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While many think LinkedIn isn't the best way for a practice to market itself on social media, it has many benefits. Here's how to utilize the platform.
Why would you consider LinkedIn to grow your practice? You may be spending a substantial amount of time on other social media platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, which seemingly have much wider reach than LinkedIn. But consider these statistics:
• LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 414 million registered users and 100 million monthly active users. There are 187 million monthly unique visitors.
• Professionals are signing up to join LinkedIn at a rate of more than two new members per second.
• A breakdown, by country, of LinkedIn’s registered membership worldwide as of October 2014 reveals that the majority of members are based in the United States, with 107 million Americans registered on the site.
• LinkedIn is currently used in over 200 countries and territories. It's available in 20 languages.
Knowing this, do you think it is wise to ignore LinkedIn, which can offer an excellent platform to showcase yourself and your area of expertise and find more patients online in the process? Undoubtedly, LinkedIn is a dynamic tool for engaging with patients, readers and peers in the healthcare profession.
Take charge of your LinkedIn profile
Complete your profile and make sure it’s up-to-date. LinkedIn provides you about 2000 characters to speak about yourself to anyone visiting your profile. Make the most out of this to showcase your skills, area of medical specialization, research areas, and any other important information. Avoid using large phrases and jargon, and be clear and succinct. In the case of healthcare, people research about a physician prior to booking an appointment. Consider the LinkedIn platform as your opportunity to introduce yourself to prospective patients. Make sure to include your contact information with complete details at the end of the summary section to make it easy for people to reach you.
Make your company page matter
After completing your profile on LinkedIn, turn your attention toward your LinkedIn page. It’s very important to have a consistent presence of your brand on this marketing channel, as well. Creating a LinkedIn presence once and then not maintaining it can be worse than not having one at all.
Write an overview of your practice along with all the details about the services offered. Satisfied patients can recommend the services offered at your practice in the same way people can endorse an individual on LinkedIn. These recommendations from satisfied patients are invaluable from the marketing perspective, as they are linked to a real person through their own LinkedIn profile.
Set up LinkedIn groups
A great way of building new contacts and nurturing physician-patient relationships is to start LinkedIn groups. These groups are discussion areas on various topics where anybody can share their views, experiences and any other form of relevant information. For instance, if you are a gynecologist, you can start a group on healthy eating tips for pregnant mothers. It will get responses from those presently going through the phase of pregnancy and others who have been through it. You can add valuable tips and scientific information on the topic that will definitely be valued among members of the group. Contribute meaningful content on a regular basis, which will help develop an online visibility and create a sense of credibility.
Explore the possibility of going viral
For healthcare providers, good quality content is a conversion tool. They should focus on creating clear, trusted content that can help people improve the quality of their lives. Post high-quality content through your posts on LinkedIn. If a post begins to gain some momentum, it can go viral over this social media platform and can reach readers in a way that would not have been possible on your own website/blog. As the LinkedIn platform is considered a highly professional platform, the benefits your practice can get through a positive visibility are countless.
There’s definitely a lot of hidden potential
The list is non-exhaustive and goes a long way. Through Linkedin, you can find highly targeted customers and connections and it is a great way to do so to develop professionally. You can publish substantive thinking and become a thought leader in your field by connecting and communicating with peers.
After getting acquainted with the benefits LinkedIn can bring to your practice, you should make efforts to leverage the power of this social media channel. If used correctly, it can be an incredible Internet marketing tool.
Manish Chauhan is Digital Marketing Manager at myPracticeReputation which is an easy-to-use reputation management solution for physicians to help monitor, protect and promote their medical practices at all times in the simplest way possible.