With over 560 million professionals around the globe using LinkedIn today, it’s an industry standard for business-based, peer-to-peer social media platforms. It’s become a no-nonsense way for professionals to network themselves, build their brands and credibility, and cultivate thought leadership.
While your independent pharmacy is probably not looking to connect with 560+ million contacts, it can benefit significantly from LinkedIn’s deep reach within your own community.
Through thoughtful and active participation in LinkedIn, you can connect with other health care professionals in your community. With these connections, your pharmacy can seek out and build partnerships plus business opportunities, access and share content relevant to your industry and community such as news, opinion pieces, and peer reviewed research, and become visible in pharmacy-driven conversations.
And you can do this from your computer or mobile device with just a little bit of dedicated time each week.
How can you do it? We’ll share five easy ways of using LinkedIn to your full advantage.
1. Know the difference between your personal LinkedIn profile page and company profile page. Both pages are valuable to you and your pharmacy, but they serve different purposes.
Your personal profile tells the LinkedIn community who you are, what you do (and why you do it) and details your own professional accomplishments. It also connects you to the people and organizations you want to do business with. Your personal profile should be written in a professional tone (but don’t forget to infuse your personal voice and style into the narrative). This profile also serves as a channel to share original and curated content, news, and updates about the industry at large, and most importantly, your health care efforts within your community.
Your pharmacy’s profile page is intended to be a broadcasting tool to gain more visibility for the business, provide high level company details, website and location information, team member links, and a channel for company-specific content.
Don’t forget to include images in your profiles. Profiles with images get 98 percent more comments from followers than those without (1).
2. Let people connect with you, first. For companies, LinkedIn is about engaging with followers, not amassing them. And this is done through your connections with people. As the pharmacy owner, the community wants to know about you — hear what you have to say, first. So, do your connecting through your personal profile. With the right content and interactions, people will follow your pharmacy’s profile, too.
3. Follow other relevant local businesses. Don’t just leave the following to others. Follow other local businesses in the community (i.e. hospitals, practices, and other referral rich sources) to strengthen relationships with local physicians, other pharmacists, nurses, and other health care professionals. Let them know how your pharmacy can help them (i.e. health screenings, vaccinations, and other health initiatives that are unique to your pharmacy).
By following, liking, and sharing content and posts from other local businesses, you’re making them aware of your presence in the community. They’re also likely to respond in-kind by following, liking, and sharing your content (which will show up in their news feeds). It’s free and credible promotion through your growing business network.
4. Share Engaging, relevant content. Because your LinkedIn “community” will consist of healthcare professionals and business leaders in your area, you’ll want to make you and your pharmacy stand out through engaging content that speaks to the work and services you and your team provide each day.
Content to consider includes blogs, short company updates, curated content (from other credible sources that feature breaking or trending news relevant to your community), and more. LinkedIn allows for a wide variety of content types to choose from to keep your community interested.
Be sure your original content has a business goal. Will it attract visitors to your pharmacy’s website? Invite them to download information on your health screenings or vaccination clinics? Or is it intended to educate and inform your community on industry trends? Plan your content with a firm goal in mind.
5. Know the best times to post to be seen and heard. You don’t want your valuable content to disappear into an engagement ‘black hole.’ Because LinkedIn is a social network for business professionals, peak engagement times are different from other social networks. The most beneficial times to post on LinkedIn include:
- Get the most clicks and shares: Tuesdays, 11 am to 12 pm
- The worst time for engagement: Sleeping hours (10 pm to 6 am), early Monday morning and after 5pm on Friday night
- Best Times to post: 7 am to 8 am (except Mondays); 5 pm to 6 pm (except Fridays)
- Peak time of use during an average day: 12 pm; 5 pm to 6 pm (2)
Have you or your pharmacy used LinkedIn to increase your reach in the community? Have you found one approach or strategy more helpful than another? Which effort had the most impact? How has your pharmacy benefited –– or not –– from initiatives you’ve implemented?
We’d love to know and may even share those experiences in future blog posts, white papers, and e-books. To share your story, please contact Jessica Gardner.
And, of course, be sure to subscribe to our blog for more tips, insights and bulletins that can help grow your pharmacy and save you money – all from your partners at AlliantRx.