This post was first published on the Social Tribe blog.Action required: LinkedIn Showcase Pages names are first come first served, so grab yours now before it's too late

Earlier this year, LinkedIn retired the Products and Services tab from Company Pages, suggesting Showcase Pages as replacements.

Faced with yet another change in this constantly evolving platform, it is tempting to defer action on this. However, here are two compelling reasons to take immediate action and some tips to ease the way:

Reasons to Act Now

1. You have until 30th May 2014 to request a copy of the recommendations you have received for your product and services.

2. The Showcase Pages URLs are created on a first come, first served basis and impact page title, so snag yours now before it is taken.

Will the Showcase Pages be replaced or changed in time? Possibly, but for now, with 300,000,000 users focused on learning, engaging and conducting business on LinkedIn, why risk missing this opportunity?

Showcase Pages

There is plenty of information available on how to set up and manage Showcase Pages. Here are some less obvious details:

Showcase Page URL Format

At the moment, Showcase Page URL format is as follows:

As the URLs do not contain your company name, we are all competing for the same keyword-rich, snappy URLs. Why should we care about this?

Well, we all love clear URLs, but the real issue here is that this impacts your Showcase Page title: if the URL is not available, then you need to change title.

For example, if you want to name your Showcase Page ‘Social Media’ this will not be possible, as is already taken:

LinkedIn Showcase Pages name not available problem

LinkedIn Showcase Page title may not be available

Check out the relatively small organisations that have snagged these neat URLs:

Showcase Pages Cannot Be Deleted

Yes, you read that correctly. If you, as admin for your Company Page, create a Showcase Page, you do not have permission to delete it.

You can request to have it deactivated, but the URL may not be reused and you may request to have it reactivated in future. This has caused consternation among LinkedIn users, but coupled with the preceding point it looks like an opportunity to get your URL, even if you decide not to publish immediately.

Showcase Page Limits

You can create up to ten Showcase Pages for each Company Page, but no more than two in any twenty-four hours. Good to know if you are planning to set time aside to create them all at once.

Showcase Pages displayed in LinkedIn search results

Showcase Pages displayed in LinkedIn search results

Features of Products/Services Tabs vs Showcase Pages

Your Company Page followers are not migrated, so an audience must be grown for each Showcase Page. Here are some other comparisons:

Feature Products/Services tabs Showcase Pages
Unique URL Yes Yes
Post / sponsor updates No Yes
Displayed in search results No Yes
Followers N/A Unique for each page
Administrators Company Page admin Assign per page, does not have to be company employee
Community management Recommendations received, no management required Manage updates, comments
Header image 640 x 220 pixels “Hero image”  974 x 330 pixels min
Page layout One column Two column
Page / product / service title Max 100 characters Max 100 characters
Description Max 2,000 characters Max 200 characters
Recommendations Yes No
YouTube video Yes No
Associated contact employee Yes No
Associated LinkedIn groups No Yes

Action Points

1. Request a Copy of Product / Service Recommendations

If you had received recommendations for your Products and Services, a copy of these may be requested here until Friday 30th May. It is unclear how or if these may be deployed in future, but better to have them on file.

2. Create Showcase Pages for Key Products, Services or Initiatives

Go to your Company Page > Edit > Create a Showcase Page and grab those titles and URLs now in case you want to develop the pages later.  Save the URL of the unpublished Showcase Page to complete later.

Have you decided to integrate Showcase Pages in your digital marketing strategy? Let us know your challenges and successes in the comments.

I am a digital marketer who has recently returned home to Ireland, following a two-year stint working in Silicon Valley, California. I am an avid traveller, reader and oenophile, always happy to connect with new people, online and IRL. All content (c) Karen Henry 2010-2016