1) Facebook may have nearly a billion users but Google still dominates search and our ability to find health information. Bottom line, Google processes 88 billion searches each month.
2) Google+ (Google's new social network) now has 90 million users, (fyi...you can see my Google+ profile here)
3) Search and Google+ have merged, meaning social profiles and content from Google+ will now appear in search results
So what does this mean for you and your healthcare organization? Remember, 61% of all adults search for health information online which means every healthcare organization and medical professional needs to create, monitor and proactively manage their profile on Google+. This is both a branding and marketing opportunity as well as a potential curse.
Right now, patients are discussing you and/or your organization after visiting your hospital or using your healthcare service or product. They are posting reviews and sharing their experiences on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Foursquare and Yelp. If you are proactive, you can not only monitor and respond to the reviews on each site but you can also use Google+ and Google's search changes to your advantage.
By creating a Google+ profile and posting content that favors your brand and professional reputation, you can directly influence Google's search results because those results now highlight social inputs coming from Googe+. Simply put, this is your chance to kill two birds with one stone. Thanks to Google, you can not only engage with patients and providers on Google+, but also craft your social engagement strategy to reinforce your online brand and drive more favorable search results.