When LinkedIn recently released its fourth quarter numbers, the professional-leaning social network reported having added 18 million new members over the preceding three-month period. That puts the platform up from 259 members to 277 (Mashable).

With numbers like that, you have to ask yourself: am I using LinkedIn to the fullest to promote my small business?

One great way small business owners and marketers can take advantage of this platform is through Showcase Pages. For our purposes here today, we’ll assume you already have a LinkedIn Company Page (if you don’t, you should make one, and then check out their 10 Best of 2013 for inspiration).

So, if a LinkedIn Company Page is a home for your business on the LinkedIn platform, what is a Showcase Page? While a Company Page is a great place to share your business’ details, who you are, what you do, and what’s new with your business, a Showcase Page offers a way to call out specific areas of your business might speak to a customer more directly than your company as a whole.

Let’s use Adobe as an example. Adobe is a huge company that offers a wide variety of products that appeal to very different groups of users. So while Adobe XI is a great product for executives who need to organize and transmit data, it’s not going to get much love from graphic designers and animators. Similarly, the executives using Adobe XI probably won’t have much use for Adobe’s Creative Cloud. Therefore, they will probably miss out on a lot of followers who just don’t want to have to see 50 updates in order to hear about the one product that interests them.

In order to appeal to both of smaller communities and form more intimate relationships, Adobe takes advantage of Showcase Pages. This allows the managers of those smaller communities to post targeted content that will engage followers. One of the most useful marketing truisms around is that if you try to be everything to everybody you’ll end up being nothing to no one. Check out Adobe’s Showcase Page for Creative Cloud, and you’ll set a sense of how this is different:

Instead of seeing company details, ads for other products, and incredibly broad updates, visitors to Showcase Pages like the one above see a streaming timeline of highly relevant updates they the are for more likely to engage with and to share with their networks. In the age of content marketing, this ability to segment and target your message is even more important to bear in mind.

Will you be trying LinkedIn Showcase Pages to show off your small business products and services? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

About the Author: Sarah Matista is the resident blogger at Webs, where she also manages marketing for Pagemodo – a suite of social marketing tools. Loves marketing, small businesses, and whales. Get more from Sarah on the Webs Blog and Google+.

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