Setting Up Google+ for Health Systems

As the product of the most powerful search engine in the world, Google+ is strongly integrated into local search results. For this reason, we highly recommend investing in building a brand presence. In this post, you will learn how to navigate the Google+ platform and how to effectively manage a Google+ Business page.

Part 1: Navigating the Google+ Platform

Google+ can be confusing to navigate at first, but the more you familiarize yourself with the interface, the easier it will be to remember where to go to post on behalf of your organization, add managers, and switch between personal and company accounts.

1. Adding Managers

While Google+ Pages are only allowed one Owner, they may have up to 50 Managers. Managers have the authority to edit the listing information and post on behalf of the business page.

To add a Manager, first visit the page dashboard, then select aView all managers’ on the bottom right.

Click “Add Managers,” enter email addresses, and select “Invite.”

2. Switching from Personal Profiles to Pages

After someone receives an invitation to be a Manager of a page, he or she is required to set up a personal Google+ profile if one does not already exist. Much like a Facebook page, this step ensures that the person using the account is a real person. However, the name of a profile is not made public when viewing the business page.

Profiles have the ability to add friends and use social features independently of any pages associated with the account. Whether the actions are displayed as coming from the profile or business page dependents on how the person is navigating the account. In order to post on behalf of the business page, you will need to switch to the page dashboard.

When logged into an account as a page manager, or owner, navigate to “Pages” in the left navigation.

All actions that are taken within the profile, from posting comments to adding others to circles, will be reflected on the business page.

In order to switch back to the name/personal profile associated with the account, select the thumbnail profile photo in the top right of the window, which allows you to choose from the different profiles that are active.

3. Adding a Profile Picture and Cover Photo

Each business page should have a main profile image, which will appear on the feed as a thumbnail image next to the company name when posting anything. In addition, each page has a larger background image known as a cover photo, which can be used to display a larger image.

Viewing your business page, hover over the profile photo and click “Change profile photo.” To change the cover photo, hover over the bottom right corner until you see a box that says “Change cover.”

4. Adding People to Circles

Circles are categories of friends or contacts. When you add someone to a circle, they are notified that they have been added, but are not notified as to what circle to which they have been added.

In order to see who is already in your circles, navigate to the Google+ Business page by selecting “View page.”

On the “About” tab, scroll until you see the box titled “In your circles.” Click on the number to see who is already in your circles. Select “People” in the left navigation bar to manage circles and add more profiles and pages.

Here you can organize contacts and create new circles by selecting the (+) sign next to the existing circles.

To find new contacts, click “Discover” to see a list of suggested pages and profiles. Sort by category on the left to filter search results.

5. Adding Posts, Images, and Video

Google+ Business pages have the ability to share comments, images, and videos with their followers. Similar to Facebook “likes,” posts can be awarded a “+1.”

To add a post, navigate to the Google+ Business page by selecting “View page.” Inside the “Share what’s new” box, type your message. There are also options to add different types of media, as shown by the icons.

Google+ Business pages have the ability to share comments, images, and videos with their followers. Similar to Facebook “likes,” posts can be awarded a “+1.”

To add a post, navigate to the Google+ Business page by selecting “View page.” Inside the “Share what’s new” box, type your message. There are also options to add different types of media, as shown by the icons.

The default account setting will designate who will see the post. But it is easy to change this setting on a post-by-post basis.

To control who can see the post, click on the default setting underneath the text box. In this case, it is “Public.” Delete the button and choose from the resulting list which audience you want to share with.

Part 2: Effectively Managing a Google+ Business Page

Owners and managers are the individuals responsible for Google+ business page maintenance. Much like with any other social platform, owners and managers are responsible for posting news, interacting with followers, and updating page information.

It is strongly recommended that the accounts associated with page Owners and Managers are used on a regular basis. Notifications regarding new interactions with the page will be sent to these email address, and missed interactions could have negative results for the brand.

*Note: Page owners and managers are not made public. Therefore, people visiting the business page will not know the name or email address of the owner or managers associated with it.

Owners

Each Google+ business page has one Owner. The Owner starts as the person whose Google account was used to create the business page, but ownership may transfer to someone who has first been added as a Manager. Owners have the highest level of control over a page and may add or remove Managers at any time.

Owners of a page should be the most familiar with the Google+ platform, as they should be the go-to person for answering any questions managers may have. They should also work with Managers to assign maintenance tasks that may come to attention through email notifications, such as responding to a negative review or responding to a post in which the brand was tagged.

Managers

In order to manage a page, each person must first have a Google account. That account must also be “upgraded” to a Google+ account, meaning that the owner of the account must set up a personal Google+ profile.

One way to avoid having to create too many Google+ profiles is to instead forward email notifications from the original Google account to the email addresses of the proposed managers. This is not the official method for adding managers, but allows healthcare marketers to receive notifications through their company email address.

To add email accounts that will receive Google+ notifications, go to the account settings. Navigate to “Google+” on the left and add the email addresses of all “Managers” to the page.

Managers should be responsible for coordinating posts with other marketing and business strategies. They should also plan scheduled posts and should actively look for new opportunities for interaction. Although each organization is different, we generally recommend each page be assigned 1-3 managers responsible for making updates as needed.

The following breakout is what we recommend in terms of distribution of responsibilities by role:

Role: Responsibilities: Skills/Knowledge Needed:
Owner – Gets alerts on things like: reviews, being added to circles, new interactions
– Is the point of contact for implementation questions from managers
– Completes maintenance tasks in coherence with strategies from respective manager, such as updating page information
– Needs to be very familiar with the platform and how to implement changes
Manager – Gets alerts on things like: reviews, being added to circles, new interactions
-In charge of soliciting and responding to reviews
-Publishes posts, replies, shares, engagement
-Is the strategist defining what is posted and when
-Needs to be in the know in terms of big picture marketing efforts

Using Google+ to Your Health System’s Advantage

The Google+ interface is arguably the most aesthetically pleasing of any social network. By taking time to share health information, patient stories, events, or brand achievements, a hospital or health system may convey its dedication to current and potential patients.