17 Feb Healthcare Marketing: Google Hangouts for Physicians
One of the basic elements of a successful healthcare marketing plan is the smart use of social media platforms — including Google Hangouts for physicians. While Google Plus lacks the same user base as Facebook or Twitter, it features a full range of resources that can completely change the way you approach your practice’s presence online.
Whether you are already on Google Plus or still feel mystified about how to use it, there are plenty of benefits to be found with Hangouts — the platform’s video conference feature. Here, we have compiled a list of tips and strategies designed to elevate your healthcare marketing approach online. Read on!
What are Google Hangouts?
If you’re familiar with Skype or Apple’s FaceTime, you’ll know how to use Hangouts. In fact, in many ways Hangouts is far easier than other video conference platforms; instead of having to individually add people into an address book, you can invite anyone into your Hangout if they have a Google account.
Not sure if you have a Google account? Well, if you use Gmail, you’re ready to go — Google automatically sets up Gmail users with a Google account, through which they can access everything from YouTube to Google Plus. Hangouts is housed within Google Plus, and users can join by following a link into a publically broadcasted conference. In healthcare marketing terms, this means that you can showcase your Hangout not just on Google Plus, but also on Facebook and Twitter.
You can start a public Hangout at hangouts.google.com/start, or you can use Hangouts On Air — effectively, a public broadcast — to maintain visitor control. And as an added bonus, the broadcast feature will automatically record the conference to your YouTube profile, which means that you can build a series of physician conversations that upload on a regular basis. Distribute the Hangout link as you choose; additionally, Google’s sidebar features create opportunities to share your screen, chat with visitors in a designated chat window, and invite additional users during conversations.
How do I use it?
When it comes to healthcare marketing for physicians, social media can seem like a risky move; do patients need it? Will you be able to maintain the right amount of privacy? One of the best ways to navigate the tricky field of online conversations about health is to clearly designate the purpose of the meeting; if you are hosting a forum about healthy diet tips, redirect specific questions (those that are best reserved for an in-person meeting) to an appointment phone number.
Whatever purpose your Hangouts meet, set aside an amount of time to properly plan, promote, and host the conference productively. Successful healthcare marketing relies on the delivery of relevant material that meets the needs of your audience. Plan the amount of time you want your Hangout to last, what type of content you will discuss, and how you will field questions and contributions from your audience.
Promote the Hangout by posting the link and a description to your other social media profiles, and disseminate information through additional forums like your practice’s routine email newsletters. And, on a smaller level, make sure your host skills are top-notch; film from a clean, well-lighted place and dress professionally. Make sure you are broadcasting from a computer with a solid WiFi connection, clear microphone, and great webcam (hook up to an Ethernet port, if possible).
Interested in learning more about how Google Hangouts can positively impact your healthcare marketing approach? Speak with the professionals at HealthCare Marketing Group today!