There are a million different views on the value of Google Plus as a social media outlet. Your followers on Google + might be receiving your information higher in their search chain than those who do not follow you; therefore, the more followers, the higher your SEO rank appears to be. The reach of Google + goes far beyond just a basic “like” the way we see on Facebook. Last year, over half the population of active marketers show intention of increasing their Google + platform usage, meaning that those who do not today are getting beaten out for an entire population of potential audience! As of October 2013, there were over 500 MILLION users of Google + (both private users and big companies) and they +1 over 5 BILLION articles, webpages and Google + pages EVERY DAY.
There are lots of advantages to using Google +, but to name a few:
2) Universal Usage
3) SEO ratings
4) Content attribution/Authorship
Let’s discuss Hangouts for a minute. What is one thing that no social media outlet uses besides Google +, and what would greatly increase the usefulness of social media outlets? Hangouts. If you haven’t heard of them, then you could be paying too much for video conference software, or using a free one that might be splotchy. Hangouts are different.
Run through your Google + accounts, these nifty video and text “chats” allow you to meet one on one with local, international and multiple colleagues, and even allow your company to even run broad-scale broadcasts! These broadcasts are called Hangouts on Air. Hangouts on Air will allow you to interact with both your colleagues and your audience, customize your chats and visibility and even live stream in HD on google +, YouTube and your personal website. Automatic recordings are posted to your YouTube channel.
What modern online and digital marketers understand is that there are very few video conference platforms that allow easy integration between your social media outlets and your conferences. Think of how simple catching someone up who was on vacation would be! Or reviewing your team’s plan of attack for that new account! It’s as easy as re-watching your conference.
What’s the catch? you might ask me. Google Hangouts can currently only host 10 ACTIVE participants as of right now; but: use the “on Air” feature and directly link your discussion to YouTube and BAM! Instant webinar. Not only would this bring more attention to your company as a competitive online teacher of your specialization, but also boosts your social media presence through online content distribution.
Creating a Hangout is easy. All you have to do is go to your Google + page and do the follow these instructions from Google Support:
- Open Hangouts in Google+: Click on the Hangouts icon in the top-right corner of the Google+ window.
- Select a person to add from the Hangouts list. (The list is ordered with your most recent Hangout at the top.) You can also search and type a name or email address. When you find the person you want, click their name.
- If you want to start a group Hangout, check the boxes in front of multiple people’s names and click the chat icon to start a message or a video icon to start a video call.
- You can use Hangouts just like the old AOL messenger or Facebook chat, or as a much clearer version of Skype.
- Choose the type of Hangout you want to start:
Text conversation: Type the message you want to send in the text box that says “Send a message” and press the return key on your keyboard to send the message. The typing indicator will show other people in the Hangout that you’re typing a message.
Video call: Click the video icon to start a video call.
- If you’re using the Hangouts Chrome extension, Hangouts conversation windows started will open outside of the browser window.
Using a video call is a little different from a regular chat, so Google has provided step by step preparations at their Hangout Video Support link. Anyone can even add/invite people to the Hangout after it has already started.
Hangouts on Air are like the cooler cousin of Google Hangouts.
The hardest part (and it’s not so hard) about using it is knowing how to connect your youtube page to your Google Plus page…fortunately we can help.
It would be best to use a consistent username on YouTube and Google. If you go to account settings on YouTube and choose “Connect with Google +” (it should be near your email address), it will basically link them automatically for you. You can then use the Review My Content feature to see all of the hangouts, webinars and videos that you have posted, and even viewer responses (e.g. likes, +1’s). It will ask you if you want to use your full name with your Channel, and all you have to do to finish linking is choose “Update My Name”. Be patient as sometimes these things aren’t instant.