Another social website? Don’t sigh just yet. Google+ might actually bring something new for healthcare marketers. Many predict health will be an area of high interest for consumers and organizations using this new platform.
Google’s new social media venture has a long way to go before it poses any threat to Facebook’s popularity. But it surpassed the 20 million user mark in its first month, making its growth impressively swift. It took Facebook and Twitter a few years to reach the same milestone.
Google Circles Make Sense
One way that Google+ is different from other social networks is the addition of the “circles” feature that allows users to group the people they are following. For example, circles allows users to select specific people and groups for sharing personal data of all varieties, including health information. More importantly, the platform can aggregate information across a very large user base. Will Google+ eventually become the personal health information platform? Only time will tell, but reason enough to keep a watchful eye.
Business profiles are not available yet. But according to Google, they’re on the way. And when they become available, Google+ might turn out to be quite exciting. Maintaining circles of industry specific users will enable business conversation to happen separately to personal status updates.
Christian Oestlien, a Google+ product manager, explains that the way users communicate with each other is different from how they communicate with brands, and Google wants to create an optimal experience for both, including rich analytics. So, if marketers can contain themselves for just a few more months, they’ll have much better Google+ tools than the ones that currently exist.
Reaching Your Target Audience
Although only in its infancy, Google+ is already showing signs of promise especially in its ability to drive traffic to other websites. This is a golden opportunity for marketers to reach healthcare professionals, patients and caregivers on a highly targeted level.
With Google+, marketers have the greatest opportunity to affect unbranded searches. An unbranded search is one where a user is searching for keywords related to your products or services, but not specifically yours by name. So when you develop a strategy, marketing messages must provide extreme value to the people searching for it.
In order to get the most out of Google+, marketers need to focus on targeted search marketing and encourage companies to add the +1 button to all of their important pages on their websites.
The +1 button is something new to the social sphere. With social platforms like Facebook and Twitter, you have a link somewhere on the website of a company where you can “Like” a page or post a page to your account. Google+ allows users to add all the stuff they “Like” immediately at the search page and not have to search for a like button on another page.
Having the +1 button available on the search engine makes Google+ especially user-friendly. And in the online world, being user-friendly is one of the most important factors that can make or break a website or social platform.