ROCKVILLE, Md.—If you stay away from using social media marketing suites like Facebook or Twitter to generate new business because you are concerned interacting with potential patients via these tools might be perceived as less than professional, consider using LinkedIn.
The odds are you set up a LinkedIn account years ago and either never used it or rarely use it as an electronic “Rolodex.” The truth is, LinkedIn is a vibrant community frequented by millions of people looking to make connections with trusted professionals. The people who seek services through their network on LinkedIn do it because they trust the recommendations of the people they are connected to, and therein lies the secret to Linkedin marketing for things other than job searches.
There are several ways you can use LinkedIn to get in front of people actively seeking eye care or who may connect to you so they can access your expertise when needed. We use the LinkedIn recommendations section to generate attention. When someone “recommends” you on Linkedin, they type a short paragraph extolling your virtues, talent and expertise. Subsequently, their recommendation of you shows up on their LinkedIn profile and stays there, gradually scrolling down over time. Anyone they are connected to who views their profile may end up viewing their recommendation of you, increasing your exposure to new potential customers.
As I’ve discussed in previous posts here and on my
SightNation blog, the most effective way to generate business through social media marketing is to get your brand in front of “friends of friends”. When someone you know comments on something or recommends something on a social media feed, people are much more likely to pay attention.
To generate LinkedIn recommendations, within your LinkedIn profile, scroll down until you see the section titled “recommendations”. At the top of that section is a clickable link “+Ask for a recommendation”. When you click it, you’ll be prompted to “ask to be endorsed”. Fill in the “your connections” box with the LinkedIn connections you have that are most likely to write a thoughtful, positive recommendation of your services. Select up to 200 names and you’ll see option number 3, where you can craft your message asking them to endorse you.
Once you have received a recommendation, it is permanently etched onto your profile. You can use them as references, cut and paste the recommendations onto your website ( I recommend blanking out the last names of the referrer to avoid any potential HIPAA compliance issues) and continue to seek recommendations on a schedule, so your brand is continually showing up across a broad swath of LinkedIn profiles. I recommend you seek recommendations from people in your geographic vicinity, as those are the profiles that people in your area may notice, thus they are the most likely to notice you. Some of them may even ask to be connected to you. If this happens, be sure to accept the connection and send a brief “Thank you for connecting. I look forward to serving your eye care needs and those of your family and friends in the future. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to stay in touch with any questions or concerns regarding your eyes and vision issues. ” This opens the door for them to become your customer. LinkedIn also has a paid feature where you can monitor how effective getting recommendations are as you can see who viewed your profile.
Alan N. Glazier, OD, FAAO is the founder/CEO of Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care in Rockville, Md. A search and social optimization consultant, he is a regular contributor to CLICK and also writes a regular blog for
SightNation.com. Glazier is at
firstname.lastname@example.org and his regular posts can be found via his Twitter handle: @EyeInfo, his blog:
youreyesite.net and his website:
YourEyeSite.com. He’s the founder and moderator of ODs on Facebook. Author:
Searchial Marketing: How Social Media Drives Search Optimization in Web 3.0.
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