How (and why) to upgrade to LinkedIn’s new company pages

A step-by-step guide for social media managers.

On the heels of a home page redesign, LinkedIn has unveiled a new look for company Page. A number of aesthetic changes (and some improved functionality) unites for one purpose: “Simplifying the LinkedIn experience across our core products,” says LinkedIn’s Mike Grishaver.

LinkedIn is urging the administrators of company pages to upgrade to the new design before Nov. 30—at that time LinkedIn will automatically convert pages, which could lead to lost content for companies—however, the social network has not yet indicated when page admins can begin the conversion from old to new.

Regardless, we’ll show you, step by step, how to convert your page.

But first, here’s a brief introduction to the new features.

What’s new with LinkedIn company pages?

LinkedIn is taking a page out of Facebook’s, well, book by giving companies the ability to add a larger banner image at the top of the page—it’s similar in appearance and layout to the Facebook cover photo.

You’ll also notice that company updates have moved to the center of the page, giving page visitors an easier, more prominent opportunity to interact with your content. Also, company pages are now available on LinkedIn’s iPhone, iPad, and Android apps.

The new design includes benefits for companies and their page admins, too. A “more prominent navigation experience” puts increased visual emphasis on products, services, and career opportunities, which gives your business increased opportunities to attract new clients, customers and employees.

Plus, the update stream has been made more relevant, which means you’ll get your company and brand messaging to a targeted audience.

How to convert your LinkedIn company page

To change your page, go to your LinkedIn company page, click “admin tools” and select “Upgrade to new version.”

Your first step is to change your banner image. You can use an existing image or select a new one. Because the image size was increased to 974 x 240 pixels, LinkedIn will give you the option to download your old image, edit it, and re-add it to the page.

If you’d like your banner image to include a click-through link to your website or another destination, select “Provide a click-through URL” under your banner image.

The new page design now includes a company headline and tagline. Simply click each field to insert your content.

If you haven’t yet added job openings to your company page, now is the time. This is the first featured section on the sidebar, so take full advantage of this valuable real estate.

After that step, refine your About page. The space for your company description is now much shorter—you have a maximum of 500 characters as opposed to the previous limit of 3,000. The upside is that you can now include a YouTube video or photo to add a touch of rich media to this section. Space is also allotted for links so you can drive traffic to your website, careers page, and other social networks.

Employee testimonials are now a more prominent part of the new Company Page. You can select two testimonials to feature; keep in mind the space allotted for this information is shorter, too, so you may need to trim your existing content to fit.

Scroll down the page to complete your company’s custom module. It’s similar to the new About section in that you have space to include copy, a video or image, and links to other sites and networks. This is a great place in which to showcase company culture, awards, events, and other relevant information.

Last, but not least, make sure you’ve also migrated your targeted audiences and pages if you’ve already taken advantage of this LinkedIn feature. LinkedIn recommends migrating your default company page first followed by your individual target audiences.

When you’re ready to go, hit “Publish.”

Our only stumbling block so far is that we received an email the other morning asking us to convert our pages, but the option isn’t currently visible on any of the pages with which we work. After filing a support ticket with LinkedIn for more information, we were told that the LinkedIn team does “not have an estimated date for when the new design will be available. It should be within the next month or so.”

Maybe someone hit send on the email from LinkedIn a little early? Still, this gives you a better idea of what’s coming—and gives you time to prepare so you can make a seamless transition.

In the meantime, what do you think of the new company pages? Does the enhanced functionality make you more likely to take advantage of LinkedIn as a recruiting and business development tool?

Shelly Kramer is the CEO of V3 Integrated Marketing. A version of this story first appeared on the V3 blog.

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