This morning, LinkedIn officially launched their new University Pages feature as part of their LinkedIn for Education program.
We’ve built out my schools page for a few weeks, and having used the backed, they’ve got a long way to go before they meet Facebook’s feature set for brand pages. Here are some quick thoughts on the product and managing these pages.
1. It’s nice to have a built-in audience of “followers,” or people who have went to your school. By LinkedIn’s count, we have 18,828 followers. But I wouldn’t count that metric the same as I’d count Facebook’s “likes.” Facebook likes show a demonstrated interest or intent. LinkedIn’s followers have been added by default, and may not really want to “follow” our institutions.
2. These pages need better URL’s. Maybe big schools like NYU get pretty URLs, but we’ve got https://www.linkedin.com/edu/school?id=19106 for the moment. The ability to have a nicer URL would give us more changes to promote it.
3. LinkedIn needs to improve their post entry functionality. Before launch, I struggled with getting any images to show up along with our posts, though I know images are in there (and again, Facebook sees them with no problem.) Images that go along with posts are a big driver of clicks and interest. Pre-launch, my posts ended up looking like this:
Post-launch, this feature seems to have broken completely. When I add a link, the typical social media link sharing box does not appear. It may just be post-launch server load, but when I post news stories today, this is the screen I get back in response.
I have AdBlocking and all script blocking turned off in my browser, so I’m not sure why I’m not getting the linking functionality and weird errors, unless its overload.
4. Speaking of clicks, I hope LinkedIn builds in some analytics functionality, showing profile views, post views, interactions (beyond “likes”). This type of information will help me decide if this medium is something worth devoting me and my team’s time to.
The fact that we can quickly and easily see all our alumni is good date for IHEs to have. The ability to drill down by area, job, and job type is pretty powerful data.
I think this new network is good for those of us who manage content. I think the type of content we’ll post on LinkedIn will be different from the type of content we post on Facebook. I can imagine us posting less about say, campus events like a speaker, and more about successful alumni, programs of interest and student successes.
Overall, it’s an interesting first step by LinkedIn. I hope they continue to add features and functionality over the coming days, weeks and months, and make this a valuable tool for our alumni, students, prospective students and us marketing folks.