LinkedIn introduced what they call Showcase Pages back in November but they’ve only been available to a select few. Recently, however, it appears that LinkedIn has made them available to anyone, as long as they have a Company page first. LinkedIn suggests using them as an adjunct to your primary Company page so the idea is that if you’re a large company with lots of divisions or product lines, you might want to have one for each division and build a following for each product. Personally, I think it makes more sense to use a Showcase page as your primary page and I’m going to show you why.
For the most part, Company pages and Showcase pages work the same way. You post updates that appear in the followers’ home page feeds where they can click to read the full post as well as Like, Comment and Share, just like they can on personal updates. But, here are a few very important differences, beyond the obvious visual appeal of the Showcase page.
1. If you include some keywords in the Showcase page name it will appear in LinkedIn searches both for the company name as well as for those particular keywords. For example, instead of just naming my Showcase page “Social Identities”, like I did for my company page, I used “Social Media Graphics by Social Identities”. That means my page can be found by people searching for “social identities” but also, and more importantly, for “social media graphics”.
2. Showcase Pages look like the Facebook and Google+ pages everyone is so used to seeing and that makes them feel familiar and I think that makes it more likely you’ll get a Follow.
3. The header banner — LinkedIn calls it the Hero Image — is big and the company logo and Follow buttons are incorporated into the header instead of being slapped awkwardly on the top of the page. The larger image is more impressive and also gives you more room for your marketing message.
4. Updates appear in two columns on the Showcase Page and there is no distracting right column that shows ads and other pages that might be competitors.
5. On the Showcase page the link to your website appears directly below the company/page description and is immediately visible, whereas on the Company Page you need to click “see more” to get to it.
Here are some more examples of LinkedIn Showcase pages:
To get started, visit your LinkedIn company page, click the blue “Edit” button and select “Create a Showcase Page” from the drop down. If you need more in-depth help or ideas download the free guide, The Unoffical Guide to LinkedIn Showcase Pages.
Size your images for Twitter so they look good without clicking to expand. pic.twitter.com/TO0v8gPFvE
— Hugh Briss (@HughBriss) February 16, 2014
You’ve probably noticed by now that Twitter has become more visual, now that images we post on Twitter are shown in the feed without having to click a link. You may have also noticed that the images are not as tall relative to their width as the typical horizontal (landscape) photo is and even if you post a landscape oriented photo, the top and bottom gets cut off. So, I have a couple suggestions.
First, don’t post vertical (portrait) photos and images unless there’s a really good reason because viewers will need to click the “Expand” link to see the whole image. Second, when you post landscape oriented photos and images, size them to 2 x 1 proportions. That means they are exactly twice as wide as they are tall. I like to use 1024 x 512 pixels because when someone clicks the image on the desktop they’ll see a larger version, but anything over 500 pixels wide should be okay.
Do you ever wish you could use more than a measly 140 characters on Twitter? Then check this out. pic.twitter.com/hYwbT1VQLO
— Hugh Briss (@HughBriss) January 19, 2014
Someone sent me a screenshot from their Android Galaxy phone this morning showing the voice commands help page for the Google Now app, (similar to Siri) because they were surprised at the name they saw in the “Send email” example. Someone else then sent me a link to the help page on the web and the same name is there.
Click the image to view at actual size. And lest you think this screenshot is Photoshopped, feel free to take a look at the actual page.
— Hugh Briss (@HughBriss) December 18, 2013
When most people upload an image for a social media network like Google+ or Facebook they usually go by how it looks on their own monitor, but there’s a problem with that approach when it comes to our Google+ cover photos because there are variables that can affect the actual dimensions of the image on the screen. Unlike Facebook, where the image is a fixed size no matter the size of the viewers monitor, Google went with a responsive design and the image shrinks and expands as the monitor size increases. In addition, depending on whether the viewer sees 2 or 3 columns or the bio in the profile box to the left of the cover image is 2 lines or 3, the sides of the image can be cropped. So, even though your fancy new cover looks great to you on your monitor, it may look different to someone on a smaller or larger monitor, or on a mobile app.
Here are some screenshots showing how my Google+ page looks at several popular resolutions as well as on Android and iPhones. You’ll notice that more or less of the overall width is visible, depending on the monitor resolution. Click on any of the images to view at actual size.
1024 x 768
1366 x 768
1600 x 900
1920 x 1080
Android App. Entire image is visible, unlike on an iPhone. Don’t ask me why.
iPhone. Sadly, as you can see, unlike the Android app, the iPhone shows a very small portion of the entire overall image so trying to design something that works on an iPhone is just a compromise I’m not willing to make.
Here’s a template I created that indicates a safe area that will be visible to anyone. I recommend keeping anything important, like text, inside the safe area. To download the template, click the image below and download the full size image that opens. The maximum size for a cover image is 2120 x 1192 but the size recommended by Google is 1080 x 608 and that’s the size I design for.
For those of you with Photoshop, click here to download a layered psd file.
Did you know that every time you update your Page cover it shows up in your fans’ News Feeds? Seems like a great opportunity for marketing, except for one problem. If you’ve added a description for the image it doesn’t show up along with the image in the update like it would when you post a photo normally. Solution? Make sure people know to click the image.
If you add an obvious call to action, like “Click Here” to the cover image, that image suddenly looks just like a banner ad and people are going to click it. When they do, as long as you’ve added some marketing text as the description for that image, it’s going to appear next to it when it opens in the photo viewer, links and all.
It’s not a bad idea to have that call to action visible to everyone who views your Page Timeline, but just in case you’d rather be more subtle, here’s a little trick; just put the CTA in the spot that will be covered by your profile photo. No one will see it when they view your Timeline but it will be there when your fans see the “updated their cover photo” post.
Is your brand rock solid or more like Jello; sort of transparent and a bit wobbly? Is your branding consistent in everything you do? Remember, your brand isn’t just the face on the company but the voice behind it too. If it quivers, people will stop listening. If the face is always changing, people won’t remember who you are.
First, you need to know who you are and why you do what you do, then you need to be able to show people who you are and convince them you’re the best at what you do, and ultimately, you need them to remember who you are and have an almost compulsive need to tell their friends who you are.
Think about your favorite brands and ask yourself if they’re your favorite because their product or service is better than other choices, or because they’re exceptional at branding themselves and building your trust and loyalty? Is Quaker State really better than Pennzoil or Mobil or have they just established a solid and lasting brand that led grandfathers to recommend Quaker State to their sons and daughters who grew up and now recommend Quaker State to their children?
In: Social Media25 Sep 2013
I’m sure we can all agree that the comment system on YouTube is out of control, and has been for a long time, and the primary reason is that anyone can comment (troll and spam) anonymously. So, yesterday, Google announced that they are rolling out a major update and the comments will be tied into Google+ pages. This should cut down on the hate comments and the spam will stop, right? Um… wrong. All they need is an anonymous Google+ page, D’oh!
Yesterday Facebook announced an increase in the size of images for ads which also affect images in status updates when we include a link — either directly or shared. As long as the image that is pulled from the web page or blog post we link to is of sufficient size, it will show full width with the preview title and blurb below rather than next to the image.
This is great news for bloggers and my suggestion is that from now on, when you include an image in your blog post, use one that is horizontal and size it to at least 600 pixels wide. And since most of us don’t typically use an image that large in our blog posts, the trick is to just scale it to the size you want it to appear in the post but upload the image full size. In your post, even though it may only be 200 pixels wide, as long as when someone clicks to view the image itself it’s at least 600 pixels wide it will not appear as a small square but a full size, full width and impressively large image in the viewer’s News Feed.
Yesterday, Google announced the new option to embed Google+ posts, making them the third of the major three social networks to add that capability; Facebook added it a couple weeks ago and Twitter has offered it for about a year. The best thing about embedded posts and tweets is that they retain all the characteristics they have on the network itself and readers can retweet, like, comment, share or +1 them which benefits the person who posted it originally.
As you’ll notice from my three examples below, Facebook’s posts are wider than 500 pixels and for now anyway, there’s no way to format the width so if the column you embed it in isn’t wide enough it may be an issue.
Edit: I just noticed that when I view this post on my mobile phone the Twitter and Facebook posts reformat to fit the width properly but the Google+ post does not.
I'm working on a new app for Google Glass. I don't want to give away too much but it involves x-rays.
— Hugh Briss (@HughBriss) September 2, 2013
Copyright © 2013 HughBriss.com
Hugh Briss is the owner of Social Identities.