Last week, I went to a marketing talk given by C.S. Read. Ms. Read operates her own online marketing firm (CreativeRead.com) and addressed how social media might be integrated into our own practices. I found her information very useful and used her thoughts to generate this week's post about using LinkedIn.
LinkedIn for Docs - LinkedIn appeals more to executives and administrative staff. There are a few doctors there, but more lawyers. LinkedIn allows persons that change jobs (and therefore e-mail addresses and contact information) every couple of years to stay, well, "linked" to each other.
Through this network of professionals, your contacts and people you know are linked via the "six degrees of separation." You'd be amazed to learn how many ways you may know a person. You are likely to be related one way or another with most of your contacts and, thus, you are surrounded by people you know and trust. It is moderately intimate.
LinkedIn is not a great place to promote your practice to attract patients. Most users/members are looking to stay connected professionally, and not randomly surfing for health information or to make purchases. But they are looking for ways to network professionally.
LinkedIn is a great way to look for administrators and other professionals for your office. It is an easy and reliable way to check on an applicant's credentials. You don't need references anymore thanks to LinkedIn - you find them yourself. Eventually, you may find someone within your own personal network that may lead to an endorsement. This is the beauty of social networking...even for a doc.
Social media, but especially LinkedIn, "allows us to hire a real person, not just credentials and a title." (CS Read).
LinkedIn is a great place to promote your practice as a business. Your administrator (not you) should be in charge of setting up your LinkedIn profile. Of course, you want to describe your practice as a business, but want to do so from the perspective of an attractive work place.
Your LinkedIn profile should list you, but the focus is really on your practice. Your administrator should spend time creating a description of your business using the keywords that best define your small business. People searching for businesses in your particular field will use these keywords in a LinkedIn search.
Describe the attributes of your business that would attract the best employees. List your benefits packages and high-tech gizmos that make you proud. Focus more on your business, and less on you, the physician.
Establish a presence on LinkedIn. Tell the professional world about your practice. Remember your practice is a business, and you are want to attract real people to work with you.