Tuesday 04 February, 2014
Google Hangouts is probably the most exciting feature offered by Google Plus. It allows you to stream live broadcasts straight from your website, Google Plus profile, or YouTube channel. The cool thing about it is that it doesn’t require any extra gear or software whatsoever. As soon as you create a Google Plus profile, you’re ready to ‘hang out.’
Small businesses can use Google Hangouts in a number of different ways, and here are a few of them.
You can hold internal meetings with your staff via Google Hangouts. The advantage of this is that you don’t waste travel time and expense getting everybody there. It offers maximum flexibility and if your small business is going global, you can connect with your hired help all over the world.
Hold a meeting with a small group of your customers. Informal meet-ups have been popular in recent years where a business hosts a lunch or other event to get people together and discuss related topics. It’s not a business presentation but a discussion among customers. With Google Hangouts, you can do this online.
You can use Google Hangouts to create product demo videos, just like what you might post on YouTube. But with Hangouts, you can make the demonstration interactive. Invite a small group of prospective customers and show them what your product can do; then, do a Q&A session. You can also pre-record the demo and then have a representative there live to answer questions.
Webinars are a great way for small businesses to share their expertise and spread awareness of their brand. You can teach people not only about your products or services but how to do things that can help them. For example, if you’re a software company, you can show people how to clean up their hard drive. If you have a plumbing business, you can show them some simple tips to help them around the house. Hangouts offers a platform for hosting your webinars and you can post them on YouTube later.
Add a consulting service to your list of products and services and do your consulting over Hangouts. Again, you can edit and produce video content from these sessions.
Google Hangouts offer an excellent on-the-spot customer portal. Customers can contact someone from your company directly and the encounter is much more personal than email, phone or instant message. Some big companies like Dell are already taking advantage of Google Hangouts for this.
You can interview prospective new employees anywhere using Google Hangouts. It makes things much easier and more cost effective. The same goes for conducting interviews with your hired help or virtual assistants when you decide to use the Internet for outsourcing.
One of the nice things about Hangouts is that you can upload them immediately to YouTube and make them public so anyone can see them. You can also edit and archive the broadcast to improve it before you upload it. This gives your business a chance to reach a wider audience.