Tomorrow, LinkedIn would be retiring the Products and Services tab from the Company Pages marketing tool.It was coming. When Showcase Pages was launched last year, it was a prelude to this initiative.When I received the email from LinkedIn, funnily on the 1st of April, at first, I almost dismissed it. But, I could not dismiss the regular beaming message on the Inbound Mantra LinkedIn Company Page.

LinkedIn_Company_pages_Retiring_Products_and_Services

For the record, here is the announcement from LinkedIn about this.

So, what does all this mean for Inbound Marketing professionals?

What should we do, now and going forward?

First things first.

If you have created a strong and powerful "products and services" content tab for your company and clients, take a manual backup of all the content. It should primarily include:-

  • Product / Service description
  • Recommendations

You could also request LinkedIn for a copy of the recommendations on the "products and services" tab. Kindly note, the request to LinkedIn is only for recommendations.Just in case you miss out taking a manual backup, here is the good news. The last date to request LinkedIn for a backup of the recommendations is 30th May 2014. So, Relax !

Should LinkedIn have retired this?

The LinkedIn announcement provided some solid business reasons, why they are retiring "products and services" from LinkedIn Company Pages. The reasons are not unsurprising. What perhaps, has not been openly discussed, is the poor performance of the "products and services" tab. Having managed LinkedIn Company Pages for Inbound Mantra and its clients, our team has seen less than 5% visits on Products and Services compared to overall visits. No doubt, LinkedIn is better off focusing energies on other LinkedIn marketing features.

What I would miss?

Creating Different Personas - A very powerful, but underutilized feature under "products and services" was creating different personas of the "products and services" tab depending on the profile of the visitor. It allowed companies to present a customized call to action and also to promote offers.

The Final Analysis - My Take

LinkedIn has strongly recommended "Showcase Pages" and "Company Updates" as better alternatives. My sense is that LinkedIn could have taken a phased approach to this eventuality. LinkedIn could have experimented with an improved User Interface (UI) for LinkedIn company pages. An improved UI giving more real estate to a company's products and services could have engaged and converted serious traffic.

All is well that ends well.

This blog post is brought to you by Inbound Mantra - a Data Driven Inbound Marketing Agency.