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Google+ Hangouts: Everything You Need to Know

Want to hangout? We’ re talking about Google+ hangouts of course. Google Hangouts may be the greatest thing since sliced bread, as far as social media is concerned. Hangouts are changing how people collaborate in educational settings as well as in the workplace. This means new ways to reach fans and market your brand.

Hangouts make video conferencing and interviews easier, more accessible, and most importantly fun. Google Hangouts are also great for fan engagement. Not only does it put a face to your brand, but Hangouts allow you to see your fans and talk to them live. So the question isn’t if you should host a Google+ hangout for your brand, but how you should host a Google+ hangout. We can help with that.

Hangout Features

Google+ has  two distinct types of Hangouts—regular and regular with extras. Here are the current features for regular videoHhangouts:

  • Instant video conferencing with up to nine other people
  • Invitation-only or public
  • Connect as many cameras as needed in hosting the hangout and easily switch between them. Switching between different cameras allows you to teach from different areas of a room.

Ideas for Google+ Hangouts

Need some ideas of how to integrate Google+ Hangouts into your business plan? No problem, here’s a few we came up with.

  • On-the-spot customer service
  • Q&A on current business news and how it affects customers
  • Product launches
  • Talent show with prizes (This type of Hangout is very popular on Google+. Several even have sponsors. Search Google+ for “talent show Hangout.”)

How to Host a Hangout

Make sure you already have a Google+ account and get ready to follow these simple steps. Let’s start by installing the Google Talk plug-in. Once the plug-in is installed, log in to your account.  Click the link to “Start your own hangout” in the right column. Make sure to choose your company account in the top right corner if you are logged into your personal account. Now let’s get those invites rolling – invite an entire circle, individuals or select “public”.

Now you’re ready to host your very first Hangout – exciting huh? The best hangouts are well thought out. Use these 7 tips to prepare for and host a successful Hangout.

  1. Give yourself time to practice. This allows each participant the ability to test logging in and their equipment before the Hangout. It also allows them to get to know the other participants, which allows for a conversational flow during the Hangout.
  2. Create the list of people you want to invite by putting them all in a circle. Then just invite the circle. Easy as pie.
  3. Brainstorm topics for discussion ahead ahead of time using Google Docs. This allows easy access during the Hangout.
  4. Choose a moderator. Even if it’s informal, you need someone tasked with keeping the conversation flowing. Dead air is dead air, and it’s awkward for everyone.
  5. Ask participants to log into the Hangout 15 minutes before it starts. This will give everyone enough time to make sure they’re on, and ensure audio and video is functioning.

That’s it – you’re ready to engage customers, humanize your brand and boost SEO using Google+ Hangouts. Be sure to prepare well for the Hangout and promote the Hangout using your company’s social media accounts. Jump right in and start planning your business Hangout today – you’ll be glad you did.

Are you tired of feeling lost in the social media crowd? Give Seapoint a call,  we’ll be happy to help your business reach it’s full potential.

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Bill

Bill Cutrer has a long history in Internet marketing, with a strong background in search engine optimization and interactive marketing. With a combined 20 years of teaching, he has spoken and trained at national & international events on the topics of Digital Marketing.

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