Have you heard about Google+? Have you signed up already? If you haven't, you are missing out on a very powerful business tool. One of the best features Google+ has to offer is Google Hangouts.
It enables you to host a video chat with one or more people that are part of your Circles. (A Circle is a group of people with similar interests or something in common. For example, you could set up a Google+ Circle for your favorite baking tutorials, another circle for technology related bloggers, another circle for current news events, and so on and so forth.
The Hangout feature is comparable to a Skype video chat or even a webinar in most cases. When the “face to face” multi chat LIVE video component is added to a business environment, it can strengthen and deepen relationships. Read through these 10 reasons why you need to sign up for Google+ and begin using Hangouts today to improve your online social marketing.
#1: Meet and greet your clients and prospects without having to leave your office.
Travel time between appointments drain valuable time out of your business day, and is most often an inconvenience to both parties. By utilizing Hangouts, you can rid yourself of the time wasted in between travel and traffic and make everything very efficient instead.
#2: Build a network with Key Influencers
Top Influencers can be found “hanging out” on Google+ many of them on a regular basis. The platform makes it very easy and accessible to join hangouts that are already under way. Build up the list of people in your circles with key influencers whom you would like to connect with and keep a close eye on, especially when they are hosting a Hangout that you can join.
It is even possible to use a Google Chrome extension like Hangout Canopy to receive notifications and alerts when specific people you've connected with are in a public Hangout.
#3: Offer free demos of products or services to customers and prospects.
Want to set up a small Hangout for specific purposes? Go ahead! Let's say you sell specialized pieces of cookware or kitchenware, you could create a Hangout that shows the audience exactly how your product is supposed to work. At the same time, you can have your customers ask their questions and share their experiences and possibly even their recipe ideas as well.
They are sure to appreciate the extra service, more importantly you can respond to any questions or concerns they might have.
#4: Get feedback quickly
Feedback can benefit every business. It could be in the form of getting feedback from a client regarding how the latest project went. It could mean getting feedback from a member of your team so they can be more effective in dealing with their latest project or task.
It could even mean getting feedback from your customers on the ordering process you just newly implemented on our business website. Letting your customers talk to you directly in a Hangout can make all the difference.
Regardless of the nature of their concern or question they will respond to good service and a warm friendly smile. You and your business will stand out because you are doing something different, something brave, something unique and something that might make your business stand out among the competition.
#5: Offer additional content that can be published on YouTube
Another great thing about Hangouts is that you can publish the content to YouTube. This would translate to you almost instantly adding fresh content filling out your YouTube account and being able to broadcast it worldwide over an even wider audience for your business.
#6: Hangouts enables you to add more and more people to your specific Circles.
You will be able to organize your Circles better when people get involved in your Hangouts. When someone attends your Hangout offering advice on a certain product or service you have, add them to a prospective client Circle. If they have already purchased from you in the past and want to know how to clean and maintain it, add them to an existing client Circle. This is an example of how this could work for you or your Business.
#7: Meet and greet with your employees that work from home.
As of late, more and more businesses have employees that work from home, part time at the very least. There are even businesses that outsource some of their workload to freelancers. In any case Hangouts would be an ideal tool for getting together and getting to know your team in a real sense with the members of your team.
Using Hangouts to host meetings and to make sure that everyone is 100% operational and efficient. (Don't forget, you can always restrict your Hangouts to a specific list of people in your Circles)
#8: Make business related training easier and more interactive
Need a way to get together for essential and vital business training? Use Hangouts! Please note that this might not work in all aspects or fields of business but some businesses certainly enjoy getting together via Hangouts for a lot of different training purposes. Would it work for you, your employees and your business? Give it a try and see for yourself!
#9: Present yourselves as one of the few businesses that know how to utilize Google+ effectively
Every day, more and more businesses are signing up to Google+. (Google+ has more than 100 million users) But not a lot of businesses have harnessed the power of Hangouts yet. This is the time to get on board and show the people what you are made of. Ask yourself this, what can you achieve with Google+ and Hangouts? How can you connect with the people in your various Circles?
#10: Utilize Hangouts on Air to broadcast your Hangout to everyone else on Google+
In a hangout including yourself, you can have just 10 people. But buy utilizing the “Hangouts on Air” tool you can broadcast your Hangout and make sure everyone else on Google+ can see it! Resulting in you reaching out to a much wider audience. It won't exactly work for the content of every Hangout but in some situations it will.
Which ones have you used? Which ones are you having second thoughts about using? Which ones give you that “Aha” moment and give you great ideas for building your business in the future and making sure it grows!
With anything new, it takes time to get the hang of it. Google+ has been around for a while now but the features it presents are still unfamiliar to many businesses and business owners alike.
I am hopeful that after reading this article, you can start to see how Google+ and Hangouts can work for you and with you in the way you reach out and connect with customers, clients, prospects, team members, and fellow business owners.