We’re often asked whether social networking is a good idea for therapists. Our answer is always ‘yes’.

LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+ are all useful – and all in slightly different ways.

If you’re a private practitioner, you may not be on LinkedIn yet. Even if you have a LinkedIn profile, you may not be using it to your advantage. Here are three ways that we’re using LinkedIn…

1. It’s a good place to keep in touch with your contacts – fellow therapists, clients (and by that we mean business clients, not individuals) and colleagues. You can see all their details in one place, find out what they’ve been up to recently, and, most importantly, get introduced to their contacts, building your network.

2. A LinkedIn profile will help to promote your services to other businesses – for example, if you offer medico-legal services to insurance and rehabilitation companies, they may find your LinkedIn profile and get in touch. Likewise, if you have any companies in mind, they may have a company page on LinkedIn that you can ‘follow’ to demonstrate your interest.

3. LinkedIn Groups take real world ‘networking’ online. They are a great way to keep in touch with fellow practitioners, share advice, demonstrate your expertise and make useful connections. You can search for groups by keyword. For example, if you type in ‘therapy’, it currently brings up 2,489 results! Obviously we’re not suggesting you join every group; just find two or three that seem most relevant to you.

Are you using LinkedIn? Do you find it useful? We’d love to hear your thoughts – and let us know what groups you’re a member of!