“The business of business is relationships; the business of life is human connection.” Robin S. Sharma
In all different and hype social media networks, LinkedIn is often ignored and underutilized. But if properly used, it can be a strong tool.
It is primarily used for business-to-business relationships and enables users to connect and share content with other professionals, including colleagues, potential employers, business partners, and new employees. One of the best ways to be active on LinkedIn is to join groups that are relevant to who you are and what you do, such as aesthetic medicine and personal and professional interests, and to comment on discussions.
Linked maybe not as friendly and trendy as Facebook or Instagram (they have their own social media strategy), but it is the most important network for businesses.
LinkedIn is a professional B2B (aka business-to-business) platform. That is, it was intended to provide content of interest to like-minded individuals of a professional nature. Perhaps more so than any other network, LinkedIn’s purpose is clear. It is a place to connect with colleagues you already know and make new professional contacts.
They boast that one in every three professionals in the world is on LinkedIn. The operative word here is B2B as opposed to D2C (direct to consumer).
LinkedIn is not for reaching consumers. In fact, I would discourage clinics from using it purely as a patient marketing tactic. I often see search engine optimization people posting consumer blog content for doctors in groups on LinkedIn. Frankly, that is a good way to be disinvited from a group.
LinkedIn is really all about business, and I believe it should be managed by someone who represents your clinic internally or a marketing agency or PR firm. An important aspect of LinkedIn is staying on top of news and updates for brands that matter to you, and following influencers whose opinions you trust. Think of the vendors you work with, institutions you attended, and relevant organizations you belong to in aesthetics.
LinkedIn users are serious people. This is not a social site in the sense of the word. It is also not a community like Facebook, but it is great for disseminating and curating current information.
Since this is a professional network, the best times to post are during the workday. The hours between 8 AM and 6 PM tend to get the most traffic, and the best days are usually Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Posting on Monday can compete with start-of-the-week meetings and deadlines, so that may not be the ideal choice. LinkedIn’s analytics provide an overview of the posts on your company page and a breakdown of your followers.
Creating a LinkedIn Profile
To get started on LinkedIn, create your “Profile” as an individual, not as a company. Your profile should be in your actual name—as in John Smith, MD, rather than Smith Aesthetics of Surrey. Just like with dating apps, adding a photo makes you far more likely to receive requests for connecting. To make your profile findable, start with a current professional headshot. A recent, professional, smiling photo of you is golden.
Include all of your current and past positions and education. These details will also increase your chances of getting found in searches. Listing your industry is also a vital piece of information. Complete your profile by adding any awards, research work, books you have written, studies being conducted, teaching positions, speaking engagements, preceptorships, and so on. You never know how people may connect with you, or what searches they may use to find you.
Write a compelling summary to explain what you do, and why someone should reach out to you. Leverage keywords by placing the best ones in key sections of your profile to improve how people can find you. Add at least 5–10 specific skills that speak to your expertise, such as plastic surgery, aesthetic medicine, cosmetic surgery, medical spas, clinical research, and so on. Last, add a brief summary of two to three lines that highlight the most important snippets you want your network to know about you. LinkedIn has automated feedback generated to help you build out your profile so you stand out.
To see how your profile appears to visitors, click on your photo on the top menu tab labeled “Me.” “Endorsements” are also nice to add, and it is common practice to reciprocate.
By uploading a video to “SlideShare” and enabling it on your profile, you can also embed a video on your profile page.
If you are serious about growing your professional network, invest in a LinkedIn Premium profile. This upgrade allows you to see who is viewing your profile, gives access to advanced search filters, and offers InMail to reach out to people you may not already know personally.
Your Company Page
Establish your clinic or brand as a Company on LinkedIn. Go to “Work,” and click on “Create a Company Page” to follow the instructions to set it up. This allows you to develop a valuable microsite for your brand, including employees, services, and content that extols the virtues of your clinic. You can select up to 20 specialties to highlight that are searchable—for example, Cosmetic Surgery, Aesthetic Medicine, Dermatology, and other relevant terms. Company pages can be used to post updates about industry news, speaking engagements, and clinic milestones to spread the word. This is a more appropriate place to recycle blog posts, media mentions, practice news, study results, events, and speaking engagements.
You can publish an original article or upload a link to an article you find online that is of interest to the users who follow you. Add your own commentary on the topic to personalize the content. Utilize share buttons to seamlessly post articles from sites and blogs.
If you are seeking a new aesthetician or practitioner for your clinic, post it on LinkedIn. To post a job, go to a Group you are a member of and post under Job. You can also click on Post a Job under the Work tab, and add it to your company page to get the best traction.
Joining groups that are relevant to you is a unique feature of LinkedIn to stay visible within your field. Most groups have open membership, and some will require you to request to become a member. See which groups are worthwhile to join based on the scope and content posted. Groups are also formed around geographical areas, industries, companies, alumni groups, or any other social ties.
Building Your Network
Many of your current contacts may already be on LinkedIn. Build your network by reaching out to people you know IRL (in real life).
Go to “Contacts” > “Add Connections.” You can sync all your contacts from a Gmail, Hotmail, AOL, or Yahoo! account, which I do not recommend, or upload your contacts as a spreadsheet. Reach out to people already on LinkedIn, and invite them individually to connect. Personalize it, like, “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.” By sending out individual invites, you can control the message by saying why you are reaching out and how you know the person and start building your network.
Elevate your visibility by checking out the Answers section under “More” in the navigation bar. Search for questions from other professionals in your areas of expertise. Answering questions can increase your visibility and establish you as an expert in your field.
Applications allow you to add business presentations to your site or promote your business blog. You can also announce upcoming speaking engagements.
Located under the Work tab on the top menu, SlideShare is a hidden gem. This platform allows you to upload slide decks about a specific topic you are passionate about. This is an excellent vehicle for promoting your unique expertise, for example, facial filler techniques, combination therapies for acne, using platelet rich plasma (PRP) with microneedling, or any other treatment or research you are interested in. The user can search by topics of interest to find your content.
The Right Way to Use LinkedIn
Content and stimulating conversations are the cornerstones of LinkedIn’s model. In general, the best content encourages an open discussion, rather than just serving a thinly veiled vehicle for self-promotion.
How to Get Unfollowed on LinkedIn
As an early adopter on LinkedIn, it remains my preferred platform to spend time on and a key destination to stay on top of industry news and trends, and find out where colleagues are now working. I started in 2009, and my network is now 11,000 real colleagues and acquaintances.
Diehard LinkedIn users like me do not really want to see announcements about your new website, social events like birthdays, political statements, or a plastic surgeon being quoted in a local newspaper where they look for jobs, search for superstar employees, and hunt for new launches and interesting statistics or trend data. It is disrespectful, and diehard LinkedIn users will not be shy about calling you out on it.
If your social media or marketing agency is reposting blog content entitled: 5 Ways to Forestall Wrinkles or How to Get a Better Butt, they are missing the point of what LinkedIn is all about. This strategy can backfire badly. Although it may be true that consumers also spend time on LinkedIn—after all, we are all consumers—this type of content should be discouraged from being shared on this platform. Use it on Facebook or Pinterest. LinkedIn is considered a safe place.
There you have it. Want in-depth analysis of your LinkedIn strategy or have some questions? Comment below or book a 15 minute consultation call with our experts ABSOLUTELY FREE, no questions asked.