When Google first launched Google+ in 2011, there was a scramble for invitations. Yet, after signing up during the early days of the platform, the feel was similar to a ghost town. It was hard to find your friends and family members, let alone find anyone besides the mainstream tech sites. So, when you think of the top social media platforms today, which ones usually come to mind? Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and maybe Pinterest. The one platform that often gets neglected or brushed to the side has been Google+, but after a recent study by the Global Web Index, you should rethink your engagement with Google’s social media baby.
The Global Web Index released its findings from its December 2012 study and what made the biggest splash, you guessed it, Google+! The study which focused on active user engagement amongst social media platforms ranked Google+ second ahead of YouTube, Twitter, Linkedin, and Pinterest. So, while you may want to continue ignoring Google+, it’s most likely a silly idea. Sam Fiorella of the Huffington Post writes an interesting piece about the social platform.
Google, through its various Web properties and deep integration with web- and social-based apps, is creating an interconnected database of users, content and relationships. This convergence of people, data and context is being referred to as the Web’s trust-based network. Google search engine results will be reprioritized to more favorably rank content that has been +1’ed or shared using the Google share/like widget or created and/or shared by people in one of your Google+ circles. Of course, this presentation filter only works when you are searching Google.com while logged into Google, but let’s face it, with the growing number of applications and Web properties they control, the number of people permanently logged in is increasing exponentially every month. The goal of a search engine is to provide the most relevant information based on search queries and it now considers your social relationships a highly relevant factor in determining just what information is relevant to you.
With Google+ sitting at the number 2 spot for social engagement, how can you and your practice engage with Google+? One of the newest and easiest ways to get involved with Google+ is through Google+ Communities. Introduced in December 2012, Google+ Communities are topic specific groups that allow users to interact in a community setting. Currently there are a ton of great healthcare related communities that focus on a variety of topics. If you do a quick search in Google+ you’ll find some very active groups.
How involved are you on Google+? Are you or your practice active users? Leave a comment below, send us a message on Twitter @MDWebPro, let us know on Facebook, or on Google +. We’d love to hear from you!