This is a guest post by Kevin Lau.
It’s still the early days for Google+ and plenty of people are getting to grips with the various tools this social platform has. This is even truer for business users, who have only recently been able to set up business pages to help promote their work.
One of the main features Google+ has to offer is Google+ Hangouts. Google+ Hangouts enable you to initiate video chats with other Google+ users who are in your Circles who also have access to a video camera.
So how can you use Google+ Hangouts to benefit your business?
Let’s face it most business users with Google+ business pages are looking to drive more traffic to these pages. Hangouts can certainly help you do this, and there are a number of methods you can use.
Create Specific “Get Togethers” for Specific Reasons
A lot of Google+ users will hook up with friends and family members on Hangouts, just so they can chat with them and catch up. That’s all well and good but it doesn’t really help when it comes to using it for business purposes.
Clearly you have to have a specific purpose for starting a Hangout if you’re using the social media site for business purposes. For example some business users are setting up Hangouts to provide information on specific topics. Someone who offers SEO services might set up a Hangout to teach the basics in SEO to a select few people over the course of a half hour. This might lead to new business in the future, and if they like what they see they’ll certainly share your generosity with others by recommending you. Suddenly you’ll see your popularity on Google+ rising.
Add Up to Date Information to Your Google+ Page & Mention It During Your Hangouts
Now this has to be done carefully. If you initiate a Hangout and then use the whole time to mention your business and how great it is, it obviously isn’t going to work. Hangouts should be used very carefully and not simply for promotion.
But if you are holding a Hangout on a particular topic â€“ let’s follow the SEO example given above â€“ you could direct people wanting more information back to your Google+ business page. Of course for this to work you have to populate that page with good advice and information â€“ some of which might lead off to your actual website â€“ on a regular basis. Don’t do it for the sake of the Hangouts alone.
Launch Into Video Conferencing to Make Stronger Business Connections in Your Circles
Think of this as the ‘you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours’ technique. You’ll probably be beefing up your Circles by adding all the business contacts you already know that have also joined Google+.
Hangouts are a great way to get to know some of these contacts even better. Just make sure you have a good reason to request a Hangout with someone. The truth is that if you use Hangouts in this way, you’ll strengthen your relationships with the people you already have in your business Circles. This in turn lets them get to know more about you, and you’ll both find you recommend each other to your wider Circles â€“ all as a result of using Hangouts. This should lead to more people discovering your business page.
Start Creating a Series of Podcasts & Promote Them on Your Google+ Page
It didn’t take long for the business users among us to start thinking of more creative ways to use Hangouts to further our traffic generation efforts. Some are already using Hangouts to create short podcasts, interacting with a small audience for each one as a result.
Just be sure that if you go down this route, you create a strong and focused idea for each podcast. You can record them as you go along and save them to share later on. If you become known for engaging and interesting podcasts you’ll soon see a splurge of traffic hitting your business page. What’s more, even though you are limited to ten people engaging in a Hangout, more can watch as it takes place if you set it to public viewing.
So you can see there is plenty to do on Google+ when it comes to driving traffic to your business page. You just have to be a little bit creative with your Hangouts to get the most out of them.
Have you used Google+ Hangouts to get more exposure for your Google+ profile or page? Please share your experiences in the comments!