Marketing and social media forecasters are proclaiming this is “The Year of Google Plus” and “Google Hangouts;” Google’s newest video chat service is taking us to the new frontier. Experts say Facebook is the social media for PERSONAL interaction, while Google Plus Hangouts is the media for BUSINESS, but it extends far beyond just business.
Just like the difference between LinkedIn and Facebook, one is more social than personal, but both, if used correctly, can benefit you in all areas of communication.
Social media is changing the way businesses market our products and how we personally communicate with our friends and family. It is not only the WAVE of the future, it’s a TSUNAMI, and it’s here to stay. Anyone who is not on board now had better learn to swim.
Marketing gurus now understand that the old, tried-and-true methods of advertising are not holding the client’s interest. It’s not the same as it once was. A prime example of that is the folding, and near extinction, of newspapers as a source of news, as well as advertising. Video is the rising star. While you still need to have a strong message, you have to add the personal touch as well in order to connect with your market.
Communication is so important in all phases of our life. Hangouts definitely improves the ability to communicate. Social media has added that personal touch, giving your potential clients a chance to see your business behind the scenes—up close and personal.
If the customer gets to know you, and like you, they will trust you. It’s a very basic human concept. The days of the corporate office and large, faceless corporations are long gone, making way for one-on-one communication. It affords you the opportunity to keep in touch and reconnect with your current clientele, letting them get to know you as more than just a company that wants to make a sale.
What is Google Hangouts?
Google has made a number of moves to encourage people to use Google+ and has tied in several applications to enhance the overall experience. One of those applications is Google Hangouts, a type of online group meeting using webcams, a combination of instant messaging and video chatrooms, where all the participants can see and hear each other. It’s a video conference and webinar all rolled into one.
How does Google Hangouts work?
Users can hold live chat conversations with up to 10 users (15 if you have a Google+ premium account). Hangouts can be accessed online through Gmail or Google+ websites on your computer, or through Android and iPhone mobile devices.
With Hangouts, you can hold group presentations online and it will automatically record and stream them through your YouTube account, or archive them for later access. You can produce live broadcasts directly from your website, YouTube channel, and/or Google+ profile with just a few clicks of your mouse or stylus. Even better, you can save your recorded Hangout videos and post them on your site. You can even edit them, and archive them for future reference rather than streaming them.
If you are more interested in small, intimate chats you may be interested in straight Google Hangouts.
Why Business Owners Should Use Google Hangouts
The real thrill for a business actually comes when you use Hangouts on Air, which lets you record your videos, have others interact in the chats, and then lets the general public see them through a livestream through YouTube.
Photos can be shared during the conversations through a private Google+ album, and users are now able to use color emoji (emotional) symbols in their messages.
Best of all, Hangouts won’t dip deeper into your budget. It is absolutely FREE. If you wanted to offer webinars, this is a no-cost way to do it!
Videos are becoming increasingly useful, and cost effective, in marketing. The small business owner should be taking advantage of this growing trend immediately to increase their presence and brand recognition without breaking their bank.
Yes, there are other chatroom platforms, but none have the advantages of Google Hangouts, and the seamless integration of your videos with your social media.
How To Get Started with Google Plus Hangouts
- Hangouts requires that you have Google Chrome installed.
- You can install the Google Plus Hangouts plug-in in just a few seconds. It’s free.
- You start by introducing yourself and filling out a profile, making sure to add some bragging rights. This will aid Google+ in helping to find you friends, family and people interested in the same things across all of Google.
- You then add friends and family to your circle, so you can engage by making a comment, or adding a +1. You can join communities, follow your favorite artists, or have a long-distance party with all your friends and family.
With Hangouts, the person conducting the meeting is in the larger view on the screen, and participants are minimized, but visible, until they speak. There is a chatroom for additional participants, and you are able to mute them during your presentation, or allow them to chime in as well. You can also block individuals you do not want to participate.
What else would you like to learn about Google Plus? Are using Google Hangouts? Share your successes and what you have learned below.