Hewlett Packard is the first company to reach one million followers on LinkedIn, the companies announced today.
LinkedIn added “follow” buttons to company pages in February 2012: a free, opt-in service for LinkedIn members to receive updates from companies that interest them. The company introduced a paid service, targeted status updates, in April of that year to help companies send messages to specific segments of their audience, or followers, by things like company size, seniority, or job function.
The announcement of HP’s milestone, which appears in today’s post on LinkedIn’s marketing blog, is in part a testimonial about the paid service.
Through its followers and their first, second, and third level connections, HP said it has broadened its reach to 43 million professionals within the LinkedIn community.
Followers are 2.5 times more likely to recommend the company to a colleague than non-followers, according to LinkedIn.
HP used the targeted ads to reach followers in its target demographic: senior-level decision-makers. In two months, the company said it increased its follower count by 300,000 people.
“The targeting capabilities allow us to streamline our presence on LinkedIn and optimize our go to market efforts, targeting enterprise solution messages to IT executives or delivering news about SMB offerings to followers in companies with less than 500 employees, globally, regionally or at the country level,” explained Natalie Malaszenko, vice president of digital marketing for HP in a statement. “The targeting possibilities are both broad and specific and allow us to optimize our content strategy in real-time, increasing the value of every single piece of content from HP.”
See LinkedIn’s visualization of HP’s milestone below.