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September 2, 2012

Google+ – Can We Just Hangout?

Google+ may be the newbie in the social networking scene, but the excellent and unique features it offers within the site is really becoming popular among its users. One of the best features of the site is the Hangouts, which lets you video chat with up to 10 persons privately, and even do an “on air” broadcast that any viewer in the world can see. As a personal or small business brand, how do you use this to your advantage in social marketing?

Here are some tips:

1. Interact with Your Clients and Customers Without Having to Meet with Them in Person

Sometimes, it just isn’t convenient for you to meet with clients and customers in person. Exchanging emails and even talking over the phone seem to be too impersonal, so why not use Google+ Hangouts so you can interact with them virtually face to face? This is a great idea especially if you plan on talking to numerous people at the same time because you won’t have to repeat instructions to multiple people over and over again. Video chatting lets people get a real glimpse of you too, which helps you connect better with them.

2. Organize a Meeting

If you want to meet with your business partners or employees, but there’s just no time for everyone to gather in the office or meet in a certain place, then why not organize a meeting using Hangouts? It allows up to 10 people to have a private video chat, so you can talk, shop, and discuss things with your partners and employees even in the comfort of your home. This gives everyone the chance to become more at ease unlike a regular meeting in a conference room. And the more relaxed people are, the more likely that they’ll be inspired with more ideas.

3. Schedule a Free Seminar or Demonstration

The “on air” feature of Google+ hangouts allows any person in the world to tune into your page and watch you. By offering a free seminar or demonstration, you can really promote brand awareness and even convert buzz to bucks. For example, more and more musical performers are using the “on air” feature to promote themselves and their music. Using this feature is truly an excellent marketing strategy for personal brands and small businesses since it allows you to reach more people and effectively market your brand.

4. Announce Events

With the “on air” feature of Google+ Hangouts, you can announce new products and upcoming events, effectively creating buzz around your brand. You can invite your target audience to tune into your page at a certain time, so they can learn about the things you’re planning for your brand.

5. Offer Customer Support

You can even offer customer support through Google+ Hangouts. This enables you or your representative to come face to face with the person who has an issue or a problem, and be able to offer the best solution. They can even show you exactly what the problem is, and you can demonstrate how they can fix it. This helps build trust with your brand, since customers are able to see you or your representative face to face.

6. Network with Brand Advocates and Influencers

One of the best social marketing strategies is to empower and reward your brand advocates and influencers. These are people who are loyal to your brand, and will go to extra lengths for you. Google+ Hangouts can help you network and connect with them, so you can let them know that their efforts in sharing your brand with others are very much appreciated.

7. Record Videos for Playing Later

Another excellent feature of Hangouts is the fact that it integrates with YouTube, and you can record your broadcasts and easily share it on the video sharing site, effectively reaching a wider audience.

Beyond video chat, there are so many other things you can do with Google+ Hangouts to effectively promote your brand and change buzz to bucks. So don’t ignore this excellent feature – learn what you can about it, use it wisely, and effectively market your personal or small business brand using it.


Maria Elena Duron, CEO (chief engagement officer), buzz2bucks, a word-of-mouth marketing firm, is skilled at making networks “work” and harnessing powerful online and offline buzz. She facilitates online visibility services and word-of-mouth coaching and workshops – taking companies and professionals from buzz-worthy to bucks-worthy.

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