LinkedIn announced a Follow Company button today that lets businesses add a LinkedIn follow button to their websites. Although the button itself doesn’t necessarily mark anything new or revolutionary (similarly functioning Twitter follow and Facebook Like buttons are already plastered all over the Internet), the release marks LinkedIn’s determination to keep pace with the rest of the pack.
In fact, recent statistics from comScore Media Matrix show LinkedIn is gaining some serious traction. With 187.4 million monthly visitors, the site is determined to secure a spot as the B-2-B social network of choice. To help it get there it looks like the social media platform is going to roll out a set of serious features to augment their already existing company page updates.
How the LinkedIn Follow Button Works
The LinkedIn Follow Company button can be added to any third party website. When someone clicks the button they will automatically opt in for LinkedIn company updates. These updates will appear in that LinkedIn users’ news stream similarly to how people who Like an organization on Facebook automatically opt in for updates from that Facebook page.
In case you don’t have a company profile yet, you can create a LinkedIn company profile here. All you need is an email address at the company domain (to verify you actually work with that company). Once your LinkedIn Profile is up and running (you can add products, updates, etc), you can easily add the new follow button to gain momentum.
How to Install the New LinkedIn Follow Company Button
Adding the new LinkedIn follow button to your website can be done in three steps.
1. Make sure you are logged into LinkedIn and go to this Developer Page (https://developer.linkedin.com/plugins/follow-company?button-type-count-right=true).
2. Start typing your company name. As soon as you start typing LinkedIn will automatically suggest a list of companies in their database.
3. Choose Horizontal or No Count mode. This determines the look and feel of your button.
4. Click Get Code and a snippet wrapped in <script src=…></script> should appear. Copy and paste that code wherever you want it to appear on your page.
Should I Use the LinkedIn Company Button?
Although it might be difficult to justify yet another button on your site, it’s looking like LinkedIn is positioning themselves for some real gains. Their Company Profile updates aren’t as strong and user friendly as many businesses, but the network does have an edge in the lead generation department (see chart above), as well as some great recent activity. Their latest acquisition of Rapportive for example could create a world in the foreseeable future where LinkedIn profile information is closely tied to our email accounts.
If there ever was a time to bet on LinkedIn, that time is now, so definitely hedge your bet and start building that Company Profile. After all, an opt in is a powerful thing whichever platform you put it on.