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Is LinkedIn Useless for Promoting Your Medical Practice?


A recent blog post on "4 Reasons Why Doctors Don't Use LinkedIn," got me thinking about how to use the power of social media for medical practice promotion. By not participating in LinkedIn and other sites, physicians who want to grow their practices are missing an excellent marketing opportunity.

A recent blog post on Better Health, "4 Reasons Why Doctors Don’t Use LinkedIn" and the subsequent comments, got me thinking about how to use the power of the Internet to the best advantage for your medical practice promotion.

Yes, medical practices are “hyperlocal” and yes, most practices have traditionally grown through word of mouth and referral from colleagues.

However, I believe that by not participating in sites like LinkedIn, the physician business owner who wants to grow a medical practice is missing an excellent marketing opportunity.

Here’s why.

Your presence on LinkedIn isn’t only to woo prospective patients or even physician referrers who may possibly choose to search LinkedIn for your services. In fact, I feel confident that this doesn’t happen much.

Instead, the greatest value of a LinkedIn profile (or a practice-specific Facebook page for that matter) might be to woo the Google and MSN and Yahoo search engines and the likes.

When you carefully select and use keyword phrases that match your specialty and your local geography (e.g. Manhattan Upper Eastside internist, Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, Kalamazoo urologist etc.), you are more likely to show up on Page 1 of Google for that prospective patient who’s looking frantically on the Internet for services like yours in your neighborhood at 3 a.m.

The reason why this happens is this.

Both LinkedIn and Facebook are so hugely popular and trafficked that the search engines hold in higher esteem their results than the URL for your own practice website. In turn, your LinkedIn profile or Facebook page (take note — this is not the same as your Facebook profile) should be set up to direct the searcher to your medical practice or physician business website.

For the small amount of effort it takes to create a readable, intriguing online presence with these highly-trafficked social media sites, in which you provide more detail about your current practice and its location than you do about your past jobs -- along with your practice philosophy, and hopefully a cool 2-minute video of you talking and welcoming the visitor to your site! -- these basically free social media marketing tools may yield some surprising results for your medical practice promotion strategies.

If this information about medical practice marketing is useful, you might want to get more free information here, my secrets to using the Internet to generate revenues for your medical practice or physician business.

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Victor J. Dzau, MD, gives expert advice
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