By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer
Facebook is mainly friends, family and fun. Twitter is playful, fast and furious.
They have their role in healthcare social media, but among the many social platforms, LinkedIn is the big guy wearing a Brooks Brothers suit and a power tie. Although anyone can use it, LinkedIn is—more than ever—a relevant social networking tool for physicians, hospital executives and marketing professionals.
The business-serious personality is one of the main reasons that both doctors and healthcare professionals should be using LinkedIn routinely. Moreover, it recently topped 200 million members—the current highpoint since its launch a decade ago—making it the world’s largest professional network on the Internet. The primary benefits include:
- Establish your professional profile and control one of the top search results for your name (and reputation)
- Build and maintain a broader network of professionals you can trust
- Find and reconnect with colleagues and classmates
- Learn about other companies (including competitive hospitals and practices)
- Leverage powerful tools to find and reach the people you need
- Tap into the knowledge of your network
- Discover new opportunities
More specifically, some of the provider/LinkedIn simpatico is for obvious reasons. LinkedIn distinguishes itself from (and serves a different purpose than) quick-shot Twitter and casual Facebook. Think of it as a professional-tier showcase for executive resumes. For hospital executives, it can spark connectivity among industry colleagues.
For doctors, it is an online curriculum vitae (CV). As we discussed in a previous post, when read by a patient, a prospective patient, or a fellow medical contemporary, it validates credentials, inspires confidence and perhaps inspires professional referrals.
But if you haven’t tracked LinkedIn’s changes lately, you’ll find that it has been maturing on many fronts, with additional value for healthcare marketing pros and hospital executives. On one front, for example, the LinkedIn professional groups have become a respected resource for professionals in the same industry or with common interests. LinkedIn Groups provide a platform to exchange ideas, find answers, post and view jobs, and to make business contacts.
Significantly, it is a place to publish and share content (articles, blog posts, etc.) with an audience of professional peers and colleagues. Healthcare Success sponsors seven LinkedIn Groups, and we actively participate in a dozen others. LinkedIn is the base for lively professional discussions and for demonstrating industry expertise and thought leadership within a focused networking audience. (Explore LinkedIn’s Groups Directory here.)
And, if you are an active LinkedIn member, you’ve seen how “LinkedIn Today recommends this news for you…” What appears to simply be a page redesign is actually evidence of—according to digital media authority Digiday—why LinkedIn is a sleeping giant of publishing.
“LinkedIn Today is feeding aggregated articles from more than 1 million publications to LinkedIn’s 200 million users based on their preferences. LinkedIn gets about 46 million unique visitors per month, per ComScore. Compare that to a Bloomberg Businessweek with a print circulation of about 1 million and about 6.7 million visitors per month.”
These and other recent LinkedIn enhancements provide healthcare industry professionals—physician providers, hospital administrators, marketing executives and others—with an extremely robust (and growing) social networking and publishing platform. While the more casual content on Twitter and Facebook has a purpose, healthcare and hospital professionals can also take advantage of the “business suit-and-tie” marketing muscle at LinkedIn.
Our previous posts on this topic include, How to Profit from LinkedIn and 10 Easy-to-Do Tips to Getting More Value from LinkedIn.