LinkedIn announced Thursday that HP has become the first company on the social network to hit one million followers.
Nick Besbeas, VP of marketing at LinkedIn, explained in a blog post that HP built up a following by posting relevant updates and insights, and by using "targeted" LinkedIn Follow ads, the latter of which helped HP to add 300,000 followers over a two-month period.
HP's following on LinkedIn is significantly higher than it is on Twitter, where it has just under 180,000 followers, but it is still less than half the 2.2 million fans it has on Facebook. Even so, HP noted in a statement that LinkedIn is "critical" for company outreach to customers.
"LinkedIn has been critical for HP in successfully reaching and building relationships with our community of customers, partners and prospective employees," said Natalie Malaszenko, VP of digital marketing for HP. "Our 1 million followers are connected to over 43 million people on LinkedIn, roughly one-quarter of the entire LinkedIn population."
The social network first introduced the option for users to follow companies in April, 2010. Two years later, LinkedIn rolled out a "follow company" button that brands can embed on their web pages, making it easier for customers and job hunters to find and sign up to follow companies.
It has taken companies significantly longer to build up a following on LinkedIn than on other social networks. Google+, for instance, had several brands hit pass million followers within the first year after they were allowed to join the network. Companies on LinkedIn are also accumulating fans at a slower rate than individuals in LinkedIn's influencers program. Richard Branson, the founder and chairman of Virgin, hit one million followers on LinkedIn less than 2 months after LinkedIn launched the program.
From LinkedIn's perspective, though, quality trumps quantity. "Following a company is an active choice. Not everyone chooses to click the ‘follow’ button. Followers on LinkedIn genuinely want the content HP shares," Besbeas wrote in the blog post. "HP’s followers are especially valuable. Their LinkedIn profiles tell us that they are, in fact, exactly the people HP wants to engage: senior-level decision-maker in relevant industries."
Read more from Mashable: http://mashable.com/2013/02/28/hp-linkedin/