Sir Richard Branson has become the first LinkedIn user to boast one million followers as one of the social network’s “thought leaders.”
Branson, an English entrepreneur and founder of Virgin Group, reached the monumental milestone on Friday morning. He has gathered twice as many followers as Barack Obama, who is in the number two spot on LinkedIn.
The accomplishment is not just noteworthy for the English entrepreneur, it is also a milestone for the social network, which introduced “LinkedIn Influencer” last month. The ability for one of the network’s “influencers” to gain so many followers in a small amount of time is an indicator that it may be able to compete with other networks, like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, who already have that ability.
Unlike its rivals, however, LinkedIn has provided the ability for its users to become Thought Leaders, like Richard Branson. On the application, you much specify what kinds of things you would write about if you are recognized as an influencer. Because of this, many of the network’s thought leaders are CEOs and politicians.
LinkedIn Executive Editor Daniel Roth stated in a blog post, according to CNet:
“Our data shows that [Branson is] popular with everyone from entrepreneurs to HR workers and in industries ranging from tech to construction. The only continent where he doesn’t have a single follower is Antarctica.”
Many of Richard Branson’s posts on LinkedIn have been about entrepreneurship, as well as how to have a good work/life balance. His most recent post was why people should be treating their companies like family. Branson wrote:
“Colleagues should take care of each other, have fun, celebrate success, learn by failure, look for reasons to praise not to criticize, communicate freely, and respect each other.”
Considering his success as LinkedIn’s first user with one million followers, Branson will take part in a live Q&A sponsored by LinkedIn next Friday.