Google has long been at the cutting edge of innovation when it comes to their products. From Gmail to Google Glass, they do things in a different, and often better, way. So it came as no surprise that when Google+ landed among the Facebook-dominated social media arena, they found a way to stand out. One of the main advantages is the Google Hangout: a live video conference call for up to 10 participants and limitless observers. For businesses large and small, this provides a whole new method for turning site visitors into customers.
Promotion. Google Hangouts not only offer live streaming video, it also allows you to record and edit a Hangout at your convenience. You might want to show off a new product to a group of clients, allow them to interact with the demonstration and make the whole thing visible to everyone on the web by posting the final video on your website. Since added participants are optional, you can also use it as your own personal platform to broadcast whatever information about your company you’d like on video. Rather than creating a separate following on YouTube, you can alert your existing followers on Google+ to your new product without having to lead them to another online venue. You’re also set up to conduct product reviews, announcements, and any other promotional needs you might have.
Q&A Sessions. Customers like to be informed. They want up-to-date, reliable information. If a new potential customer is interested in your products, but doesn’t yet trust you, you might consider hosting a live Question and Answer with an Expert. If you bring in an expert in your field, they can field live questions from interested parties. This supplies not just information, but trust and confidence in your brand, providing a more solid base of trust for potential customers to rely on. The New York times hosted a Q&A-type Hangout with a couple of players during basketball season. Dell is also a big believer in the Hangout.
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Meetings. Sales aren’t only about the customers, of course. If you have an amazing product but a disorganized company, you’re likely to inhibit your own success. These days, it is so much easier, and more common, for employees to work from various different regions at the same time. This can make communication difficult, and thereby reduce your productivity and sales. Google Hangout makes it easy to have face time with everyone all at once, without worrying about junk mail filters, bad cell connections or expensive conference call hardware.
Customer Service. It’s important for your customers to feel valuable to your company, and nothing communicates their importance more effectively than great customer service. Google Hangouts adds one more level to the ways in which you and your customers communicate. Perhaps your customer service department needs to see the exact issue a customer is having if it’s difficult to describe, or maybe several people are having the same issue and a live discussion helps them feel their input is both received and heard. Another method might be prerecording several Frequently Asked Questions, editing them and posting them on your site so that all your customers can find help in one, single location.
Enhance the User Experience. The Internet has made it easier for brands to expand themselves onto different mediums in a way that is easily accessible to its clientele. Glamour Magazine has hosted several different Hangouts that offer behind-the-scenes looks at their featured content. The print and video mediums are more closely linked than ever before thanks to the interconnectivity of video and text with Google Hangout.
Camille McClane is a writer and tech enthusiast with a passion for social media. She has recently been studying Google and the functionality of all of their products, and also frequently contributes the HostPapa.co.uk blog. She hopes you enjoy this article!