HP announced today it is the first company to reach a million followers on LinkedIn. LinkedIn applauded the milestone with an Infographic and post on the LinkedIn marketing blog.
Natalie Malaszenko, Vice President of Digital Marketing for HP said:
“LinkedIn has been critical for HP in successfully reaching and building relationships with our community of customers, partners and prospective employees. Our 1 million followers are connected to over 43 million people on LinkedIn, roughly one-quarter of the entire LinkedIn population”
As HP has struggled to remain relevant, the company has been using LinkedIn to foster a direct connection with the business community it hopes to serve. It was an early adopter of the system allowing followers when LinkedIn added that functionality last year.
According to Digiday, LinkedIn has built a publishing platform into the business-focused social network under the leadership of former Fortune editor Dan Roth:
“‘We went out to find the top people in various industries, folks who, universally, people wanted to know about and drove business conversation,’ Roth said. ‘The internal frame was, if we put on the world’s best conference, who would you want? The idea you can ask top minds in business to share or reveal something about themselves in an authentic way, it’s important for us.'”
One of the people Roth has gotten to help drive business conversation is HP CEO Meg Whitman, who recently used the platform to write about her challenges in turning around the tech giant. She also made news with a post on LinkedIn about her support for marriage equality, a reversal of her position from when she ran for governor in California.
Hewlett Packard certainly doesn’t need a social network to provide a platform for Meg Whitman to connect with customers, but her decision to embrace the platform probably explains a lot about why HP was first to reach a million followers on LinkedIn.