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10 Easy-to-Do Tips to Getting More Value from LinkedIn

By Stewart Gandolf, Chief Executive Officer

LinkedIn logoEditor's Note: Here's another installment in our continuing series of articles about social media and healthcare marketing. The professional networking site, LinkedIn, is coming of age with over 100 million users. Here are ways to get the most benefit from your LinkedIn pages. It's a low cost, high visibility platform to showcase the personal brand and reputation of physicians, doctors and healthcare executives.

Each of the social media tools that we've discussed in this series has its own "personality" and holds a unique place in the new media spectrum. LinkedIn is the one wearing a business suit and tie.

And if there's one social media platform that medical doctors, hospital and healthcare executives should be using to showcase themselves, it's LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is mainly for and about professionals and business networking. And as the trend toward hospital employment for doctors grows steadily upward-along with many other changes in healthcare delivery dynamics-LinkedIn is one online space to park your CV.

Previously in this series, we quoted Pediatric Gastroenterologist Bryan Vartabediam, MD, who wrote: "Even if you're not planning to go anywhere, hospital administrators, physician colleagues and other members of your world should have a place to go to learn a little bit about you."

Most of what LinkedIn has to offer is free with a basic account. Some more aggressive users may want to upgrade to a Business, Business Plus or Executive account. (The extra bells-and-whistles are described on this page.) The cost-ranging from about $20 to $75 per month-is reasonable, but only when you have a well-established "basic" account and are ready to move to the "power user" category. Paid ads are another option, but only for certain situations. (Call us for guidance on this one.)

The single most important way to get more from LinkedIn...

Think of LinkedIn as a dynamic process, and not a static page. The primary fuel of networking is in activity and interaction. And the single most important way to get more value and benefit from LinkedIn is in making regular changes.

This "secret" is no surprise. Like many other social media platforms, it is the connections and interactivity that propel the process of networking. The LinkedIn system recognizes when change occurs and often that triggers a notice to others. What's more, change is important to search engines and the algorithms of stronger search listings.

Call them updates, revisions; adding (or subtracting) content is what causes others to notice your pages. Here are 10 tips to bring more activity to your profile and get more value from your LinkedIn pages with changes like these. There's no cost involved, except for a small investment of time.

  • Refresh your descriptive Summary. Likely you've done something new, attended a conference, been a presenter or earned an award. Add the new details, remove the dated ones, and occasionally rewrite the description to be relevant and timely.
  • Update your photograph. Use a photo that is less than a year old. Take a new photo if needed. Switch between a "business casual" photo and a formal pose from time to time.
  • Add titles to your Reading List. LinkedIn makes this easy to do, complete with book cover.
  • Join LinkedIn Groups (or start your own). Consider LinkedIn's suggestions for Groups You May Like and/or search for other options.
  • Integrate LinkedIn and Twitter. List your Twitter account on your LinkedIn profile and use #in and #li to send tweets to your LinkedIn page.
  • Rearrange the sections of your profile. New on LinkedIn is your ability to present your profile sections in the order you choose. (Click on draggable handles and drop in your preferred order of presentation.)
  • Make contact or contribute comments. Add your note to the discussions of others. Better yet, begin a conversation. Send brief notes of thanks, congrats, etc.
  • Recommend others (and vice versa). LinkedIn notices the connectivity between and among individuals.
  • Add connections. You may not know it, but you likely have friends, colleagues and college alumni who are already LinkedIn members. (LinkedIn will tell you who is listed.) It's easy to check your list, make invitations or invite non-members to join in.
  • Post your presentations. LinkedIn and SlideShare work together. Include the PowerPoint or other visual materials from your most recent talk or professional presentation.

Making a quick start with LinkedIn.

If you're not already using LinkedIn, it's time to reconsider. For one thing-as you may have heard in the financial news-LinkedIn recently went public (NYSE:LNKD) amid much fanfare and applause from Wall Street. You can get started with, How to Profit from LinkedIn, Social Media in Healthcare Marketing. LinkedIn simplifies the startup with an online New User Guide.

For more about social media marketing, reach out to us here. And we'd be pleased to make a connection with you at the Lonnie Hirsch and Stewart Gandolf LinkedIn pages.

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