Is Google+ Necessary for a Dental Practice?
First things first, we’re talking about dentists using the social component of their Google+ Local page – after establishing their clear, consistent, verified, & properly categorized +Local listing – which is necessary for every dental practice.
Adding a little social spice to the local visibility recipe can certainly up your local ranking factors!
That is if your posts get shared and/or +1’d a lot.
In review, Google+ is Google’s social media platform – with many of the same features and benefits of other popular social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn…but different.
Google+ Local (formerly Google Places and now known as Google My Business – as Google refers to it for business owners) on the other hand is Google’s local search environment reserved for businesses complete with map listings, location information, & customer reviews.
According to Google, Google+ Local helps users discover and share places. Google’s 5-point scoring system gives you detailed insight into businesses before you visit, and Zagat summaries of user reviews help you decide where you want to go.
Weird, I thought the Zagat ratings went the way of the DoDo…sorta.
With Google+ Local, dental patients can:
- Get recommendations based on their circles, past reviews, and location
- Publish reviews and photos of their favorite places
- Read Zagat summaries of user reviews for a place
- View the local Google+ page for a dental practice to see reviews, photos, posts, and other useful information
- Find reviews from people you know and trust highlighted in your search results
By adding a social layer to your G+ local identity, dentists can:
- Acquire more new patients
- Connect with other local businesses
- Drive more traffic to their websites
- Share beneficial dental health (& overall health) info
- Boost their local ranking factors
So in review, Google+ is about social media & Google+ Local is about local businesses with a social component. Google merged everything into “Google My Business” back in 2014.
Yeah, I hear ya…now go try to explain to a patient how they can leave your dental practice a review from their mobile phone…
By this point every dental practice should have a verified Google+ Local page, from which they are able to post messages, comment, share pictures, add video…etc. – much like every other social network out there.
But are dentists using the social component of their Google+ Local pages effectively…or at all?
How Dentists Can Be Social on Google+…Google+ Local, Google My Business
…And whatever else Google decides to change the name to, merge with, or morph into some time in the future.
All dentists should be using Google+ as a social component – after establishing a solid local seo foundation with their Google+ Local listing, which requires a different set of goals/strategies/tactics – to their overall digital dental practice identity.
10 ways dentists can get social on Google+:
- Post practice news, updates, events
- Share local news stories or community happenings
- Connect with other local businesses, vendors, suppliers…
- Take pictures inside/outside your office & post them in the appropriate place (logos, examples of work, interior, exterior…) – both a local & social MUST
- Use hashtags – but don’t overuse them
- Engage with other users – share their content and/or comment on it
- Add commentary to your posts – explain why you’re sharing, what you like/dislike, agree/disagree with…
- Use engaging images on every post
- Choose to email your connections with posts you publish – just not every time
- Join & participate in G+ Communities
One important key to remember with any social media endeavor for your dental practice, don’t make it all about you!
Use 4:1 general rule of thumb – for every pat on the back, look how great we are, here’s our special offer post make sure you are doing about four sharing posts that are beneficial or engaging to your patients, prospective patients, & local community.
How Dentists Can Improve Engagement on Google+
Since these folks already designed a perfectly good infographic on how to improve engagement, we’ll just share it...