The primary goal of implementing a social media marketing strategy is to improve communication with your prospective patients and to widen your marketing reach. Building a network of followers that you actually interact and communicate with is the starting point.
In December of 2012, Google introduced Google+ Communities to their social sharing platform Google+.Â Communities are groups of users that can connect, share, and communicate in a public forum setting. Community discussions are broken into various Discussion Categories, which help users find the information they care most about. Within each of these Discussion Categories, users can ask related questions, comment on images or videos, respond to othersâ€™ posts, and even share links.
With the creation of Communities, users and local businesses can easily interact with other Google+ users who share similar interests. While seemingly arbitrary at first glance, Google+ Communities can actually be used to market to your targeted audience â€“ hereâ€™s how!
1.Â Use communities as an information highway.
In joining communities that relate to services or products you offer, you can see common questions/concerns others have regarding these topics.Â If you can contribute to the community by answering questions or clarifying any confusion, help out!Â You can also use popular topics to shape the services you offer.Â For example, if a number of Community members are mentioning their success with, say Nobel implants, consider offering this product to your patients.
2.Â Use popular opinion to curate blog posts.
While you already understand Communities can help shape the services you offer, you can also use this information to create popular blog post topics. See what topics your Communities are discussing and find a connection with your services. After writing a blog post addressing how you can meet their needs, share the blog post with your Community.
3.Â Gain interest.
After joining a Community, it is important to remain active in the conversation.Â Regularly post comments, questions, and ideas on each of your Community pages to maintain visibility among other members and increase interest in your services.
4.Â Study the Communities you join.
Donâ€™t simply join the largest Community in your local region. Join Communities that may find your services useful. For example, the Coffee Lovers Community may not know the effect coffee has on their teeth, but a dentist who posts useful information about these effects, along with a solution (plug your teeth whitening services here), could generate interest from Community members who live near your practice.
5.Â Create your own Community meant for your patients.
Some of your patients may already be on Google+. Giving them a designated group to join gives them the ability to ask a question, read about special offers, etc. If you do create your own Community, be sure to moderate comments being posted and respond to all questions. Often, a designated Community makes patients more willing to participate as they learn others have the same questions or concerns.Â It also could keep potentially negative reviews away from your Google+ Local page!
To join a Community, look for the Community tab on the left hand side of your Google+ Page. Click, search for Communities, and start interacting.Â Itâ€™s that easy.
To learn more about marketing your practice on Google+, download our Ultimate Social Media Guide to Google+.