Networking with other healthcare professionals can be a great way for a physiotherapist to boost patient referrals. Let's take a look at how physiotherapists can improve their networking online using platforms such as LinkedIn and other social media sites.
There is a good chance that you will encounter people in person when you attend events, functions, seminars, training courses and other 'real life' networking opportunities. Something that most of us are guilty of at such events is simply accepting someone's business card and then tucking it away until such time as you need to contact that person – then of course you will have forgotten about them anyway! So, in order to step up your networking game what you should be doing is following up with the people that you have met a couple of days after the event. This is a fairly old fashioned bit of business etiquette, but it is one that the majority of people skip! If you take the time to make contact you are going to stand out from your competitors making it more likely that you will be first in line for physiotherapy referrals that might arise.
Social media has made this an incredibly easy thing to do since you can add them on LinkedIn or Facebook and then send a message just to reach out and tell them how happy you were to meet them, or to thank them for a piece of advice they may have shared at the time. Not only will they be touched by your gesture, but you will have them there on your contact list for future reference. A growing number of professional people are now including social media details on their business cards as standard.
Simply signing up for a LinkedIn account is not enough! You need to make sure that you are using it to its full potential! Statistics show that around 61% of LinkedIn members use the site primarily as a networking tool with fellow professionals, but only 42% of them regularly update their profiles. It is important that your online profile shows a current representation of your professional life, so do take the time to update it regularly and to interact with other people.
Many people think that social media is simply a way to keep in touch with people that you already know, but that need not be the case. You should also be using your LinkedIn profile to meet new professionals within your industry in order to build up your contacts list. Keep an eye on the latest features being launched by LinkedIn or any other social platform that you are using and make sure that you are using them to boost your networking skill whenever possible. You need to spend as much time on your own professional profiles as you do on your clinic's branded pages.
We swear that this is not anywhere near as creepy (or illegal) as it sounds! The great thing about the internet is that it allows us to learn a great deal about people who we might be interested in connecting with on a professional level. Stalking (or researching) a person online can throw up all sorts of useful information that can be used to lay the foundations of a relationship. For example, from checking out their LinkedIn profile, you might discover that you have both worked with the same person, or studied the same course which can be great conversation starters both online and in a face to face situation.
These are just some of the ways that you can up your networking game using online resources such as social media. If you would like help with your clinic's social media strategy then get in touch with PatientSites today for more information.
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