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Today's Practice | Feb 2015

How Google Hangouts Can Help Doctors Gain More Visibility

Creating your own hangout is a great way to involve the customers in your business.

Many businesses are already present on a variety of social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, but a much smaller number have expanded to utilizing Google+. With a user base of more than 359 million active profiles, 150 million more than Twitter, Google+ is the next big social media platform.

Google Hangouts, which is owned by the world's largest search engine, enables companies to “host a hangout,” or a videoconference, for up to 10 people at a time. Hangouts are the most successful aspect of Google+, which makes it an ideal place to position your business in the digital space.


Although a hangout only allows 10 participants, the live video can be streamed to an unlimited number of viewers using YouTube. This, effectively, allows doctors to put on a live webinar for as many people as are able to view it. Additionally, the video will be posted to the company's YouTube channel after the live streaming has ended, furthering your content and making it available to the more than 1 billion active YouTube users.


Creating your own hangout is a great way to involve the customers in your business. In an industry such as health care, a Q&A hangout could be especially useful. Organizing a panel of knowledgeable doctors from your practice can help you establish yourself as a leader in the field as well as to seem approachable to your customers. Patients will feel more confident and inclined to make an appointment if they feel that the office is knowledgeable yet able to relate well to its patients.


Repurposing content is a great way to maximize the effectiveness of your content marketing strategy. After the hangout has ended, use the information from it to create an e-book or a white paper on the subject. These materials should refer readers back to your YouTube channel where they can view each video for themselves. Another excellent way to repurpose content is to post the link to the YouTube videos on other social media platforms. The video links will potentially be shared to give you greater reach into your target audience.



Along with each of your webinars, include brief descriptions of their content to maximize search engine optimization potential, and encourage the visitors to your website to view the content. Not only can you include a video description, but you can also post a transcript underneath each video. This will add to the text-based content, which will boost your positioning in search engines, while also giving the viewers the option to watch or read the content that you've posted.


Using Google Hangouts can not only optimize your search engine visibility but also establish your authority and grow your audience. With such a wide number of active users, it is a social media platform that can greatly improve your business's visibility. n

Shama Kabani
• best-selling author, speaker, and president of The Marketing Zen Group in Dallas
shama@marketingzen.com; Twitter @Shama

Cary M. Silverman, MD, MBA
• medical director of EyeCare 20/20 in East Hanover, New Jersey
csilverman@eyecare2020.com; Twitter @TheLASIKdoc

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