LinkedIn’s Growing Importance for Dental Professionals
For me, at first it was difficult to see the value of accepting the barrage of LinkedIn invitations via email. When considering the utility of social networks, the vast majority of dentists are taking advantage of Facebook to grow and market to local communities. It’s of course become clear that LinkeIn is a fundamentally different tool, with different advantages, that needs a completely different strategy. Most people tend to start with a very limited profile and slowly add more personal information once they see the value in growing their professional network.
Besides DentalTown, LinkedIn is turning out to be an extremely important social tool for Dental professionals. Most people don’t think of it as a marketing tool but many clever dentists have found ways to take advantage of it by gaining trust of patients through transparency. These dentists are posting links to their LinkedIn profile from their website so potential patients can see their credentials and recommendations from other professional colleagues on a trustworthy third-party site.
It’s also very important to understand that LinkedIn is designed for businesses to connect with other businesses. This simple idea can be leveraged to grow both your dental professional network, such as classmates, professors, and friends along with meeting people in other industries. Pursuing connections outside your industry can help build a depth and breadth to your connections which can be called upon when passing along job opportunities, seeking professional advice, and growing your business. Joining and subscribing to LinkedIn groups is another important tool for connecting and learning from the global dental and business communities.
Visualize your Professional Network using LinkedIn’s New InMap Tool
LinkedIn’s new InMap tool is a color-coded map of your professional connections that allows you to visualize groups such as employers, college classmates, friends, or other industries you’ve worked in. Before reading on, login to your LinkedIn account and see what your social map looks like at http://inmaps.linkedinlabs.com. InMap automatically groups these contacts using some math and then you can assign labels to the color groups. I don’t know about you but I find it much easier to grasp connections by viewing a graphic rather than seemingly endless lists. With your InMap you can see not only who you are connected to directly, but also who is in their sphere of influence that is also connected to you, and how. Click on any name and the pertinent shared connections at all levels are highlighted, including, of course, a link back to you. The right sidebar displays the profile of the target person and lists a few of the shared connections. So, for example, if you are planning on contacting someone on your InMap you can quickly identify how you came to know them and who you might know in common – extremely valuable in most any professional communication. It makes working with your existing connections and expanding your network very easy indeed.
What did you learn from viewing your social map? Your thoughts on LinkedIn/Maps are welcome, as are comments on other aspects of social media as it might affect your practice.
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Last modified: March 7, 2019