Google+ Hangouts empower face-to-face communication between people in as many as 10 different locations. Its purpose is to enable multiple users to chat with one another and it is very effective for facilitating group interaction.
6 benefits of using Google+ Hangouts for business
There are many business benefits of using Google+ Hangouts when interacting with clients.
- Impress. Many people are still new to Google+ and being the first to invite them to a Hangout would be an easy way to impress a loyal client or a potential customer.
- Record. Client testimonials are a powerful marketing tool and combining a Google+ Hangout with a free tool, like ScreenCastle, will make recording these testimonials easy.
- Inform. Invite prospects or customers to a Hangout to watch your presentation online if they cannot be physically present.
- Research. Focus groups can be expensive and costly if you need to travel and pull people from diverse geographic communities. You can create a Google+ Hangout to bring 10 groups of people together in one large virtual focus group.
- Control costs. A lot of sales deals are made possible by the work of multidisciplinary teams from different departments. Instead of coordinating travel schedules, plan a Hangout to hold collaborative sales team meetings – the meeting happens and you cut down on costs.
The benefits of using Google+ for business are clear, but many marketers and salespeople are also new to Google+, here’s how you can use Hangouts to help with your marketing efforts.
- Keep in touch. One of the most important parts of the sales and marketing process is to be front of mind with your prospects and customers. You can use Google+ Hangouts to schedule regular or recurring chats with your customers to hear what they think about your product or service, or you can hold regular rapport building conversations with your prospects.
- Demonstrate. If you sell costly products, it is hard to close a sale without a demonstration. It can be costly to arrange demonstrations if your prospects are located far away from your base. Google+ Hangouts can solve this problem because you can hold product demonstrations for as many as 10 groups of prospects at once.
- Customer service. If you are selling products or have a customer service team, you can invite customers making service requests to a Google+ Hangout instead of dealing with them over the phone. You can cut costs and improve customer satisfaction by offering warranty servicing through a Hangout.
- Internal meetings. Many businesses have employees scattered around the globe and some simply allow employees to telecommute. Bringing numerous people to one central conference centre is expensive and growing less and less common. Use a Hangout to handle regular staff meetings.
- Reuse the Hangout. You can take what was discussed in a Google+ Hangout and repurpose it for other uses. You can record it with software and post it on YouTube, you can track common questions from product demonstrations and customer service inquiries and create a FAQ post.
Business applications of Google+ Hangouts
To succeed with Google+ marketing you really need to switch your mindset – think of it less as a social network and think of it more as a tool. While there are many business applications of Google+ generally, there are more applications specific to Hangouts. While on its own a Google+ Hangout is a powerful video conferencing service, you can take advantage of ‘extras’ that super charge your Google+ experience.
There are four extras you can use in your Hangout to help improve your productivity and profitability:
- Screenshare. Most businesses meetings involve the sharing of data and a common way to share data is with PowerPoint presentations. If you are using Google+ Hangouts to include remote or traveling workers in meetings, they won’t have access to the presentation unless it’s emailed to them. If you take advantage of the Google+ extra called Screenshare, you can easily share your presentations with the other participants.
- Google Docs. I love Google Docs and you have access to Google Docs in a Google+ Hangout. Not only can you access your files, but you can display opened documents within the Hangout screen. This is a great way to display your meeting agenda to ensure things stay on track.
- YouTube. So much of online marketing involves video and other forms of multimedia. You are able to bring up YouTube videos within your Google+ Hangout so everyone can view the video simultaneously. This type of viewing is a great way to showcase a new marketing video, case study or testimonial you’ve been working on.
- Chat. While in a Google+ Hangout you have access to a group chat program. It’s a great way to ensure as few interruptions as possible while people are speaking. Participants can excuse themselves from the meeting via chat, ask questions to speakers, and it’s a great way to share links during a meeting.
While there are many benefits to using Google+ Hangouts for business, there are also some basics you need to master before jumping into this more advanced use of the network. As with every social network, there are marketing best practices and basic steps to get started as efficiently as possible. Once you get your account set-up and your business’s page operation, delve into Google+ Hangouts and see the impact it can have on your bottom line.
These are just some examples of how to use Google+ Hangouts for business and the benefits of doing so. Hangouts are a new technology and, like all new technologies, will continue to evolve.
Please, let us know how you are using Google+ Hangouts for business.