What if we told you there is a network to promote your talents to more than 562 million users and that 122 million of those users credit the platform for helping them land a job interview? You would probably want in, right?
LinkedIn is a specialized social media platform and, used in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide, the world’s largest professional network. The platform allows users to create personal and business profiles to communicate with future employers, create B2B connections, or promote a business. Unlike Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, LinkedIn is specifically marketed as a communication platform for professionals and offers highly targeted opportunities to reach other professionals in the markets that you care most about.
It’s surprising the number of dentists and practices that do not use LinkedIn at all or do not use the platform to its full potential. The digital world certainly has its faults, but LinkedIn is a communications tool that should not be ignored. Below are some tips to create a LinkedIn profile and begin taking advantage of the world’s largest professional networking platform.
Your LinkedIn profile may be the most memorable impression that you will make on a future employer. At least, it should be. LinkedIn profiles are easy to set up, but they do require a bit of finessing to ensure you are telling the right story. Think of your LinkedIn profile as a digital resume, but with more opportunity to share your personal passions, successes, and employment goals. First, ensure that your profile picture is tasteful and professional. Typically, an up-to-date headshot works well, but any photo that showcases you in a professional manner will do. The large, landscape-oriented photo behind your profile is the cover photo. Choose a simple photo that is professional and not too busy. Try not to distract from your overall profile. Everything on your profile should present you as a consummate professional.
LinkedIn will automatically walk you through the steps necessary to “strengthen” your profile. The experience section is where you will showcase previous job experience. Ensure this section is kept up to date and there are no discrepancies between this section and your physical resume. You have the option to upload or link to external documents, photos, sites, videos, and presentations that would be relevant to each position. This type of content is valuable and can be used to further engage with a potential employer who has stumbled upon your profile.
Engaging content is vital for standing out in today’s busy online world. Content includes anything from written blogs to research papers, long-form videos to informative podcasts. The content-sharing component of LinkedIn is where users really begin to engage with each other and with future employers. Develop a strategy for maintaining an active profile on LinkedIn by instituting a content strategy and calendar. Determine your goals, target audience, and a calendar, based on what you can realistically produce and maintain. Consistency is key.
With the structure and strategy for content determined, you can begin to think about the subject matter you want to share. Follow industry news to determine the storylines that are trending in your industry. Sharing your take on relevant industry news will demonstrate that you are actively engaged in the industry and up to date on the latest challenges and issues facing dentists today. There are a number of ways to keep your finger on the pulse of the industry. Follow industry publications and dental thought leaders on social media. Identify relevant keywords and set up Google Alerts to ensure you receive the latest news and information impacting your professional peers straight to your inbox. As you create the content, be sure to recognize areas of opportunity to use visuals (photos or video) to support your content. Visual storytelling is a must when trying to engage users on LinkedIn or any social media platform.
There is really no use in devoting all this effort only to ignore the results. Keep a close eye on your LinkedIn analytics. Monitoring followers, likes, shares, comments, and other feedback mechanisms will provide a very clear picture of what users think of the content that you are creating. Dive deeper into the pieces that receive more interactions. Analyze why you think that piece of content did better than others, and determine strategies to use those lessons learned in future content development.