Ford has one. Pepsi has one. We have one. Even Angry Birds has one. Want in on the secret? You can have one for your dental office, too. Yesterday, Google+ opened up to allow businesses the ability to have pages on their fastest growing social platform.
Google+ launched in beta format back in June. However, it did not become available to everyone until September. Just 88 days after entering the beta format and within a few days of opening to the public, Google+ hit 50 million users. Now the highly anticipated Google+ business pages are finally here.
The Google+ platform is very intuitive to use. For each person or business you want to follow, simply place them into a circle (or multiple circles). For every post you make, you can choose exactly which circles to share your post with. For instance, if you are discussing Thanksgiving plans with your family, you can keep that conversation separate from the information you are sharing with your dental patients by sharing different posts with different circles. You can also quickly and easily see what particular circles are sharing or discussing by clicking on one of your circles. This filters out the conversations that are going on in your other circles. Also, just because someone circles you on Google+, does not mean you need to circle them back.
There is a difference between Google+ personal pages (which can be created at plus.google.com) and Google+ business pages (which can be created at google.com/+/business). Please, make sure you set up a business page if you are planning to use the page for your dental practice. We really don’t want to see you lose all the hard work you put into creating your page by having it get shut down by Google because you created the wrong type of page.
Google+ has some great additional features you should be aware of. It integrates well with the other Google products like Google Chat, Google Docs, Gmail, etc. It also has a video chat feature called hangouts. The mobile app version of Google+ also has additional features including huddle (group messaging) and instant upload of photos taken from your mobile devices.
Google+ helps integrate the Google search engine further into the social sphere through +1. A +1 is similar to a “like” on Facebook. It basically tells those you are connected with that you found a web page or post useful. For instance, say you were to +1 our Schick WiFi post from earlier today and then tell someone about it in your office who you have also circled on Google+. When that person googles “Schick WiFi” the post you had given a +1 to will likely show up in their search results stating that you +1 that post.
So … what does this mean for your dental practice? While the close to 80 million Google+ users pale in comparison to the over 800 million Facebook users, it is a very rapidly growing social network that will serve as another way you can connect with your dental patients, leaders in your local community, employees and with us at Patterson all from one platform while keeping conversations highly relevant to each type of social circle. It can also help to increase where your practice ranks on Google as your patients +1 your Google+ business account or your practice’s website.
We will be continuing the discussion about Google+ and sharing tips and tricks to get started on the Patterson Dental Google+ page. Circle us to learn more.