We’ve all heard the saying, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. What you know is important, but who you know or who you’re “linked” with can take your health organization to the next level. LinkedIn has over 1.5 million healthcare professionals registered and ready to network.
LinkedIn is a website that was designed for professional networking. Your healthcare organization can utilize LinkedIn for professional networking and connecting with other people or organizations in the health field.
Getting Ready to Run the Race
Don’t even think about hitting ‘Sign Up’ yet. First, it is important to set up a LinkedIn marketing plan for your health organization. If networking on LinkedIn was a marathon, think of your marketing plan as the stretch before the big race. The goal of LinkedIn is to look professional, so you do not want to go in unprepared.
If you want to be successful, you will need to make a long-term commitment to your plan. This involves setting goals and assessing your resources. Before getting started you will have to determine what you are willing to commit with regards to people, time and money.
On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!
There are a few steps your organization will need to take in order to get ongoing results from your LinkedIn profile.
- Create your page. Your health organization will want to create a LinkedIn company page. This will give you access to additional features and allow you gain visibility. Your page should feature a good description of your healthcare organization and good pictures for your page.
- Get connected. This is the most important step because getting connected is the whole point of LinkedIn. Once your page is created, you will want to invite existing employees, clients or customers, partners and other health organizations/healthcare professionals to follow your page.
- Bonus: Getting people to recommend you gives your healthcare organization a big boost. Everyone can see these recommendations and they are a powerful testimony to your organization.
- Start posting. Your LinkedIn page should be an extension of your health organization’s website and should include compelling information about your organization. Be sure to include interesting pictures, links and stories to gain attention.
- Join a group. Joining or creating a LinkedIn group is a great way to connect with other people in the healthcare industry. These groups give your organization an opportunity to connect with members that share common goals and discuss different health topics. Joining or creating a group makes your healthcare organization look like an industry thought leader.
- Get everyone involved. Getting your employees involved on LinkedIn only extends your network and makes your healthcare organization look even better. Get multiple employees involved with the LinkedIn page but make sure to designate certain people that are in charge of maintaining your LinkedIn marketing plan.
- Advertise. LinkedIn allows your health organization to pay for content ads or sponsored updates. If your organization has the money, these ads and sponsored updates are a great way to gain followers and drive traffic to your website.
Here are a few additional tips for making the most of your LinkedIn page and making as many connections as possible:
- Visit the resource page. There are many resources featured on LinkedIn that could be beneficial to your healthcare organization. There are also resources for nonprofits such as webinars, sample posts and ways to recruit volunteers.
- Use key words. You should use similar key words on your website, company page and posts. This makes it easier for search engines to pick up your profile, giving your health organization more exposure.
- Use showcase pages. These showcase pages are a way to highlight different campaigns and programs your healthcare organization is working on. These showcase pages are an extension of your company page and can allow you to target different groups.
- Monitor and adjust. You didn’t make your LinkedIn marketing plan for no reason. Be sure that your healthcare organization is meeting the goals set out in your marketing plan. It is also important to adjust anything that is not working or meeting your goals.
The Winner’s Circle
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is a great example of a company that is effectively using their LinkedIn page. Their page is attractive and features a description of their organization and pictures that attract viewers. They also post updates frequently and provide interesting pictures, links and stories.
It is now time for you to start networking! Feel free to comment and let me know what you think. Best of luck.