Today was a very exciting day in the land of LinkedIn. This morning was Connect 11; LinkedIn’s marketing conference during Advertising Week 8. The focus – brand engagement on LinkedIn. The big announcement – we can now make status updates from our Company Pages to communicate with our Followers.

Over the last many months, LinkedIn has quietly been adding new and amazing functionality to the Company Pages that few people have noticed. And, until now, LinkedIn hasn’t been screaming from mountain tops to tell people. Well, I’ve been telling people about it, but all I’ve been getting back are questioning stares because people seem to have a hard time believing that LinkedIn Company Pages are good for anything but seeing who just got fired. Maybe now they’ll believe me!

By now, you may be asking yourself what’s so special about these LinkedIn Company Pages. Let me tell you!

First, you can list up to 25 products and services. Each product or service gets it’s own page with it’s own description, it’s own link and even it’s own YouTube video. Most importantly, your clients can RECOMMEND that specific product or service and share a testimonial about why others would want to buy it.

Second, the recommendations don’t “live” only on LinkedIn. If you go to their Developers Tools (found in the footer), you can get html code to transport those recommendations back to your website. The recommendation button will tell your website visitors how many times that product or service has been recommended and will link them back to your Company Page to read the recommendations or even write one themselves. Of course, when they write the recommendation, a status update goes out into their network’s news feed telling everyone that they have recommended your product with a link to check it out themselves.

Third, if you have more than five products or services on your LinkedIn Company Page and more than one target audience, you can customize which five products and services the different target audiences see first when they land on your Company Page. Also, you can have three linked graphical banners above those featured products and services and select which banner each target audience sees.

But wait! There’s more! LinkedIn has even built in analytics to let you know how many people are visiting your page, if they’re engaging and how the activity on your Company Page stacks up to your competition.

So, what’s the key to success with a LinkedIn Company Page? Followers! In an interview just before the start of Advertising Week 8, SVP of Global Sales Mike Gamson highly encouraged companies and brands to start gathering their Company Page followers now – while it’s cheap! Mr. Gamson predicted that we won’t see a Facebook phenomenon with every member following lots of different Company Pages. The average LinkedIn member is going to be more discriminating in who they choose to follow and will likely not follow very many Company Pages. So it will likely take a lot more effort and advertising dollars to get someone to switch from following your competitor to following you.

So, what are you waiting for? Get that LinkedIn Company Page completely optimized! Too busy? The LinkedIn Ninja can help out! Check out our LinkedIn Company Page building services.

What creative ways can you think of to use the new Company Pages? My first big strategy is to begin offering a FREE LinkedIn Company Page or LinkedIn Personal Profile makeover to one Crystal Clear Buzz Company Page follower every month! The winner will be selected on the last day of the month. So, FOLLOW NOW for your chance to be selected!