With more than 200 million users worldwide, 1 million of which are healthcare professionals, and 1.5 million active groups, LinkedIn is an invaluable social media tool for your practice. LinkedIn isn’t particularly glamorous like Pinterest or Instagram, nor does it have the high patient engagement factor like Facebook and Twitter. Even so, the site offers excellent opportunities to connect with other dental professionals.
Step 1: Create or Update
If you haven’t yet created a LinkedIn profile, do so now. Otherwise, verify that all information on your profile is current. Fill out as many sections as possible, including professional memberships, honors, nonprofit involvement, and published articles, if applicable. A robust, keyword-rich profile will appear more frequently in user searches. Follow interesting and relevant companies, fellow dental professionals, and nonprofits, and subscribe to their updates. I suggest Dental Economics, the ADA, and MDPM Consulting, for starters.
Step 2: Join in the Conversation
Join and participate in group discussions to connect with professionals by specialty, associations, and geographic area. Ask and answer questions, and share content that will intrigue and engage other group members. Most LinkedIn groups have private job postings that non-members cannot view, giving you an edge in your career progress. LinkedIn allows you to join as many as 50 groups, so choose wisely.
Step 3: Build Your Network
Each additional contact opens up new opportunities and greater visibility. Don’t limit your contact list to professionals. Import your contacts from your email and other social media networks, then add coworkers, friends, peers, and partners. Most group members are more than willing to add fellow professionals to their own network.
Step 4: Sharing Is Caring
When sharing content, focus on quality over quantity. Yes, you want to increase your visibility, but not with shameless self-promotion. It’s give and take. When someone posts content that interests or intrigues you, share it with others. Content should be relevant and fresh, a good mix of original and shared media. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn content should be strictly professional. Leave witty anecdotes, memes, and personal beliefs for your personal social media profiles.
Step 5: Drive Traffic
Showcase your best blogs and articles on your LinkedIn profile and in your groups. Your “best” blog posts on LinkedIn will appeal to other professionals. Another dentist probably wouldn’t see the value in an article about the importance of flossing, unless of course it happens to be part of a recent study. Find out what works best by test driving different copy, pictures, and titles and comparing the number of views.