Tips on Making the Most of Google HangoutsBy Toby Russell
When Google Plus came out a couple of years ago, people weren’t terribly excited about it. Although it was supposed to go up against Facebook and Twitter and give them a run for their money, it didn’t offer too much that those social media networks didn’t. One unique feature, however, that’s definitely worth getting excited about is Google Hangouts.
Google Hangouts is a feature that lets you stream live video through the social media network to your contacts or the public. You can do it through your Google Plus profile, or through your website or YouTube channel. It requires no additional software and you can save your hangouts to use again as video content.
What’s really cool about Hangouts is that the feature lets you connect directly to your audience in a personal way. You can also use it as a free way to do video teleconferencing.
Although you can use the webcam attached to your computer, it’s much better to invest in some quality gear. Your Hangouts will look much better and have better sound quality, and this especially matters if you’re planning to produce a large number.
A few technical glitches are unavoidable but there are several ways to minimize them. One is to do a test run before you actually do your first Hangout. Another is to make sure that all participants are using network connections and not wireless networks. Wireless networks are slower and more likely to give you pixilation, sound drop-outs and other problems.
Save the Sales
Don’t hold Hangouts that are just prolonged sales pitches. Focus instead on providing help and valuable information to people that are already in your sales pipeline. Think of it as another form of content marketing where you don’t lay on the hard-sell but just help. You’ll build a loyal following that trusts and likes you, and that should be your main purpose with your Hangouts.
Spice up Your Hangout
Hangouts can be more than just you talking. You can show documents, slides, images, sticky notes and clips from other videos. Varying the content a bit makes your Hangouts more interesting to viewers. You can also illustrate points more easily by giving them the information in different visual formats.
Create Killer Content
With Google Hangouts, you can meet face-to-face with your customers. Since you can save your Hangouts, you can also use it to make content. One easy way to do this is to conduct interviews with experts in your niche. You can also have roundtable discussions. Put together a small group of people in your niche and hold a live video teleconferencing event that your customers can enjoy.
Google Plus is still slow to catch on and part of the reason is that Facebook and Twitter are so tremendously popular. But the Hangouts feature definitely gives it an edge over other social media sites. If you use Google Plus as part of your social media strategy, taking advantage of Hangouts is essential.
Toby & Sam Russell
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