For now, the place of Facebook in the plastic surgeon’s social media hub should remain near the top of the list right behind your blog. But that doesn’t mean you can afford to ignore the new kid on the social media block! Though still in its infant stage, there is no doubt Google+ is destined to be an integral part of any effective social media strategy. Google+, the plastic surgeon, and SEO are directly linked in the future development of your next-generation, interactive web site.
Part of our aim in these Doctor 2.0 articles is to help you not only strengthen your current social media efforts but to get ahead of the curve in your Internet marketing strategy. As SEO and social media continue to merge, it is critical your practice stay up to date with new ways to promote brand awareness and connectivity with potential clients. Nothing Google does can be ignored if you intend to stay at the forefront.
The first few months of Google+ was reserved for individual users, but now business pages are available. Some of you are probably saying, “But my practice has an active and successful Facebook Business page, why spend my time on a newcomer?”
Here are a few reasons Google+, the plastic surgeon, and SEO are a natural fit.
Facebook has a user base approaching 1 billion people while Google+ currently has less than 50 million. On the surface, that appears to be a negative. The user base of Facebook cannot be ignored. Sheer volume dictates you pay attention to Facebook.
The strength of Facebook is also one of its weaknesses. Facebook is crowded with the recent integration of services like The Washington Post, Spotify and, as well as hundreds of games, “happy birthdays,” and more apps than one can count. The result is a lot of social media noise people have to ignore to notice you.
In contrast, Google+ is currently more driven by content of an informational and professional nature. For now, the soil is fertile on this platform for strong brand recognition and more direct and personal relationship with your audience.
Less noise = More Focus
“Hangouts” and “Circles” give Google+ an immediate advantage over Facebook in engaging audiences in a unique and compelling way. Hangouts provide a method to directly engage followers in discussions get immediate feedback and offer exclusive content. Dell Computers, for example, recently announced it will be using “Hangouts” as a place to provide face-to-face customer support. Imagine a video chat hangout where you could answer questions once a week for potential and current clients.
Working in the Google Universe
Google is constantly working to unify its products. That means Google + is bound to see even more integration with Google Places, Google Maps, YouTube, and Google Search. One example of this that has already taken hold is the Google+ Button you can add to your web site and blog.
Finding the right balance of social interaction and business promotion is critical to connecting with the largest possible audience. Your patients and prospective patients are already comfortable using Google search, maps, and YouTube. That means there are fewer obstacles to overcome in user acceptance than in any other new social media channel.
Content over Old Friends
A trend that seems to be developing is that Google+ users tend to go there more for content or sharing of common interests and information than maintaining relationships. Consider these quotes from Google+ users to the Huffington Post:
Google+ is more about sharing ideas and content. Facebook is where I see graduation pictures and wedding announcements.
Facebook and Google are two completely different things for me. Facebook is a way to interact with friends and family. Google+ is a way of finding fascinating content I’m interested in very, very, easily, that I wouldn’t even have thought to go looking for.
People are utilizing the features of Google+ to discover and share meaningful content, while engaging with new and interesting people. Google+ eliminates barriers to connecting.
Since content is still king, it makes sense that Google+ is a social media platform you cannot afford to ignore.