August 7, 2014

8 Creative Ways to Use Google Hangouts for Your Business

While so many businesses are scrambling to produce videos for social media, many are missing out on an incredible way to connect with their customers. Google Hangouts have been used for webinars and personal connections, but they have the potential to do so much more for your company. These eight creative ways to use Google Hangouts for your business will show you how easy it is to stand out from the crowd.

1. Live Interviews Many businesses today are utilizing webinars to interview leaders in their industry – artists, thought leaders, marketers, etc. These interviews give the business plenty of content, as well as help viewers get new ideas for their own professional endeavors. Thus far, there have only been a few options for hosting these interviews, but Google Hangouts provides an easy and robust way for the audience to watch and actually interact with the interview as it happens, giving them much more reason to RSVP to the event.

2. Team Meetings and Workshops Today it is not uncommon for teams to be scattered all over the world, and that has its own pros and cons. While more work can get done for less money, it can be difficult to have a unified team or complete training effectively. With Hangouts, you can get everyone involved in a live, interactive meeting or workshop from anywhere in the world. This way, everyone is on the same page, everyone feels like part of the team, and everyone is able to contribute.

3. Remote Worker Interviews Speaking of worldwide teams, there are certain problems inherent in trying to hire employees who are in different parts of the world. While you may be able to do part of the application and hiring process via email, eventually you will want to have an interview with them. Phone interviews are good, but nothing beats face-to-face interviewing. By using Hangouts, no one needs to travel for the interview, and you will get a much better sense of the person you are about to hire.

4. Client Consulting Many business models offer direct client consulting. In the past, this was done via phone or traveling to meet clients. Now, you will be able to offer personal consulting for your clients in a much more connective and engaging way. You may also want to record the sessions to send to your clients as a bonus. It will definitely set your services apart from your competitors!

5. Customer Service For smaller businesses, offering customer service via Google Hangouts can be a unique way of adding the human touch to your interactions with them. Some businesses offer weekly hangouts where customers can share experiences or ask questions, while others allow customers to setup a hangout with support specialists individually to get their issues resolved and their questions answered. We all know that it’s nice to talk to an actual human being when you have a problem, but this kind of service knocks phone support out of the water.

6. Press Releases/Conferences Press conferences and releases do not have to be reserved for large corporations in stuffy rooms. Instead, you can host one on Hangouts with online and/or local media outlets. Whether your company is announcing its grand opening, a change in direction, or anything else, you can give it a little more credibility by hosting a conference. You will also enjoy the benefits of increased traffic once the story hits several media outlets at once.

7. New Product Rollouts Similar to holding a press conference, you can also host your own product/service rollouts. During these sessions, you can announce new products or services, demonstrate how they will work and why your customers need them, and answer questions. You can even offer limited seating to the events and collect feedback for improving your product before officially launching it. This is an excellent way to reward loyal customers and make sure your new product/service is as perfect as possible before it goes public.

8. Podcasts Traditionally, podcasts are done in a strictly-audio format. However, more and more hosts are choosing to also live-stream their podcasts in order to connect more with video-driven audiences and interact with them directly. If you have a podcast set up, it takes almost no effort to turn on a webcam and get on Google Hangouts to broadcast the event. For those who like to edit before publishing, there is still plenty of opportunity to make the “polished” cast available a couple of days after the live recording.

Your business may not be able to use all eight of these ideas, but even exploring one or two options can give you a great boost into the online market. Not only will you be able to interact with existing customers, but you will likely be able to attract new ones very quickly. In today’s world, a faceless business cannot succeed. With Google Hangouts, you can give your business a face and a personality, turning customers into loyal fans.