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Why LinkedIn Should Add Reviews or Endorsements to Company Pages


LinkedIn-Reviews.jpg

LinkedIn has a big problem.

Recommendations. Not just recommendations, but business recommendations.

These are typically a helpful way to vouch for a particular person. But it isn't all that helpful on LinkedIn when it comes to companies, is it? If you're like most people, you read these recommendations with a great degree of skepticism.

Why is that?


LinkedIn recommendations aren't trustworthy

Wait just a minute.

Am I saying the recommendations you gave are untrustworthy? Of course not. It's not like I've reviewed every single review on LinkedIn to know for sure. I certainly don't know everyone on LinkedIn.

If I don't know the intentions of everyone on LinkedIn and I haven't personally reviewed every single case, how can I say something like that? I'll answer the unspoken question with another question.

Have you ever seen a negative LinkedIn recommendation?

The kind where a manager writes a scathing review about their direct reports and their screw-ups or vice-versa? I haven't seen any of these and I'm going to go ahead and guess you haven't either.

Because LinkedIn recommendations are flattery.

Forrester alum, Jeremiah Owyang states he won't give LinkedIn recommendations, describing them as puffery.



Owyang.jpg


Others look for ways to politely (and quietly) decline requests. This seems to be a systemic problem, one that LinkedIn doesn't seem to have much interest in fixing at this point.

Reviews and endorsements can save LinkedIn recommendations

That seems like a stretch.

How can reviews and endorsements on company pages help restore LinkedIn's credibility? Reviews would provide people with something that's been missing on LinkedIn for some time.

Safety.

Criticize your client, manager or boss and you'll be fired. Share a negative experience about the wrong person and you'll experience a loss of opportunity and access.

How do we know?

Talia Jane. She's the Yelp employee who decided to criticize her boss. She posted an open letter to the CEO of Yelp and was promptly fired. Of course Yelp stated that her open letter wasn't the reason she was fired. Still, would you be surprised if a co-worker did this and lost their job?

See what I mean about safety? This is why the epidemic of sticky sweet recommendations will continue.

There is a solution.

Adding reviews and endorsements to company pages. These two features would change the landscape of LinkedIn completely. A review posted on a company page would have a larger impact than one posted on sites like Yelp or Facebook.

Why?

Everyone
is there.

Most of the time there's distance between reviews and employees at a company. Customer support employees will probably see the negative reviews that come in, but what about the other departments? Sales and marketing? Accounting? HR?

Here's why company reviews and endorsements would have a bigger impact on LinkedIn.

? The performance/pay connection. Employees would see a direct connection between their on-the-job performance and customer satisfaction. A customer service snafu that results in a loss of jobs or incentives would be more meaningful. Used well, this would improve customer service in a wide variety of industries.

? Customer closeness. Organizations could choose to be transparent, sharing details on company performance. Customers following a particular company would be able to see the day-to-day operations. High performing companies would continue to grow, while poor performers continue to struggle.

? Easy reference requests. B2B companies are forced to deal with an unpleasant reality. Requests for references. Sure, many clients are willing to do this once or twice. Most clients aren't eager to field calls from a never-ending stream of prospects looking to verify references. A pinned review or specific endorsement from a B2B client would be a no-hassle way to vet companies.

? Open conversation. Picture this. You receive a negative review from an client. You're able to have a candid but respectful conversation with your client about what went wrong. It's embarrassing for sure, but you're able to resolve an unpleasant situation. Your client updates their review, giving you top marks. All while potential prospects watch. It's frightening but it's a surefire way to win clients.

There are lots of B2C review sites - Yelp, Google, Facebook, Waze, etc. There are also lots of specialty sites that focus on niche industries (e.g. TripAdvisor).

LinkedIn has the chance to solve a unique problem. There aren?t very many B2B review sites. Certainly none with the clout, impact and reach LinkedIn has.

A focus on B2B reviews would give LinkedIn the uniqueness and new market appeal they need. But it would also create new revenue streams. This has the potential to make a tremendous impact on B2B companies.



Read the rest of Andrew's post about the potential for LinkedIn reviews here.

What do you think? Should LinkedIn add business reviews to company pages?



LinkedIn-Reviews.jpg


Owyang.jpg
 

Linda Buquet

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Great points Andrew and thanks for sharing Garrett.

I don't use LI at all any more due to limited "handwidth". But you're right, if they still don't have reviews (which is hard to believe) they are kinda missing a big boat!
 
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Thank you, Linda! I agree. LinkedIn really should be adding company page reviews.
 
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