Opening a LinkedIn account for your veterinary practice can be a great way to build your online presence—its benefits will have a lasting effect on your connection to pet owners, and industry professionals too.
If you’ve already opened a LinkedIn account, you might be wondering how to harness its benefits to impact your practice.

Haven’t opened a LinkedIn account yet? Click here to read more about the social media platform.

Either way, it’s high time to get schooled in all things LinkedIn—and don’t worry, networking with the “In” crowd is easier than you think!
So how can you cultivate a wider network for your practice within the LinkedIn veterinary community?

Invest more time up front for less ongoing maintenance.

Before you can start forging connections on LinkedIn for your veterinary practice, you need to build a solid foundation. It will take a bit of extra effort, but if you create as complete a company profile as possible right at the start, you’ll save time in the long run.
According to a LinkedIn study, it’s highly beneficial to make sure your profile is 100% complete:

“Building connections starts with people seeing all you have to offer. Members with complete profiles are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn.”

Think of your company’s LinkedIn page as your first impression—if you knock it out of the park with your profile, pet owners and industry professionals are more likely to get in touch. Plus, your chances of getting found will be much higher too.

Make it professional.

LinkedIn is a business-oriented social media platform, so do keep it professional—from choosing an appropriate profile picture, to using appropriate language. For consistency, try to use the same profile image (ideally your practice’s logo) on all of your veterinary social media.
Do your best to communicate your message with clarity and focus—don’t just tell the world what you do, but explore who you are as a practice to stand out from the competition.

Keep it up to date.

If your LinkedIn company page is the first time a pet owner encounters your veterinary practice, you want to ensure they are getting the most accurate, updated information. If your profile is incomplete, or your contact information is outdated, how can they track you down?25848

Make the most of SEO.

SEO plays a role in your profile. Infuse your descriptions with relevant keywords to improve visibility in search engine results. Since LinkedIn pages rank higher on search engine result pages than most social media pages, this relatively easy-to-implement technique should have some lasting results.

So you’ve opened a LinkedIn account, and you’re updating regularly—now what? Keep track of your reach and monitor the growth of your online presence with VSmart Alert, included in every WebDVM website.

Start with who you know, then build up.

Networking on LinkedIn works similarly to other social media in that you have to start building your network by connecting with people you already know.
To do this, you can import relevant contacts from your address book, and send out requests. LinkedIn’s algorithm can tell which email addresses are already associated with an account.
When you’re sending out your contact requests, it’s a good practice to personalize them. This adds a friendly touch to ensure a stronger, more useful network.

How should you handle recommendations and skill endorsements?

One of the great features of LinkedIn is its capacity to showcase your unique set of skills and expertise through other users’ reviews. So when it comes to giving out good feedback, be generous and make every recommendation meaningful.
Let’s say you’ve connected with an old friend from veterinary school, with whom you worked at the same placement hospital. You’d be in a great position to write a positive review for them—and they’d be in a great position to return the favor. Recommendations are an in-depth, targeted way to show off what you’re capable of.
The best LinkedIn networks create mutually beneficially connections between professionals—so when you add value to the experience of others, they will feel inclined to do the same.

Actively engage with LinkedIn Groups.

Another awesome way to build your professional network on LinkedIn is by joining a variety of useful groups. There are plenty of groups to choose from, but not all are created equal.

How can you find the right groups for you?

To figure out which groups your practice should join, consider what you’d like to learn from other experts in the veterinary field and match that with what special skills or knowledge your team could contribute. From there, you should be able to find groups based on shared interests and niches.
If you’re at a complete loss, try joining groups for alumni of the veterinary schools your staff attended. This can help your practice stay on top of new talent and research. From there, you can branch out to join groups for local animal shelters or emergency pet hospitals with whom you have partnerships (or with whom you’d like to partner) to stay connected.

Update as often as possible.

The key to maintaining a strong connection with your social network is to stay active and engaging. Like most social media, if you don’t update your feed regularly, people won’t pay attention. In this case, absence does not make the heart grow fonder!
There is a balance here, though. Generally, once a week is a good frequency for LinkedIn. You don’t need to post five times a day, or share every single pet-related article you read. Just be sure you’re being consistent. When you make a connection with someone online, you need to reward them with great content and regular activity—otherwise, what’s the point? You can’t build a successful network if you’re never around to participate in the conversation.

Want to streamline the process of adding content to your veterinary social media? WebDVM Social comes built in with WebDVM websites, and lets you create and schedule content from one easy location.

What type of content should you post on LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is more formal than platforms like Facebook and Twitter, so you can save a bit of time and effort by avoiding the super-creative stuff—but you can still have fun.
Everything you share is a reflection of your practice—so keep it professional, relevant and useful. It can be as quick and easy as sharing your own veterinary blog posts as a status update, or curating content from another trusted source.Whatever content you share, and however often you choose to update your company page, networking on LinkedIn can help you bring value to the online experience of your connections and pet owners. With a keen understanding of what LinkedIn can do for your veterinary practice, and the knowledge of how best to make it work, you’ll be on your way to a stronger online presence in no time.

Ready to start networking on LinkedIn? Save time and let WebDVM Social do the heavy lifting to keep your practice plugged-in and active online.

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