Are Hangouts The Best Thing About Google+?

Ah, Google+, the Marmite of social networks, you either love it or hate it. Recent reports suggest that users are spending less time on the network than ever. Regardless of that, the functionality of Google+ is pretty sweet, one feature, Hangouts have a lot to offer businesses and individuals alike. Read on for the lowdown on Hangouts and some great tips for their use.

Google+ Hangouts

A Hangout is a multi-user video chat tool, which enables you to chat with up to nine other people in one go. Google+ Hangouts are extremely easy to set up. Simply hit the Hangout button on the right-hand side of your Google+ home page, install the plugin and invite your chosen contacts to join the conversation.

Features

  • Preliminary Green Room- check your hair, make sure your mic is working and that your background is suitably professional.
  • Share Videos- any videos already on the web can be shared in that hangout
  • Google are looking to roll out a feature that enables all users to broadcast their hangouts ‘on air'; this will allow anyone to watch them live or play them back later.

8 Ways Businesses can use Google+ Hangouts

  1. Customer Service: Encouraging customers to connect with you via hangouts will improve your business relationship. You can have conversations with several people within the same company at once as opposed to the restrictions that a phone call or singular video call affords you.
  2. Product Demonstrations: Eliminate the need to mail out samples to customers. If you can demonstrate effectively the features of a product to a group of customers at once, this could alleviate the delay and cost incurred by sending samples.
  3. Networking: Google+ hangouts could take social media networking to the next level. Rather than simply connecting through written forms of communication, having a face-to face chat with online contacts could strengthen a relationship.
  4. Business Meetings: Many businesses are now based in different locations around the country or even the world. Google+ hangouts allow meetings of a quite sizeable number of people without distance getting in the way.
  5. Online Courses: Run classes, coaching sessions, or seminars online. A step forward from simply posting video tutorials, you can receive real time feedback and be able to answer questions straight away.
  6. Problem Resolution: Currently, many customers will take to Twitter to air their grievances about a brand or product and receive an almost immediate response. Google+ hangouts could revolutionise this complaint system even further. Customers can illustrate the defects of their product and receive a real time response.This will improve efficiency on problem resolution.
  7. Personal Branding: Developing a personal brand online has become increasingly important as the power of social media grows. Google+ could take this to the next level. Already through profile pictures and gravatars people are become recognisable and associated with their personal brand. Google+ hangouts could brilliantly support this as they will become not only visually recognisable but people sk them questions and hear their thoughts on topics within their niche.
  8. Market Research: Host focus group hangouts for current or potential customers. You will receive real time reviews of your products or services with a much easier and less time consuming set up than hosting a focus group in person.

So what do you think about Google+ Hangouts? Will you give them a go?

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