Navigating LinkedIn can be intimidating for dentists, but it’s an important professional tool that may be worth understanding and investing your time in. Follow these do's and don'ts of dental marketing and networking to get the most out of LinkedIn.
Setting Up Your Profile
Establishing your initial personal profile is the first step to getting started on LinkedIn.
- Identify your industry and location. This will allow your dental practice to appear in local and niche searches.
- Add a photo. Since you must first set up a personal profile before you can set up your practice page, this will ideally be your professional headshot.
- Write an engaging headline and summary. Use this opportunity to mention your services, core values, and goals.
- Forget to turn "sharing profile edits" off. If you don't, LinkedIn will notify your followers any time you make a change to your profile.
- Leave any part of your profile blank. It may seem tedious to fill out every part of your profile, but don't skip any fields. LinkedIn rewards robust profiles and users respond more quickly to them.
- Digress in your bio. Keep your headline and summary concise, professional, and action-oriented.
Connecting with Other Dental Professionals
Networking is the primary goal of LinkedIn and can help you grow your dental practice and your reputation.
- Get at least 50 connections. This is LinkedIn's recommendation to get started; you won't be able to create your practice page without having connections first.
- Create a custom profile URL. The URL you're given when you create your profile is basic, with auto-generated numbers and letters. Update the URL to your name, your practice name, or something else unique and professional.
- Join multiple dental groups. LinkedIn offers niche groups where professionals within a certain industry can network with peers. Introduce yourself and establish meaningful connections.
- Connect with people who aren't relevant to you professionally or to the dental industry. Avoid the temptation to connect with random users to boost your numbers. Keep your connections applicable to your practice.
- Remain inactive in dental groups. Once you've joined them, do your best to maintain an active presence to keep your practice visible within your peer group.
- Spam your connections. One of the fastest ways to lose connections is to spam them with junk email marketing and unimportant messages. Keep communication genuine and manageable.
Creating a Company Page
Once you've established your personal page, you can create a page dedicated specifically to your dental practice's brand.
- Create your practice page as soon as you can. Your personal profile will only take you so far, especially if your practice includes other associate dentists.
- Use your practice's logo as the main page image. Unless you're a solo dental practitioner, your headshot should not be the primary image for your company page. Even then, your professional logo is a better choice.
- Make the first 156 characters of your company description as compelling as possible. This text is what will appear in search engine results.
- Forget to link your staff pages to your company page. If your hygienists, dental assistants, and other professionals in your office have a LinkedIn profile (and they should), be sure to connect it to your company page.
- Leave your practice page incomplete. According to Hootsuite, finished company pages get double the traffic of unfinished pages.
- Forget to add company specialties. You can add up to 20, so make use of them. Does your practice offer same-day dental restorations or another service that differentiates you from your competitors? List these first.
Consistently and regularly publishing content on LinkedIn is a key to getting seen by potential connections and increasing your industry authority.
- Post at least monthly. Hootsuite also suggests that companies who post monthly at minimum gain new followers six times faster than companies who do not.
- Make your posts visual. Include a variety of images to break up big blocks of text. This is also a good rule of thumb to use for your dental practice website.
- Write listicles and how-tos. Give your audience helpful tips on oral care at home or educate them on the dangers of mercury fillings in a format that is easily digestible for online readers.
- Only share post URLs. You should also be using LinkedIn Publisher to post pieces of content. You should not get flagged for duplicate content by Google when you post content already on your website to your LinkedIn profile.
- Limit your multimedia to just images. Embed videos, link to dental podcasts, and include a wide variety of other multimedia assets.
Continuing to Network
The more you put into LinkedIn, the more you can get out of it in terms of networking with other dental professionals that can propel your practice forward.
- Use keywords in your profile and content. These keywords help you get found by potential connections interested in your content.
- Engage with your peers' posts. Like, comment, and share the posts of others you've connected with to demonstrate authority and increase the likelihood that they will also share your content in kind.
- Join conversations within your groups. Answer questions, post meaningful content, and ask others for their ideas.
- Send generic messages to potential connections. Instead, address the individual by name and include some personalized information.
- Add too many people at one time. This makes it look like you're on a "connection spree" and as though your networking requests aren't genuine.
- Forget to offer value. Focus your networking efforts on illustrating how you can provide value to others; when you do, your networking often propels itself.
Why Establishing a Social Media Presence for Your Dental Practice is Critical
Having a social media presence for your brand is crucial to remaining visible to your patient base, especially if you cater to millennials. Without a social media presence that is consistent across social platforms, you risk appearing less abreast of technology than your competitors. Make sure your brand can be easily found on social channels and that the content you post is clear, concise, and authoritative.
About Treloar & Heisel
Treloar & Heisel is a premier financial services provider to dental and medical professionals across the country. We assist thousands of clients from residency to practice and through retirement with a comprehensive suite of financial services, custom-tailored advice, and a strong national network focused on delivering the highest level of service.
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Treloar & Heisel, Inc. and its divisions do not offer marketing advice. Please consult a professional concerning this topic.