You could call this week in social media a blockbuster. Significant thresholds were crossed on both Facebook and LinkedIn that represented the deepening adoption of social media by organizations and businesses. Fifteen million local business Facebook Pages now exist, and Hewlett-Packard became the first company on LinkedIn to surpass 1 million followers. However, it is not just these quantities that are impressive. Importantly, the nature of social media also means that the organizations’ interactions are more personal and, rightfully, social.
Facebook Pages gains ground
Up from 13 million Facebook Pages in December, the traction and continued growth of Facebook Pages is notable. An increase of 2 million Pages in three months speaks to the marketing value Facebook offers as well as the humanizing aspect of connecting directly with businesses socially. Pages are free, but for many businesses, they are a requirement. Many consumers now expect companies and products to have dedicated Facebook Pages so they can receive updates from businesses ranging from Starbucks to the local mini-golf course. Just as interpersonal relationships moved online, customers are also migrating their relationship with companies to the social sphere.
Hewlett-Packard’s LinkedIn success
One company that has successfully harnessed social media to take advantage of this shift in consumer relations is Hewlett-Packard. HP became the first company on LinkedIn to reach 1 million followers, meaning that HP comes within two degrees of separation of 25% of all of LinkedIn’s members. Accordingly, the VP of digital marketing for HP stated that the development of HP’s social media presence has proven critical “in successfully reaching and building relationships with our community of customers, partners and prospective employees.” Additionally, due to the nature of following on LinkedIn, not only are the followers given updates on positions and developments in the company, but HP can also explore its follower-base to find key players they want to connect with.
So, while 1 million and 15 million might only be numbers, they represent a valuable and uncountable means as a way to connect in a social dimension.