With over 260 million active users every month, brands of all shapes and sizes have no excuse for ignoring the professional social platform LinkedIn. That being said, it’s important to understand the different means of engagement that LinkedIn offers. Whether just starting out or a power-user, one key area seems to mystify many on LinkedIn; pages versus groups. Choosing the right one for your brand can mean all the difference for growing followers.
LinkedIn currently hosts over 26 million companies, and many of them no doubt asked the same question we’re about to when first creating their company presence. “Should we choose a page or set up a group?” This might sound easy but I’ve spent enough time and seen enough examples during my stay on LinkedIn to know that it’s not.
The Difference Between LinkedIn Groups and Company Pages
So, which is it?
It’s important to understand the purpose of each choice.
Groups are meant to serve as a public forum. Anyone can request to join a group and, once approved, can post anything they want. You might see the problem with this right away. While groups provide a vital space for open discussion, that’s not always the healthiest option for a brand. Limited moderation tools mean that steering the content is nearly impossible. There’s nothing stopping these groups from snowballing into thousands of users; some of which are well-disguised bots that, once approved, can post anything just like anyone else.
A good example of this was on a group I moderated with a niche following. The same issue developed every day. A brand new article published on the company’s site and, upon preparing an announcement for the group, I would notice dozens of spam posts that had accumulated the day before.
LinkedIn Company Pages
On the other side of the spectrum, pages serve as an official brand platform within LinkedIn. Only those that are granted permission can post new content, while maintaining the ability for followers to engage through commenting, liking, and sharing. Pages provide analytics for new visitors, post impressions, follower growth, and even analytics for each individual post.
The networking capabilities shine on a company page, and that’s what social is all about after all. The ability to tag individuals as well as other company pages opens up a realm of new possibilities. With groups, only individuals can be tagged, meaning that collaboration or sharing with other companies is limited.
Pages also offer a wide variety of customization, ranging from small to vital. Custom banners appear at the top of the page. Admins can assign hashtags for the page that help potential followers discover the brand. And you can change the image, title, or description of links that you share.
Unless there is a security breach, logging on for the day will never result in precious time being wasted on moderation.
A Hybrid Solution
The correct answer to our question is that any respectable brand will have a company page. Brands with time and resources will then find a way to incorporate groups as a secondary means of growing their following.