PTPN Insights

Using LinkedIn to promote your practice.

September 29th, 2014 |

 Using LinkedIn to promote your physical therapy practice.Are you using LinkedIn to market your practice? If not, you may be missing out on one of the most powerful social media marketing channels. A 2013 study showed that small businesses use LinkedIn more regularly than other forms of social media and believe that LinkedIn has more potential to help their firms than other channels.

LinkedIn is primarily a business-to-business (B2B) networking platform, rather than a business-to-consumer (B2C) channel. So think about LinkedIn as a way to reach colleagues, professionals and business owners, rather than consumers or patients.

It’s also yet another opportunity to improve your practice’s search engine rankings. Promoting your practice’s website via LinkedIn will contribute to search engine optimization (SEO) for your site.

PTPN members can access plenty of members-only content about marketing with LinkedIn by logging in at www.ptpn.com/provider/index.php. Our content includes a thorough but quick video tutorial on “Using LinkedIn,” found in our Social Media Toolkit, which covers:

  • A step-by-step demonstration of how to complete a LinkedIn profile.
  • How to create a company page.

Here are some tips for LinkedIn marketing.

  1. Start with your personal profile, but keep it professional.

If you’re just getting started with LinkedIn, begin by creating your profile. This is a profile of you, not your practice. Keep in professional, because you’re representing your practice. And be sure to complete all parts of the profile. Nearly half of all LinkedIn users don’t have complete profiles; incomplete profiles don’t show up in LinkedIn search results, so having a complete profile will make you easier to find.

  1. Create a company page.

On LinkedIn, your practice’s company page is separate from your personal profile. As LinkedIn itself points out, a company page can “raise brand awareness, promote career opportunities, and educate potential customers on your products and services.”

  1. Make connections.

One of the ways LinkedIn helps promote your practice is through virtual networking. Search for colleagues, professional connections and potential referral sources, and request to be connected on LinkedIn. You can search by name, as well as by employer, title, location and other factors. For example, if you’re interested in connecting with case managers and adjusters to increase your workers’ comp referrals, search for “case managers” and “case adjusters” in your area. You can request to be connected whether you know the person or not, but your request will be more likely to be accepted if you know the person or have some connections in common.

Once you make a LinkedIn connection, your goal should be to translate that into a real-world interaction. For example, if you connect to a case manager, send her a LinkedIn message letting her know you’d like the opportunity to take her to lunch to tell her about how your practice’s outcomes measurement program can help expedite her clients’ return to work.

  1. Join groups.

LinkedIn groups are one of the main ways LinkedIn users communicate with each other. Search for groups that potential referral sources might belong to; for example, a Groups search for “Arizona physicians” yields a number of discussion groups where you might interact with physicians in Arizona. Once you’ve joined, look for opportunities to contribute information and answer questions, but be sure not to post blatant advertisements for your practice. LinkedIn groups are informational, and outright marketing messages may get you banned. As one expert says, “Keep in mind, you’re not there to sell your product or service; you are there to help others.”

Asking questions is another way to participate. Asking a group of physicians a question like, “What are the two or three most important criteria you use when deciding which specialist to refer to?” can not only give you valuable information, it can also bring you to the attention of potential referral sources.

  1. Get recommended.

Recommendations are another important feature of LinkedIn. LinkedIn users are used to being asked for recommendations, so don’t be shy about asking your colleagues and business associates to endorse both your personal profile and your company page. One of the best ways to get recommendations is to give them — most LinkedIn users are familiar with the etiquette of providing a recommendation to those who recommend them.

Printable version.

For further reading:

Moran, Gerry. Ten steps to use LinkedIn for small business. MarketingThink.com, May 11, 2014.

Getting started with company pages. LinkedIn.

PTPN.

Jansen, Monika. A 5-step LinkedIn marketing strategy to grow your business. Network Solutions, March 11, 2013.