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How Hospitals Can Leverage the Rise of Google Plus [Podcast]

By Stewart Gandolf, Chief Executive Officer
tom jensen

Tom Jensen Mercy Health System

[SHSMD14 Speaker Podcast Series] Lonnie Hirsch, Co-Founder of Healthcare Success talks with Tom Jensen, Director of Marketing for Mercy Health System about Mr. Jensen’s upcoming presentation at the 2014 SHSMD Connections Conference on the topic: Enabling Tools and Technologies: The Rise of Google Plus.

Google Plus is standing toe-to-to with Facebook, but—as Tom Jensen and Lonnie Hirsch discuss in today’s podcast—Google Plus is closing the competitive gap, and it's a hospital marketing tool that can boost organic search results.

Google Plus is increasingly valuable in healthcare marketing to leverage hospital visibility through community postings. What’s more, the new My Google Business is an innovative dashboard that provides greater user control.

Among the topics discussed in this informative podcast:

  • How Google Plus has rapidly grown market share in competition with Facebook;
  • The correlation between Google Plus and organic search rankings on Google;
  • Leveraging postings to Google Plus communities to boost organic search; and
  • Advantages for healthcare businesses using Google Plus.

How Hospitals Can Leverage the Rise of Google Plus

Highlights from this discussion with Tom Jensen—and subjects which will be part of his upcoming SHSMD presentation—include:

Lonnie Hirsch: How fast is Google Plus activity increasing and what is Google+ market share compared to Facebook and other social media platforms?

Tom Jensen: When Google brought this out they immediately knew they would be competing with Facebook and others. As a comparison between Google Plus and Facebook, there’s still a healthy gap between the number of Google Plus users and Facebook users, but we’re seeing those two (competitors) coming closer together in the years ahead.

Google is a strong number two. But when you’re talking about Business-to-Business, Google has actually overtaken Facebook in the first quarter of 2014. They are in a battle with Google presently in the lead in B2B logins.

LH: What is the correlation between Google+ and organic search rankings on Google?

TJ: There’s been a lot of discussion on this topic. You’ll hear Matt Cutts from Google say that it has nothing to do with it, however there are independent studies that show that it does. In the last couple years, we’ve seen that Google Plus posts in particular help organic search.

Posting to Google Plus is posting to a blog. The first 45 to 50 characters of your Google Plus post becomes the title in Google search results. We’ve often seen that if you’re careful about the use of keywords in the Google Plus post, it can help your organic ranking. It’s still hotly debated, but more and more we’re seeing that it does help organic search.

LH: What about Google+ communities?  Do postings in communities help with organic search?

TJ: Yes, you bet. Anything that you post in community content, by default, it becomes community and public content. This means that it is completely available to be indexed by Google on its natural, organic search results. The communities are very important, and if you can work that into your strategies, it can be beneficial to your search engine optimization.

LH: We understand that there are spin-offs with Google+ that have made things more user-friendly for businesses to manage their online content.  

TJ: Google is so big that, in the past, there were various tools, but no way to tie them together. Now they have introduced My Google Business. What this does is to draw it all together and brings all of their services into one dashboard so that you have one place to control your various business listings. It also gives you some great tools to track engagements, tie in Google Analytics, your YouTube Channels, and if you’re using Google AdWords, it allows you to track those as well. It’s overdue and I think it will help a lot of businesses gain hold of what can be done with Google.

For listeners who will be attending the SHSMD 2014 conference, make a note to attend Tom Jensen’s presentation on Monday, October 13th at 4 PM. Mr. Jensen will be speaking on the topic: Enabling Tools and Technologies: The Rise of Google Plus.

Also for conference attendees, meet up with Lonnie Hirsch at the Healthcare Success booth in the exhibit hall.

This article and podcast are part of Healthcare Success’ continuing education series featuring speakers at the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development, SHSMD CONNECTIONS 2014 Conference in San Diego, October 12-15.

HEAR MORE: additional podcasts in this series and previous Healthcare Success marketing leadership conversations are available on this page and on our iTunes Podcast channel.

Tom Jensen is director of marketing, public relations, and online media at Mercy Health System, which has locations in Wisconsin and Illinois. He has more than 16 years of healthcare marketing experience and more than 12 years of hospitality and telecommunications marketing and management experience. Tom holds an MBA in organizational development and a master's certificate in Internet marketing.

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Lonnie Hirsch

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