What Your LinkedIn Company Page Says About You

You can infer a lot from how a company presents themselves on LinkedIn via their Company Page.
There are five “classes” of company pages, and which class you are in sends the perceptive LinkedIn user signals about your company.
Steerage class: no LinkedIn company page at all
A company with no company page presence on LinkedIn is one that doesn’t understand what LinkedIn is, and quite frankly, doesn’t care. Even a static company page only takes twenty minutes to set up (including photos and logos) and constitutes free advertising.
What conclusion would you draw about someone who doesn’t care about free advertising?
Tourist class: skeleton LinkedIn company page
Companies with skeleton pages also don’t “get” LinkedIn. These companies provide the boilerplate information LinkedIn asks for – a description of what the company does, where it is, what industry it is in, how many employees – and that’s it. Boring and old school, these types of pages look pathetic next to peers that are using  LinkedIn company pages to actively market their products and services.
Middle class: good looking page, but static and still boring
These pages look sharp, but never change. In other words, the company doesn’t use status updates. These types of pages are usually a sign that the company in question has low or no staff devoted to marketing, sales support, or inside sales.
When I am working with my customers and we see they are competing against companies with pages like those above, I start getting excited.
Second class: good looking pages with posts
This is the level where LinkedIn company pages can start to have a positive effect for a company. However, many of these second class companies make the classic mistake of using status updates as naked sales come-ons such as specials and limited time offers. These companies are so close to having it all, but their aim is way off. Blanket sales pitches are hilariously ineffective, as LinkedIn users will come back to the company page a couple times, see that it is just an advertising channel, and don’t come back again.
First class: good looking pages with regular posts that provide value
This is where a company is firing on all cylinders. The company publishes regular status updates that provide value to their prospective customers. Their followers see this and keep coming back for more. The company becomes a resource to the prospect.  When the prospect is in the market for the company’s products or services, the first class company is a natural to be invited to participate. Note that by this time though, the first class company will have likely offered an ebook or a success story or a webinar, will already have the prospect’s email address, and will likely already know the prospect and be well positioned to compete for their business.
So, be first class. It takes work, yes, but not as much as you would think, and the rewards are more than worth the effort. And sure beats competing on price like the lower classes.