As the saying goes for LinkedIn (News - Alert), “relationships matter,” and the social networking website for professionals isn’t stopping short at networking.
LinkedIn’s 80 million members use the website to keep in touch with business contacts as well as network and “connect” with others. Now, with a newly launched feature, users can get insights and reviews of products and services from the professionals they trust and relate to the most.
The new recommendations service, called Company Pages, will allow LinkedIn members to publish reviews of products and services linked to their professional profiles. This new functionality, which gives LinkedIn professionals access to insight from other professionals in the network, will be unveiled today at LinkedIn’s annual marketing and advertising event in New York.
The new program was created in hopes of pumping up LinkedIn’s marketing business, which drives about one-third of the company’s profits. Just like Facebook’s (News - Alert) service for brand advertisers that deploy fan pages, companies that allow their products to be reviewed by LinkedIn’s users will be able to provide an announcement in their ads on the site that a product has been recommended by a named connection in a user’s professional network, according to the Wall Street Journal.
"As opposed to an anonymous review, here we have the advantage of not only having the reviewer identified, but you're going to be able to find people in your network whom you would have reason to trust even more," said David Yoffie, senior associate dean at Harvard Business School.
Though its recommendations service will compete with other sites that provide product reviews, LinkedIn officials said this program differs from the others since it’s “associated with a real professional person, and can be weighed by readers based on that person’s real-world experience.” In addition, this will help users’ professional identities grow.
Businesses will also benefit from this new service, as they can now display “their strongest recommendations to prospective customers and employees on LinkedIn,” according to Jeff Weiner, chief executive of LinkedIn, who added that this can build growth and, most importantly, trust in their brands.
Reviews will also be accompanied by videos, product information and targeted ads on the Company Pages, according to LinkedIn officials.
Out of the 40 that have lined up for the initial launch, many recognizable names are participating, including Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft (News - Alert) and Dell, and users will have a chance at reviewing products and services from JetBlue, AT&T, Liberty Mutual, Citibank and Volkswagen.
Tammy Wolf is a TMCnet copy editor. Previously she was assistant to the editor at The Darien Times, a weekly newspaper in Darien, Conn., where she edited submissions, did page layout and design and helped manage the newspaper's website. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Tammy Wolf