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LinkedIn has been around for two decades and is one of the most active networks, with more than 830 million users. Yet, marketing on LinkedIn still confounds many small business owners and managers, including dermatologists.

Some people treat LinkedIn as just another social network, sharing the same content there as elsewhere. Facebook may love your funny memes, and your catchy videos might be a hit on TikTok, but the LinkedIn audience is likely to be underwhelmed at best with that type of content. As a professional network, the audience here is looking for something more, well, professional.

At the other end of the spectrum, many people interpret the “professional network” concept a little too narrowly, viewing LinkedIn as nothing more than a place to source employees. It is that, but it is also much more. So, what is LinkedIn good for, and how can you use it to promote your dermatology practice?

Understanding the LinkedIn Network

LinkedIn is not all business, restricted to job hunting and hiring, but it’s not exactly casual and chatty either. LinkedIn is a true social network, with active groups, pages, personal profiles, and an infinite number of ongoing conversations at any time. Like any other social network, this is a place to share engaging content and interact with your audience. It is simply a different atmosphere.

Interactions on Facebook are sometimes compared to real-life conversations that might happen in a local coffee shop, park, or other casual public location. LinkedIn, on the other hand, is more like socializing at a professional event. You want to engage in friendly conversation, but with the goal of professional networking.

Where does LinkedIn fit in your marketing strategy?

Dermatology practices will find a number of benefits to participation in this unique social network, some of which are more obvious than others.

  • Brand awareness. Your business is more than just another dermatology practice. It has a unique look, feel, and vibe; your practitioners have a particular approach and specific areas of expertise; you have (and cultivate) a certain image. All of this—along with your practice name, logo, and visual identity—comprises your brand. And it should be recognizable. Engaging with the business community introduces your brand to a sizable and influential audience.
  • Market research. What are the latest trends in your industry? Which new dermatological technologies are causing a buzz? What are your competitors doing? LinkedIn is rich with resources to answer these and similar questions. Following company pages, joining relevant groups, and participating in industry-related conversations can give you a unique business insight.
  • Professional networking. It is not just about finding new employees (although LinkedIn is a great place for that) but also growing your network. Connect with associates, increase potential referral opportunities, learn about industry conferences and events, and spread the word about your own events.
  • Reputation building. Building a network means not just making acquaintances but also making a name for yourself in the professional community—and that matters to your prospective patients. People trust someone who is viewed as an authority in their respective niche. In fact, cultivating that professional reputation and authority is one of the pillars of marketing.
  • Drive traffic. LinkedIn is not the place for blatantly promotional, overly salesy content. However, that does not keep it from being a good place to create a buzz around your practice. Everyone has skincare needs, and aesthetic procedures are often of interest to image-conscious professionals. Attracting attention to your practice can attract visitors—and leads—to your website.
  • Community building. Your most engaged brand ambassadors could be employees, loyal patients, or influencers. Chances are, they use multiple social networks, and the more platforms you use to engage them, the more robust and loyal community you will create. Data from influencermarketinghub.com show that 83.3% of LinkedIn users are on Instagram, and 87.8% are on Facebook. Cross-promote your practice’s social profiles and grow a stronger, more active community.

Tips for LinkedIn success

If you are new to the network, or if you are seeking to revamp your LinkedIn presence, here are a few tips to help ensure success:

  • Re-purpose content. Remember the nature of the network and forgo the purely promotional content. However, blog posts, educational videos, white papers, and other informative content from your website are right at home on LinkedIn.
  • Encourage staff participation. One of the greatest benefits of LinkedIn is inspiring employee contributions to your online presence. Encourage team members to use LinkedIn and interact with your practice.
  • Start a discussion. Posts that present a complete message are great, but people might not be inclined to engage with them. Try an open-ended statement, ask for your audience’s opinion and feedback, post a question, conduct a survey.
  • Engage with others’ content. This is one of the most effective and most often overlooked strategies on virtually any social media network. Don’t just encourage and expect others to engage with your content. Also, seek out interesting or relevant content, especially content posted by professionals or influencers who are aligned with your business, and engage with them. It establishes your practice as an active, involved network user. Furthermore, people tend to reciprocate the attention, in turn engaging with your content.
  • Discuss your business. Of course, you discuss the services that you offer, results, patient experience, and other consumer-related aspects anywhere that you promote your practice. However, the LinkedIn audience is also interested in the business side of it, especially if you seek to acquire professional associates. It is a great place to discuss common issues, brainstorm solutions to common industry problems, and share your best solutions with your colleagues.

Elevate Your Public Image

LinkedIn is a unique and incredibly popular social network. With a clever strategy and consistent effort, you can use it in a multitude of ways to help grow your dermatology practice. Most importantly, remember that not all marketing is about direct lead acquisition. Getting your practice’s name out there and building a high-profile reputation among the most respected business people in your region can take your public image to a whole new level.

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