Google+ Hangouts on Air in Brief
With the aim to make Google+ the go-to social networking platform, the search engine giant that is Google is showing no signs of stopping in improving the site’s functionality. While Google created numerous commendable updates in its social networking site, many businesses, both small and big, are noticing the potentials that Google+ Hangouts on Air has to offer.
Introduced in September last year, Google+ Hangouts on Air lets users broadcast to an unlimited audience. The update was rolled out together with Google+ Hangouts, which allow end users to simultaneously chat with up to nine different people. Because Hangouts was an update that is more focused on creating intimate onscreen experiences with friends and family members, Google created Hangouts on Air to let registered users communicate to a larger audience, or alternatively view as a spectator. Upon its introduction, this cool feature was only available to a limited number of broadcasters (most of which are bigger businesses). However, this all changed when earlier this month (May 7 to be exact), Google announced that it is making Hangouts on Air available to all users worldwide.
If you own a small business and you have a limited budget to market your brand in social networking platforms, this is, perhaps, one of the best features that you can use to reach a global audience through videos free of charge.
Getting Started with Google+ Hangouts on Airf your business already have a Google+ account, setting up Hangouts On Air is pretty simple.
- Just start with a normal hangout – click “hangout” button found on your stream.
- Provide a name to your hangout and start inviting people whom you would like to participate in the session. Should you invite up to 25 participants, each of them will be notified with a link to the session. However, if you send out invitations that are beyond 25, your invite will only appear on the stream of those participants.
- Once you have named your Hangout, enable your Hangouts On Air session by clicking on the corresponding button. You will then see a pop-up information letting you know that your hangout session will be public on both your Google+ stream and YouTube channel. If you agree to this, the next step is for you to go through the service terms.
- Make sure that you thoroughly review the terms of service. This is vital since you will be using the feature on your company’s behalf. If you feel that everything is clear, go ahead and click that you agree with the terms.
- You can now begin your first session along with the people you’ve invited. Start your broadcast on Hangout by clicking the “Start Broadcast” button.
- To let you know that the content of your session will be public, you will receive a final message from Google. Click ok and wait for 10-seconds for your broadcast to begin.
Once you are through with your session, your video will appear on your YouTube account after an hour. Of course, you have the option to edit your video to improve its quality and you can also share it to other social networking sites using the embed codes.
Practical Ways to Capture Your Business’s Target Market Using Google+ Hangouts on Air
Not sure how to make the most out of Google+ Hangouts on Air? Below are some ideas how you can take advantage of this feature to promote your small business.
- On-the-spot customer service. If you receive the same questions from your customers, what better way to address those queries by hosting a weekly Hangout session? To make this more interactive, you can also use ask customers to post their questions on your business’s Facebook or Twitter account and answer the questions live. You can then post the videos on your Google+ account as well as in other social networking platforms.
- Provide live tutorials. Tutorials are very popular these days, especially for DIY fans. You can make a weekly tutorial and share it to your customers. This is a great way to show your expertise in your field.
- Interview industry experts. In order to build your business’s audience, try to invite an industry expert or a panel of experts to do an interview with you and promote it to your customers, target market, or clients. To make things more interactive, you can ask some your audience to type in their questions and allow the expert to answer those queries.
- Run a contest. Show the fun side of your business by running a contest on Hangouts on Air. You can have a raffle draw or you can even have a talent show to give the limelight to your avid customers. Don’t forget to give prizes, though.
- Make a webinar. To further show your expertise in your industry, try hosting your own webinar and invite other users. You can also use your webinar as an opportunity to do your market research to know what your customers enjoy about your brand and you can also ask them about the products or services that they would like to see in your line-up in the future.
As you can see, Google+ Hangouts on Air offer numerous possibilities for your business, regardless of its size and your allotted marketing budget. The key is for you to provide excellent content that your target will be able to enjoy and has that viral factor that can help let the word out about your business.