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Professional vs personal content on LinkedIn

by Tom Garfield

Have you spent much time on LinkedIn?

I don’t see that many healthcare providers on there. Not posting anyway.

I know you’re lurking though because my clients tell me they saw my posts. I’m very active on LinkedIn and tend to post 4 or 5 times per week at least. It works for me and I do get quite a few enquiries from potential clients on it.

In the UK there are 26 million LinkedIn users. That’s a lot of people. Human beings. All potential patients. Yes they are using LinkedIn mostly for professional reasons, but every single person on LinkedIn is a human with health concerns and possibly even skewed slightly more towards an older and richer demographic. So should you as a healthcare provider be posting on LinkedIn to reach these humans? Something to think about.

That’s not the point of this post though. This post is about professional content vs personal content and how it performs on LinkedIn.

The argument over whether or not you should post personal content about your life away from work is quite contentious. Some people think you should keep it strictly professional, quite formal even, whilst other people are happy to share anything they might share on any other social media platform.

The phrase “This isn’t facebook” has become a joke among those who think LinkedIn is fair game for any sort of content as long as there’s an audience that wants it.

I think personal stuff is fine but it should be balanced and have a point to it. I wouldn’t post a picture of my lunch for no reason, but I might post if it was a special occasion for an anniversary or I was going somewhere with a colleague or having a business meeting. I like to get to know the real people within my network.

I also like to create professional content that helps my audience. I write about marketing for healthcare businesses and like to think I offer useful and helpful marketing advice to those that want to grow their private practice.

But which type of content performs better? Does the personal stuff fail because many people don’t agree that is should even be on there? Or does the personal stuff do well because it’s all about human beings after all?

The results are very interesting…

The experiment

LinkedIn gives you a few stats on how well your post has performed, including reactions (likes, celebrates, loves etc) comments, and views. The views bit is private to you only and gives you a number of people reached.

Views is really important and is directly affected by the number of reactions and comments. So the goal with any LinkedIn post is to get a decent number of reactions and comments which in turn means your post will get seen by more people. Being seen by more people is a good thing because those people might be potential customers/clients/patients and they might be interested in learning more about you.

Here are the results of a few of my latest posts:

The results speak for themselves

So as you can see, the personal stuff (a post about my daughter’s 2nd birthday, and a post about me going off on a camping adventure) did much better than the professional content.

Part of the reason is because I have a niche audience of healthcare providers that tend to be interested in my professional stuff and so the engagement is naturally going to be lower, but that doesn’t account for how well the personal posts perform.

The camping post had 955% more views than the best performing professional post within the same week. That’s a big difference. I reached over 6000 people.

Would you post personal content on LinkedIn?

I understand not everyone is naturally willing to share their lives even if it is effective. Some people are much more private and don’t want to share much about their personal lives.

But if you’re open to the idea, I believe it’s worth a go, especially as a healthcare provider. Healthcare providers, in particular consultants, can be intimidating. Often seeming more serious and imposing than they really are until you meet them in person, I think you’d do well to soften your image up a bit and share a few bits and pieces about the real you away from the clinic.

You’ll reach more people, more potential patients. You’ll become more likeable, and you’ll start developing real connections with people that might very well end up in your clinic one day because they felt a genuine connection to you.

If you’re curious about how you can start reaping the rewards of some of this stuff, you might want to consider having a chat with me about how I could help you.

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