"All social networks are not created equal," she said. "On LinkedIn, we’ve found that the types of conversations our community of followers are having are very different than other social media channels. LinkedIn provides a forum where our followers can have more technical conversations, ask about solutions, and talk about ways to move their worlds and businesses forward -- and that’s an exciting conversation for us to be a part of."
Until this past year, LinkedIn hasn't been as aggressive in pursuing an ad strategy as the other large publicly traded social network, Facebook. But things have picked up at LinkedIn's Marketing Solutions group, which experienced a healthy rise in ad prices driven by greater emphasis on direct sales over its self-serve ad product, the company said during its Q4 earnings in early February.
HP's Malaszenko didn't say if the company would increase advertising on the professional social network. For LinkedIn, the hope is that it can eventually bring the earned and paid media facets of its network closer together. As a professional site, the ability to connect paid and earned media may have advantages over Facebook's attempts to do the same.
Still, HP used LinkedIn Follow Ads to to increase followers by 300k in a two-month period, Malaszenko said, suggesting that, as it looks to the next million or so followers, it will probably keep that paid media aspect fairly open.