No doubt you have heard about Google + Hangouts by now, and how Google envisage it being the next big thing for conference style communications. Google + has brought with it many great features but in my mind ‘Hangouts’ has got to be the best of them. If you are wondering how Google Hangouts can help you in your day to day routine then take a look below and see for yourself.
Getting started with Google+ Hangouts
If you already have a Google + account then you can access Hangouts straight away from your user panel. However you can also install the quick plug-in which is available to download in the Google Chrome Store.
It’s advisable to take advantage of the tutorials so make sure you watch the short intro videos available on sign-up and you will soon learn all you need to know about Hangouts. Don’t worry too much at this point if you’re not quite sure what to do next, it won’t be long before you’re making your mark on the Google + world.
Circles and Hangouts – how they are interconnected
Firstly you need to create circles containing various groups of people. These can be networks of friends, family or business related groups. Other users can also invite you to their circles to interact. It’s advisable to create several circles; one for each interest or business activity. Each circle you create can contain up to 25 people. Google really have made it extremely simple to move people from one circle to another, so it’s a pleasure rather than a nuisance to work with.
Google+ hangouts are an extension of the circles feature. Once logged in you can then invite or can be invited to hangout with up to 10 people. The idea of hangouts is that you have the opportunity to talk with people you have invited, friends you know well or people that are connected to you through your other contacts.
Why it’s good for business development
Well here are the main advantages. Firstly you can use Google Hangouts to conference with those you work with anywhere in the world. Meet them face to face, discuss, share and listen to ideas. You can share your screen with up to 10 people in your Hangout and even watch a video together.
This is great news for busy people like you and me to get together in a money-saving, efficient and user-friendly way. You are in control at all times and can arrange the time and day to meet. Once again different teams can create different circles and hangouts specific to their needs and projects.
Staff training or teaching on a one to one basis
This is an ideal and resourceful way to train your staff, cutting down on travel expenses and other overheads massively. It’s also an easy way to share important issues and theories with the rest of your team. There are a wide range of interactive tools available throughout the app, making it a pleasure to use. Hangouts are also an innovative way to teach business concepts, languages, and numerous other subjects on a one to one basis or within a group.
Gain new customers whilst improving existing customer base
This versatile application opens up new doors, helping you to reach out to customers that would otherwise be inaccessible. You could also use Hangouts to introduce a new product or service in real time to your potential clients.
Create a new hangout and invite potential customers or existing customers to come in and view. They in turn can invite others. You can be available as the face of the company and open the floor to answer any questions and queries your audience may have. Hangouts are also a great place for product testing and are perfectly designed for online focus groups. It’s all about being visually available; not just about words and text. People can see, hear and interact all at once. Connections are made and relationships and networks developed.
Now why aren’t you using Google + Hangouts yet?
Ben is MD of an SEO Agency in London. He writes regularly on social media and SEO topics as well as on travel one of his clients, No.1 Traveller, operators of a Heathrow Airport Lounge, as well lounges in Gatwick and Stansted.