Tips for Hosting and Attending Google Plus Hangouts

February 4, 2014 | Google + | 0 COMMENTS | Green Candy Media

By now, you know that Google+ is the upcoming engagement haven of social media outlets. After all, it’s Hangouts are how Chef Dennis Littley is broadcasting his cooking show, Sarah Hill is talking all things military, and President Obama was able to host a “Presidential Hangout Road Trip” to answer questions and hear thoughts about his address to Congress on Friday; there’s no reason to not seize these undeniably powerful opportunities. Google+ Hangouts are the most multifaceted way to chat face-to-face with clients, broadcast to fans, and share content with colleagues. Yet, with so many tools and features to attend to, like invites, chats, and apps, it may be difficult to apply them all effectively to reach your marketing goals of outreach, SEO optimization, and compelling discussion. Here are our tips to get more from Google+ and master the high tech platform.

  1. Get the Mechanics Down    Before diving into a 100-person Hangout On Air, really get to know all the bells and whistles of Google+ Hangouts. Although it is user-friendly, there are a lot of things to explore. Check out the customizable settings to receive fewer notifications and control who you hang out with to keep everything as simple as possible. Examine the Hangout On Air process when you want to engage with more than 10 participants. If you’re not familiar with how to integrate your chat on your YouTube Channel, you still have a bit to learn. Explore how Control Room lets you moderate the conversation, play with Google Effects, and discover how nifty Screenshare is. To avoid embarrassment and really get more hands on experience, try hosting a Hangout with close colleagues or a group of friends a few times, so when you’re perusing the tools you haven’t used yet, it’s not a blow to your brand’s ego.
  2. Actively Implement Multimedia  Hangouts offer the YouTube integration and Capture features for saving your entire chat for later, but during your live chat, the possibilities for avoiding a snoozefest are aplenty. Plan on adding YouTube videos to the Hangout playlist when you need to mix up the conversation. Introduce a new product, a sales pitch, or potential advertisement, refresh everyone’s memory from the last Hangout, or broadcast a hello from the CEO. Another way to steer away from too much text or basic chat is to use Screenshare to share a specific window or your entire display. This is extremely useful for hands on troubleshooting or teaching a program, or a more real-time approach to content sharing than YouTube videos. In essence, use Hangouts multimedia features to think outside of the box to engage your viewers visually and collaborate effectively.
  3. Mix Up the Convo   Going hand in hand with adding multimedia, don’t forget to change up the conversation material; were even suggesting playing devil’s advocate. Don’t stir up drama reality TV-style, but when discussing an issue, hash out both sides and encourage group formations you wouldn’t normally. When broadcasting On Air, inspire audience participation that isn’t necessarily 100% positive. Bringing up challenging topics demonstrates that there isn’t a superficial façade attached to your brand.
  4. Pick Your Panel with Care   Don’t know how to introduce new topics exactly? Bring in different people to your Hangouts each time (especially for On Air discussion). Invite people outside of or even opposed to your industry. Better yet, feature these guests so that their feed is the main page for absolute focus, instead of a naysayer in the wings of the conversation. New insights and angles are what will keep the conversation engine chugging along.
  5. Attend Attentively   Now that you know different approaches to hosting your own Hangout, make sure you attend Hangouts for optimum relationship building and presence establishment. Check out the landing page for upcoming Hangouts and RSVP to ones that will contribute to expanding and enhancing your brand, as well as where your one of a kind knowhow can be heard. Go the extra mile and submit questions beforehand if the Hangout gives you the option. More engagement means you’ll get more out of the conversation, and even get ideas for your next Hangout.
  6. Keep the Discussion Going   After you successfully update and improve your current Google+ Hangout routine, it’s important to expand its effects on your audience as far as possible. Besides saving your Hangouts to YouTube, note what was said, accomplished, and resolved, in order to gain perspective and step up your Hangout game each and every time. Finally, if you keep your Hangouts thriving, then it will spark word of mouth marketing – remind participants of that with reflections on Hangout successes (and fails) on your other outlets and your blog.
  7. Be Realistic About How Google+ Fits into Your Content Marketing Scheme   Google+ is an important platform to integrate into your social media approach, but each brand must to do so to a certain degree and in a way in which the business gets the most out of what is being offered. Evaluate where your content shines; do your images get pinned like crazy on Pinterest? Do you videos go viral on Instagram? Maybe your Twitter chats are the best in the industry. Depending on your product, your business will fare better on certain platforms and worse on others; don’t waste time putting too much effort into every single one. Yet, regardless of your focal social media platform, Google+ Hangouts will boost your brand to a significant degree with the right amount of input and the right angle. You just have to experiment with content and topics to figure that out.

On Google+, it’s easier and faster to build an audience than any other social media outlet. Using this backed platform to host and attend Hangouts will allow you to form and enhance your own niche of a thriving community. With all the effects and features Hangouts offers, you have everything you need to tailor them to what’s best for your brand. How will you become your business’s very own Hangout Guru?

 

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