No other social media site has experienced such rapid growth in such a short period of time as Google+. Google+ is a bit new to social media world, only being established in December 2011. Yet, within a few short years, its population had increased so much that as of October 2013, there are 300 million monthly active users. Google+ is still growing and its population is predicted to double especially since YouTube comments are now integrated into Google+.
Google+ is different from other social media sites because it provides everything the other popular sites provide, yet offers new ways for users to engage, with popular applications such as “HangOuts” and “Circles.”
Furthermore, their special approach to business pages allows companies to interact and share information in a way that hasn’t been done before. If you still haven’t created a Google+ business page for your company, consider the following 5 reasons why you should:
• Google+ offers free business accounts to every company, no matter how large or small. With a business account, you have a social version of your company website that you are in direct control of. You can customize your profile with your company logo and colors, promote your services, and engage with your audience. In addition, Google+ offers social reports to business pages. Social reports give you an in-depth view of your followers, including who your target is, how many people are viewing your page, the impact of your recommendations, and more.
• Google+ provides high-quality video conferencing. If you need to conduct a team meeting, potentially have a session with patients (though at this point it does not appear to be HIPAA compliant), or even interview for new positions. Best of all, there is no charge for this service. All that’s needed is a Google+ account, a microphone, and webcam. Anyone invited to a video conference can interactively engage with others while sharing different applications, such as videos, slideshow presentations, photos, documents, and more.
• You can categorize your Google+ contacts into “Circles”. The Circles feature allows you to make up as many follower categories as you need. For example, you might have a circle to send our group reminders for flu vaccine while another circle could be private just for your staff or vendors. Circles are a convenient way to target a specific audience when sending out messages and updates. You can choose to send updates publically, to all your circles or just to a specific set of circles. You are in direct control of who sees what on your business page.
• With a Google+ business account, you’ll also be listed for free in the Google local business directory as well as Google Maps. Keep in mind it is increasingly common for consumers to search for local products and services – including their healthcare providers, so having your business in the local Google+ is particularly beneficial.
• Google is already a trusted search engine. Being connected to the largest and most comprehensive search engine helps businesses on Google+ rank higher in search results. When you create a business account on Google+, Google gets a boost in spotting your keywords, making it simpler for your company website and Google+ page to move up during organic searches.
There are so many ways you can be using Google+ in your business and we’d love to hear how you are using this tool to streamline processes and interacting with your staff, patients and community. We look forward to reading your comments below.