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The first thing I do in the morning is pick up my phone and scroll through Facebook to stalk err… see what I missed while I was sleeping—which is normally not much except for a bunch of selfies. As a business owner, I’m sure you do the same (wink, wink). Just kidding. If you’re over the age of 35, I’ll bet you see Facebook as a complete and utter waste of time—something to be avoided unless you’re stuck at a red light or it’s your turn to take the kids to tee ball practice.
But even if you don’t personally see the attraction of sites like Facebook and Twitter, you can’t help but recognize the potential they might offer in the future as a low-cost marketing strategy to grow your business. And while you’re probably aware of sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, and YouTube; after all, they’re the dominate players in the social media world, there’s a silent up-and-comer that I’ll bet you’re not that familiar with and it’s called Google+.
In today’s blog post, I’m going to provide you an introduction to a feature of Google+ called Google+ Hangouts and how it can be used to increase your online visibility.
Let me explain…
The Basics of Google+ Hangouts
Google+ Hangouts are a major Google+ development for communication purposes. Google+ Hangouts allows people to join an online video chat—no matter where they are. This is different—and potentially more useful—than Skype because it
- Allows you to add multiple cameras
- Can be accessed from your Smartphone
- Automatically creates Google Docs for documents exchanged throughout the chat
In addition, Google+ Hangouts on Air allows you to share live video to an unlimited audience. Hangouts on Air can then be saved as a video and shared later for another audience. If you have a Google+ account—setting up a Hangout can be simple. If you don’t, it’s time to create one! Once your account is set up, go to your profile and click “more”—then click “Hangouts.” You will then see the “start a Hangout” button; click this and start adding people to your Google+ Hangout.
How Google+ Hangouts Can Increase Your Online Visibility
Since Google+ Hangouts allow you to quickly and easily connect with a group, the feature can be beneficial for your business to announce new products and services or share tips with customers by creating the equivalent to a video blog.
Here are some other interesting ways to use Google+ Hangouts for your business:
- Host an online class: Teach users about the products and services you have to offer and how they can benefit the user.
- Vlogs: On top of traditional blogging—post video blogs (yes, vlogs). They can be a great way to increase your online audience. Just pick a customer FAQ and answer it!
- Giveaways and contests: If you have products and want to give them away, host a giveaway through Google+ Hangouts. It will entice your viewers to join in.
Google+ Hangout gives your audience a chance to find out more about your business. They don’t have to be live either—you can record them and share them later!
Here is an example of a Google+ Hangout called Lunch and Learn for the interior design community.
Incorporate Google+ Hangouts into Your Blogging
If you are not blogging for your business—it’s time to start. Google doesn’t rank websites. Google ranks webpages and each blog you write counts as a new page and, if properly optimized, offers you a unique opportunity to rank for a specific set of closely related keywords. You need to be proactive on your website by adding frequent content. Adding a previously recorded Google+ Hangout sessions to your blog posts can create a more entertaining post.
Also, your blog posts are a great place to announce your upcoming Google+ Hangouts sessions you might be hosting. At the end of your blog post, you could mention your next online appearance. You could even create a blog post designated to a calendar of Google+ Hangouts—just plan ahead what you will talk about in each session to increase viewers. For example, if you own an HVAC business—you could create a calendar of Google+ Hangouts blog post. Some potential sessions could be:
- Question and answer session: HVAC maintenance-May 2nd
- Online class: How to properly clean your air conditioner-May 8th
- Giveaway: Demo a new product—first 10 viewers get 25 percent off their next service- May 15th
Are You Ready to Host a Hangout?
With Google+ slowly increasing in the social media world, it would benefit you and your business to use it!
To learn more about setting up a Google+ page for your business or to learn more about how you can use Google+ Hangouts to increase your online visibility, contact us! We’ll help you create an intelligent social media strategy as well as customized social media accounts for your business.
Just contact the experts at Blue Corona today—before you know it, Google+ will dominate the social media world (that’s right Mark Zuckerberg…that’s right).
About The Author: Blue Corona is a data-driven online marketing company with offices in Gaithersburg, MD and Charlotte, N.C.
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