LinkedIn matters to your medical practice more than you may think.
LinkedIn can be a game-changer for sourcing and acquiring the best talent out there, particularly if you’re looking to recruit a new doctor in today’s competitive physician recruitment market. The HR manager of one of the practices we work with relies on LinkedIn to find and attract the best personnel for her expanding office.
But beyond its HR value, when used effectively, LinkedIn acts as another channel for you to build your brand, be it personal or business-based. The platform can also help you ramp up your social media strategy and expand awareness of your practice among engaged patients, readers, and peers. And if your practice has business to business components such as workplace wellness and injury, LinkedIn could just be your ace in the hole.
Below we’ll unpack what LinkedIn is, why it matters, and how you can get started and develop a strategy for maximizing the platform.
Why it Matters
LinkedIn has long been considered the red-headed stepchild of social media, but the “ugly duckling” has transformed into a white swan.
With more than 546 million total users and 106 million users active on the platform every month, for business professionals, there is no better place to be than LinkedIn. From companies looking for first-class talent to content writers seeking to publish online, or digital marketers trying to connect with the most valuable audience, LinkedIn has proven it can deliver.
According to DMR Stat Reports, LinkedIn has over 128 million users in the U.S., 90% of whom make household decisions, and 14% aren’t on Facebook. Let’s repeat that one more time:
Almost 15% of LinkedIn users DON’T use Facebook.
Therefore, for thousands of prospective patients, LinkedIn may be one of their primary social networking venues. The content you post (or not) can mean the difference between a new appointment at your office or at that other practice around the corner.
Since being acquired by Microsoft in 2016 for $26.2 billion, the platform’s core-user experience platform has been revamped and refocused. Two new members now join LinkedIn every second. And according to Hubspot, LinkedIn visitors convert 277% more often to leads than visitors on other social media sites.
Studies have shown that 25 percent of all women and 26 percent of all males online are LinkedIn members. And almost 25 percent of LinkedIn users are between the ages of 18 to 29.
For medical practices, perhaps the most striking demographic is that adults aged 30 to 64-years comprise more than 60 percent of all LinkedIn members. And finally, over 20 percent of LinkedIn users are over 65-years old. If that’s not impressive enough consider this: almost 45 percent of LinkedIn members make more than $75,000 per year, and over 75 percent of users earn more than $50,000.
When you get right down to it, amplifying your practice’s brand on LinkedIn lets you control how you portray your practice and ensure that your unique voice is heard loud above the rest of the noise out there risking to damage your reputation. Enough said!
Getting Started on LinkedIn
Establishing a company page on LinkedIn will help potential patients learn more about your practice, the treatments and procedures you offer, and the benefits you can provide.
Before creating a company profile for your medical practice, you need to have a personal LinkedIn profile that meets the following requirements:
- Your personal profile must be at least one week old, have an intermediate or all-star rating, and contain several connections
- You should be listed as an employee of your practice and your position displayed in the experience section of your profile
- You need to add and confirm your practice email address on your LinkedIn account, and the email domain should be unique to the practice (Gmail and Yahoo are not considered to be unique email domains and therefore cannot be used)
- You cannot use the same domain to create more than one company page
To add your company profile go to your homepage and under “Interests” click on “Companies.” Then click on “Create” in the “Create a Company Page” section. Enter your medical practice’s name and work email address and click “Continue” to input your practice information and description.
Tips to Enhance Your Practice Page
To optimize your company-practice page write a compelling description between 250 and 2000 characters. Someone who stops to read your narrative is already showing considerable interest in your practice. Other ways you can enhance your practice page include:
- Choose appropriate keywords in your description to increase your search engine visibility, and ensure that you list your most important services first.
- Ask your networks for treatment reviews and testimonials; these go a long way to establishing trust and credibility among potential patients.
- List any career opportunities to leverage LinkedIn’s extensive recruiting capabilities and potential.
Attract More Followers Out of the Gate
To get started on the right foot, it’s important to engage your colleagues, and what better place to do that than with your employees. By adding your employees to your practice profile, you’ll unlock their potential as brand advocates, gain access to the power of their social networks, and allow your practice to achieve instant credibility. Your employees will play a pivotal role in your efforts to get likes, comments, and shares about information and updates, expanding your practice’s reach, influence, and visibility.
Developing a LinkedIn Strategy
So how do you take advantage of LinkedIn’s expanding social network to enhance your physician and practice reputation, build your hiring brand, and publish great content?
The key to optimizing your use of LinkedIn is to recognize how your audience engages with the platform, understand their wants and needs, and provide solutions for their pain points. In this way, you’ll be able to target your LinkedIn strategy and tailor your business model to it.
In a recent industry-wide report based on a two-year study, LinkedIn was found to be the best source of social referrals directing traffic to corporate websites; the platform was responsible for a whopping 64% of all visits from social media channels to company sites. You can leverage this by synchronizing the message between your website and your LinkedIn page.
A Natural Extension of Your Brand
Your LinkedIn page can act as a complement to your brand pages on other social media platforms. Visitors to your Facebook page who are wowed by the content they read may be interested to know if you are hiring. Synchronizing your LinkedIn page with Facebook but tailoring it toward the LinkedIn audience can provide extra value to the patient value journey and build up your brand.
The header on your LinkedIn page should be consistent with the design you have on your website and other social media platforms. However, depending on what you post, from campaigns, events, updates, or announcing a new service – you can tweak your header as it’s happening. This shows that you are making an effort to keep current.
Individual doctors can also use LinkedIn to promote their personal brands. Our rule of thumb in marketing medical practices is to typically lead with the patient journey and experience and refrain from leading with the physician and their accolades. However, LinkedIn is the one platform where it makes sense for doctors to promote themselves and build up their reputations.
Like your website and Facebook page, keeping your LinkedIn page up to date takes time and nurturing. The last thing you want is for a prospective patient to be impressed by your Facebook page but then after taking the time to find you on LinkedIn, gets disappointed because you haven’t updated your page since 2010. Ditto for skilled medical personnel who are looking for new positions. If you’re going to be on LinkedIn, you need to put your best foot forward or else you might as well close up shop.
Use LinkedIn Publisher
LinkedIn Publishing gives you a great opportunity to build influence and reach a target audience. It’s also an excellent way to showcase your writing to a highly-professional network of your peers, and to establish a prominent source of professional connections. LinkedIn is the primary social platform used for business and the only one where high-level executives spend a lot of their time.
There’s a good chance that the top thought-leaders in your specialty are already publishing on LinkedIn, meaning that people are actively seeking to read content about your subspecialty on the platform. LinkedIn publisher will enable you to build your professional brand and highlight the experience of your practice. Your articles can help you demonstrate your credibility to other members thereby establishing trust in you as a physician and your practice as a whole.
What and How Often Should You Post?
Knowing what to post on LinkedIn is essential for generating new patient leads for your practice. Six out of every ten LinkedIn users are interested in industry insights, making it the most sought-after content on LinkedIn followed by company news and updates about new products and services.
LinkedIn advises that “informative, useful updates receive the highest engagement rates because that’s the information members expect from companies they follow on LinkedIn.” To get the most out of your LinkedIn marketing, focus your content on informative, useful insights.
We recommend that you post an update or content piece at least once a week. Posts on LinkedIn have a longer shelf-life than, say, on Twitter where the average life of a post is around eight minutes. You can also post an introductory video about your practice in the “About Us” section where you show off your staff and the wonderful work environment you have created or boast about your latest technology.
A great way to maximize the reach of your posts is to use one of your greatest, if not your best marketing resource — your employees. Employees are 70% more likely to share and comment on updates, so encourage them to do so and make the process easy for them. It’s a win-win because not only does your brand benefit but you’ll be solidifying employee engagement at the same time.
Benefits Your Practice Can’t Ignore
If you’ve been avoiding using LinkedIn, the time is ripe for you to reconsider. By creating strategic content, you can:
- Establish your practice and your physicians as experts in their subspecialties
- Source quality hires
- Kickstart your brand awareness
- Connect with potential patients
- Establish authority
Used the right way, LinkedIn can be a great tool in your social media marketing strategy and an effective way to brand your practice with a targeted, engaged audience.