Features

What HP’s 1 Million LinkedIn Followers Means for Marketers

Written on
Feb 28, 2013 
Author
Nick Besbeas  |

HP has just achieved a major milestone: They’ve become the first company to attract 1 million followers on LinkedIn. But these 1 million followers represent much more than a number. They are an invaluable asset to HP.  They form a targeted community where HP is communicating with the specific professionals that matter to their business, in real time.

Given that this communication is happening in the professional context of LinkedIn, where professionals are actively seeking insights and information, and where Influencers like HP’s CEO Meg Whitman are directly sharing their expertise, it’s an engagement channel that can’t be replicated elsewhere.

“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,” said Natalie Malaszenko, Vice President of Digital Marketing for HP.  “When they interact with HP’s LinkedIn community, their connections see it, too. From devices to the datacenter, nobody knows technology like HP. Through this platform HP shares information on our leading product solutions, and insights on the future of technology, to the world.”

HP’s company followers contribute tremendous value in the following 4 ways:

1. Followers Engage: Following a company is an active choice.  Not everyone chooses to click the “follow” button. Followers on LinkedIn genuinely want the content HP shares. The industry insights, product information and company updates from HP are not ads.  Far from it.  This is highly desired content that will help LinkedIn members in their current profession and what they do in the future.

2. Followers Fit the Target: 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.  To further ensure they had the members they sought, HP also used targeted LinkedIn Follow Ads to increase followers by 300k in a two-month period.  HP now has a completely opted-in community comprised of exactly the people with whom they wish to develop relationships.

3. Followers Can Be Segmented: HP has a diverse range of businesses, in 19 categories in many markets around the world. So they need to influence a range of decision-makers.  Their follower community reflects that diversity, and using LinkedIn’s targeting capabilities, HP can segment its followers to speak directly to individuals about the solutions that are most relevant to them.

“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,” said Malaszenko. “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.”

4. Followers Amplify: HP’s followers share the company’s updates with the professionals in their LinkedIn network by liking, commenting, and sharing. HP’s followers are directly connected to over 43 million professionals on LinkedIn, giving HP qualified reach well beyond their follower community.  HP’s followers also are advocates – they are 2.5 times more likely to recommend HP than non-followers.  And with HP posting multiple updates per day, the amplification opportunities increase exponentially.

I encourage you to learn more about how you can send targeted status updates on LinkedIn.  With the proliferation of content on social platforms, you need to engage your best prospects and customers with content that’s tailored to their interests.  As HP has shown, LinkedIn gives you an opportunity to target professionals and engage them with content that will drive results.





Nick Besbeas joined LinkedIn as its VP Marketing in January 2011 to lead the company’s global marketing strategy. He came to LinkedIn from Yahoo!, where he was Senior Vice President of Consumer Marketing and Insights. During his five years at Yahoo!, Nick also led business-to-business marketing, direct marketing and customer support. In early 2000, he co-founded the marketing and business analytics firm digiMine, now Audience Science, a leader in behavioral and audience targeting. Prior to that, he was head of the Direct Marketing and Business Intelligence group at Microsoft, MSN, where he pioneered standards for direct marketing and customer intelligence on the web. Nick has also held roles at Quill Corporation and The Signature Group. He holds a BA from the University of Illinois and an MA in Economics from DePaul University.

Reader Comments.

The 4 claims made in this piece are sale claims not based on evidence.

It appears LI is mainly useful for headhunters, who are also the main source of spam on the site.

The value of LI for true open professional communications has dropped at headhunters and spammers have taken over and the stock price has risen. Ho hum.

The claims about business development value are unsubstantiated by any data.

Posted by Brain Molecule Marketing | 5:16 pm on February 28, 2013.

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