As a digital person at a post-secondary institution, my social media execution involves three main presences on the professional social network: LinkedIn Company Page, LinkedIn Discussion Group and LinkedIn University Page.
When I have a message that is going everywhere at the same time, I head on over to linkedin.com and type my school name in the search box. Depending on how I’m feeling, I might select the University Page from the suggested items in the drop down first – or I might do the Company Page. Once I’m done posting on one, I head back up to the search box and type my school name again and pick whatever I didn’t pick the first time.
This week, I’ve noticed that while my University Page shows up in the drop down, my Company page no longer does. Even when I change the search box to show me companies only, I still don’t see my school listed – even when I type the whole name. In fact, Companies aren’t even being included in the drop down at all – just Connections, Groups and Universities.
But when I hit Enter and run the search, Western University honestly still exists as a Company – it’s just been pulled out of the drop down suggestions.
And it’s not just Western. When I search for University of Toronto, it’s not given any screen time in the drop down either …
And once again, when I hit enter to run the search – the University of Toronto Company Page exists and is the top search result.
Maybe this is just a blip created by an internal change. Maybe it’s an early sign that higher education digital teams won’t have to manage both a University Page and a Company Page for much longer. The University Pages brought several benefits for schools and their communities, but they also brought one more place that has to be maintained – and isn’t supported by third party community management and monitoring tools like Sprout Social that help people like me keep up with large, active online communities. I’m interested to see if anyone else can duplicate these observations – and to see what LinkedIn’s next move is!