Developing a successful social media marketing strategy for your dental practice means finding a way to express your brand on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. While these two platforms offer a great way to reach your target audience, there’s another social media channel you should also consider to help improve your marketing strategy – LinkedIn. Typically associated as a place to post a resume or improve your networking contacts, LinkedIn has subtly changed in recent years.
When LinkedIn was purchased by Microsoft in 2016 many people wondered if that would be the eventual end of the platform. However, instead of folding LinkedIn into another one of its online services, Microsoft enabled the platform to flourish, leading to explosive growth among a broad user demographic.
So what can the power of LinkedIn bring to your dental practice? In a word – opportunities. Opportunity to connect with a constantly growing professional network, and the opportunity to improve patient acquisition and retention. With over 9 million companies and half a billion users represented, LinkedIn has quietly become a social media powerhouse that your dental practice can no longer afford to ignore.
Who Can You Find on LinkedIn?
As a hub that serves the interests of all types of businesses, it’s not surprising that LinkedIn offers an excellent place to establish connections with a variety of professionals within the dental and medical industries. However, the platform also offers a unique marketing opportunity for businesses.
The metrics show us that the typical LinkedIn user is a professional over the age of 30, with an income exceeding $75,000 annually. LinkedIn users are split roughly 50/50 among men and women. LinkedIn users are also typically college educated and working professionals.
The demographics of those who use LinkedIn sound like the perfect group from which every dental practice would love to have its patient base drawn from. Studies have found that individuals who have received higher education and make more money are typically more health focused. Additionally, individuals looking to get ahead in their careers are often image focused, meaning they make excellent candidates for cosmetic dental procedures.
Where to Start?
As with any social media platform, you start by creating a profile. On LinkedIn, however, creating your profile requires a little more work than with Facebook or Instagram, which only asks you for the basics, such as name, birthday, place of residence, and some limited personal and professional information.
When you join LinkedIn, you’ll need to complete what at times can feel like an exhaustive series of questions about your professional and educational backgrounds. While most people fill out anywhere from 50 to 70 percent of these initial questions, take the time to fill out everything fully. Not only will this provide plenty of detailed information in which to establish professional contacts, you’ll be surprised by the opportunities that present themselves due to even the most tenuous connections.
Once you’ve finished, make sure to review your profile and add any information you may have missed. The most important details to nail down include:
- A digital photo. A high-quality photo is an absolute must for any professional profile.
- An interesting headline. Writing that you’re simply a dentist is a missed opportunity when you could write something like “community leader, practice founder, and holistic dentist.”
- Relevant keywords. Focusing on using the right SEO terms isn’t just for your website. Search results will often include social networks that include the relevant keyword phrases, so make sure to add your top keywords to the headline and body of your profile.
- Detailed summary. This is the section that allows you to really dive down deep on your skills, background, experience, and education. Make sure that you provide a well written and concise summary that includes your most distinguished professional accomplishments.
- A practice page. Your personal LinkedIn page should focus mostly on you. To highlight your practice, you need to create a business page you can link to from your profile.
What Content Should You Create for LinkedIn?
One of the biggest reasons for LinkedIn’s recent growth is how the platform has expanded the types of available content its users can now publish. The launch of video last year, combined with the full integration of the Pulse app in 2015, has provided users with the ability to custom tailor their content to the needs of their target audience.
While the majority of successful content on social networks is friendly, conversational, and laid back, LinkedIn operates on a different axis. Your practice isn’t trying to capture the attention of individuals in a range of differing demographics, as the vast majority of LinkedIn users are business professionals that desire informative, valuable, and professionally relevant information.
Instead of featuring a funny post or an example of community outreach in what you post, look to create content that will appeal to both your patients and your peers. Your goal should be to create content that showcases your experience and knowledge, while also positioning yourself as thought leader within your field. A few topics you might consider exploring include:
- Practice management advice and insights.
- Original dental research.
- Conversations about the latest advances and breakthroughs in dentistry.
- Oral health advice tailored towards the working professional.
- Topics business leaders in your community would find interesting or relevant.
- Job openings at your dental practice.
Unlike most social media sites that offer businesses an opportunity to connect with their target audience on a personal level, LinkedIn offers the chance to connect on a professional level. This can allow you and your dental practice to highlight the experience, knowledge, and skills that help to separate you from the competition to what amounts as any practice’s target demographic – business professionals with the income and desire to maintain and improve their oral health.
While LinkedIn may not seem like an obvious choice when designing your social media marketing strategy, it offers dental practice owners an unparalleled opportunity to let their experience truly shine.