Joined up thinking

Saam Ali explains why LinkedIn can help your pharmacy make the right connections. 

As I thought about how to begin the article you’re reading right now, I came up with a quote that is surprisingly powerful, yet simple and completely obvious: “Where there are communities of people, there is always potential for business, whether it is offline or online.” 

Think about that for a second. Where there are people, there is business to be conducted! That’s why social media is such an effective tool for business. Each platform houses millions of people in one giant community, which is then split into sub-communities represented by various locations, demographics and interests. Finding and connecting with potential clients and customers that are interested in your products in a specific area of the country has never been easier.

With a global community of 530 million and a virtual network of around 21 million in the UK, LinkedIn is certainly no exception to the quote above and can be an excellent tool for community pharmacies. Here, I’m going to explain a few ways that you as an independent can harness it to help your business.

Create a company page

Just Facebook, you can create a company page on LinkedIn. However, its functionality in terms of a business tool is lacking in comparison. In saying that, it’s still useful for brand awareness and promoting your professionalism. If there are people in your pharmacy team who are on LinkedIn already, then they can add your company to their personal profile too (which all their contacts will be able to see). Also, it only takes 10 minutes to create!

Using your LinkedIn profile

Use your profile to connect with people in your locality. This is where I can see the biggest benefit for independents. Just like your personal profile, you can create a profile purely for the business you own. The great thing about doing this is that you can build up a targeted audience very easily by looking for, and requesting to connect with, people of certain interests and demographics.

Everest Pharmacy is located in Manchester and to connect with people in that city, all it has to do is type “Manchester” into the search bar and then click “connect” with everyone who resides in the city (see above). It can build up an audience of thousands in the space of a few weeks.

Use your profile to connect with businesses in your locality. Not only are you able to connect with people in your locality but businesses too. Type in the name of a business in your locality and connect with them. Introduce yourself by sending them a private message to begin building trust and when you’re ready, send them a voucher for the travel service you’ve just launched giving all their staff a 10% discount on their vaccines... Of course, you don’t have to do that. That’s just an idea you can ponder. The point is: begin connecting with the people and businesses that matter to you and start creating trust and better relationships.

Use your profile to source talented staff for your business. LinkedIn is the perfect arena to find that enthusiastic and energetic pharmacist to run your pharmacy. And by having a complete profile with thousands of followers, you’ve already impressed the potential candidate.

This is the perfect time to start using LinkedIn for your business. The platform is beginning to catch Facebook up in terms of its features, so this is the ideal time to begin using it more for your business. I personally love it because it’s not as cluttered as Facebook and the organic reach of your posts is far, far better. This is a media still used very little by independents, so take advantage of the lack of competition while it still exists! 

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