LinkedIn's new Company Pages opens up a new way to tap into that last option. Much like the fan pages companies can setup in Facebook, LinkedIn now has company pages. If LinkedIn Company Pages catches on, you'll be able to browse your colleagues profiles and see what companies they recommend. And when you go to a company's page, you'll be able to see how many people like it.If you're in the market for an enterprise SaaS solutions or a cloud management providers, you've got few resources to evaluate the different options. You can check sites like this one, read analyst reports and or ask for recommendations from your colleagues.
LinkedIn launched Company Pages at its LinkedIn Connect event in New York earlier this month. Pilot companies included mix of big names and smaller startups, such as Avaya, Dell, Freshbooks, HP and Rypple. David Stein, Co-CEO of Rypple, says that during the first week the company received 78 recommendations and the number of people "following" Rypple on LinkedIn tripled. So it sounds like this is a good way for vendors to market products and services.
But is what's good for vendors good for customers? We sure hope so. Although we doubt these social network reviews will take place of journalists and analyst firms, it would be nice to have one more way of learning about a company before signing on the dotted line. The challenge for LinkedIn will be keeping recommendations authentic and keeping the whole thing from turning into a giant spam pit.
One way LinkedIn could make this interesting is to actually create a product and service recommendation engine. What if you could enter a few pieces of information, such as company size, industry, and operating environment, and get a set of custom recommendations based on recommendations from similar users?