewing the page and whether your decision makers are really the ones viewing it. It’s also interesting to see which companies are viewing your page the most, or have the most employees visiting your page – they may offer a good business development opportunity. 

Tomorrow, we’ll wrap up our in-depth look at LinkedIn before we jump into the next social media platform. Please let me know if you have any questions and I’m happy to answer them before we move on!