To follow up with our Facebook Marketing tips series, we?re going to continue our social media marketing guide for dentists and doctors with Google+. This will also be a weekly series that will give you some great tips for utilizing Google+ to market your medical practice.
A lot of doctors and dentists are still on the fence about Google+. On one hand, it?s owned by Google which means they?re bound to place a significant amount of importance on it for SEO. On the other hand, Google is?no stranger to failed social networks. And Google+ doesn?t seem to have been as well received as Facebook, Twitter, and even Pinterest.
Despite the public perception of Google+, the social network does have some nice numbers.
- There are over 500 million registered Google+ users
- Google+ is the second largest social network (Facebook is #1)
- 48% of the Fortune Global 100 companies have Google+ accounts
- 40% of marketers use Google+
- The number of active Google+ users grew 33% from June 2012 to March 2013
Google+ is still very much a work in progress, but Google seems to be putting a lot of effort into ensuring its success. Google has integrated Google+ into all of their most popular products such as YouTube and Google Maps, which is crucial for doctors, physicians, and dentists. This has helped them grow their user base to become the second largest in the world among social networks.
Google+ is important for your practice for a few different reasons. For one, there are a lot of users on Google+ as you can see above. Also, it?s important to be at the forefront of new marketing platforms with potential, and Google+ is definitely in that discussion.
And perhaps most importantly for businesses, Google has combined Google+ with their local features such as Google Maps. Having an optimized Google+ Business Page plays a major role in where your business ranks with Google Maps. All of this means that Google+ has become somewhat of a necessity for doctors and dentists.
A nice thing about Google+ still being relatively fresh is that we are learning more and more about it as new features get added and new capabilities emerge.
What?s going to separate the PRO Google+ users from the novices, is the ability to be proactive and think progressively. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, the answers aren?t all laid out yet, and there is no blueprint for success. But the tips in this guide will help you crack the Google+ marketing code and start your journey to becoming a PRO.
Tip #1: Join Communities
The absolute first step you should take with Google+ is to start joining relevant communities. Google+ is all about building relationships and communities. That?s one of the things that separates it from its competitors. Sure, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest all have features for groups, but Google+ is the only one of the four that is completely built around the idea of multiple communities.
Starting from the Circles concept, Google has made it clear that they want Google+ to be used for groups, rather than focusing on just individuals. Google Hangouts further reinforces this concept.
Even though Google+ has hundreds of millions of users, you?ll find that the atmosphere is much more collaborative and group oriented. There are tons of communities to choose from, so you?ll have no problem finding some in your industry or niche. Just do a quick search from the Google+ dashboard to find communities in your industry. Here are a couple to get you started:
After you join a community, don?t just start posting links to your website. This is a big NO-NO for most communities. Make genuine and helpful contributions to the group, and you?ll notice any links you post to your website will be received much better and people will actually WANT to read your content.
Go through the community page and look for interesting posts by others. Give your insight and add to the conversation. Don?t just say ?great post!? or some other generic comment that contributes little to no value.
One of the best ways to use Google+ communities is to search for people who are asking questions. You can reply to these questions in Google+, and for answers that get asked repeatedly, you can (and should) make a blog post about the topic and post it on the community page.
Google+ communities are a nifty asset, and allow for content marketing, brand building, and the opportunity to become an ?authority? in your industry or specialization.