Could You Also +1 My Hospital?

You have finally figured out the social media landscape. Your hospital has a presence on Twitter, engaging with the community, patients, other providers, and local businesses. You have a Facebook page, complete with calls to action, linkbacks to the hospital website, a freeflowing thread covering the gamut of healthcare issues. Your hospital website is full of social sharing options…but what is this new “+1” thing?

Google launched a new social networking service recently (dubbed Google+) through an amazing word-of-mouth grassroots campaign. As a marketer in a healthcare organization, I’m sure you are thinking “Here we go again!”. Another metric to track, another campaign to manage. Not so fast my friend. This social networking site is not the same. It looks familiar…like Facebook without the ads and without the Farmville. Its more than 140 characters per post, so its not quite as extemporaneous as Twitter. Its a targeted discussion tool created for CONSUMERS. So that being said, how does it help your healthcare organization? The early returns may surprise you…
CMI Media has been investigating the efficacy of Google+…

Healthcare marketing services company CMI Media has investigated the benefit of Google’s newest tool one step further by analyzing Google+ and generating recommendations on the service for healthcare industry use. CMI’s overall analysis indicates that this product has the potential to “significantly change the online health information landscape,” in that it has the opportunity to “affect unbranded searches, such as for a disease state rather than for a medication,” according to a statement released by the company.

Google is not allowing businesses (read: hospitals) to engage yet. What Google IS doing is compiling copious amounts of data in preparation for the commercial wave. Watch for Google+ results to appear in Google searches in the near future. Your +1s (similar to “Liking” or “Recommending” on Facebook) will undoubtedly becoming part of some psychological profile developed to track user online behavior, interests, and loyalties. Will healthcare providers be able to track patients search methods specific to finding healthcare information? How valuable would knowing the levels of engagement visitors to your website have with hospital competitors?

Its always important to adapt to the playing field, and adopt early. Do you need to have a Google+ strategy on level with your Facebook  and Twitter strategies? Probably not (yet). Most important is to have a overall strategy that integrates the static content (website) with your social media. Track the impact, follow up with your patients, reach out to the community.

Congruity Solutions has over 12 years of healthcare advising experience. We would love to help you and your healthcare organization realize its goals in strategic planning, marketing, capacity analysis, or social media strategy. Contact us at 602.312.7561 to schedule an appointment.

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