Google Plus Hangouts
In a surprising piece of news (well, we were surprised!) Google Plus, the social networking bit of Google, recently overtook Twitter in the list of social platforms with the most active users and it could be because of Google Plus Hangouts.
I say surprised, because it was only a few weeks ago that Twitter was officially lauded as the fastest growing social media network of 2012. Is it’s crown slipping away already?
Anyway, apparently 25% of the global internet population are now active Google Plus, compared to 21% on Twitter. Both have still some way to go to catch up with the clear leader, however, which and this bit certainly isn’t surprising, is Facebook. Facebook is used by 51% of the global internet population on at least a monthly basis.
According to those in the know, one of the cool and free features of Google Plus that is helping to drive its popularity is its group video chat tool, Google Plus Hangouts.
Hangouts lets you organise video conferences for up to 10 people. And here’s the best bit, unlike Skype, which provides a similar service but charges for it. Hangouts is totally free of charge. It makes it ideal for everything from chatting with your friends or relations, to arranging meetings at work or collaborating on projects.
For the really committed video chatters, there is also a facility called Hangouts On Air. This lets you stream your ‘hangout’ publicly on your Google Plus profile, your website and YouTube channel, or just to invited guests. In addition, there’s a paid-for premium service which increases the maximum number of Hangout participants to 15.
All in all, 2013 looks like being a landmark year for Google Plus Hangouts. And with good reason. With all this great functionality, it’s not only a really useful tool, the fact it’s all seamlessly integrated with other Google offerings makes it a fantastic way to beef up your social media presence.
So, here’s our top five tips for making the most of Google Plus Hangouts:
- Meetings and project collaboration: Using Google Plus Hangout to host meetings with colleagues at work, customers or project partners is much more personal and natural. Also you don’t any special equipment to do it.
- Engagement: Google Plus Hangout allows you to personalise your brand and our message in a way that few other social media can match. Customers and co-workers can see and hear the faces of the brand. Not just read their words.
- Make yourself heard: You might not have the budget to organise a full-on press event to launch your new product or service but you can still invite customers, the press, or other stakeholders to an online launch using Google Plus Hangout.
- Product demos: Again, a low budget way to show your product or service in action and enable your audience to really engage with you and your brand, making the whole experience hugely more interesting and memorable.
- Customer feedback: Use a Google Plus Hangout to organise focus groups for your customers. Invite them to talk to you personally and tell you what they really think about your products and services.