One of the most useful and underutilized tools offered from Google is Google Plus Hangouts. Hangouts are free and easy to access from a Google account, making it a versatile and flexible tool for businesses. While some companies are using Google Plus Hangouts for conducting meetings, here are five additional ways any business can benefit from Hangouts:
Smart phones, tablets, and other new tools such as NFC business cards are changing the way we do business on the move, and Google Plus takes full advantage of the benefits of mobile technology. When a colleague has an unexpected layover or a team member has to step away from her computer unexpectedly, meetings conducted on Hangouts can still happen on schedule thanks to its mobile options.
Share Documents During Google Plus Hangouts
Besides catching colleagues on the go, Google Plus makes it also possible to share documents during a hangout since it can easily sync with your shared Google Drive files. The document will appear on the large, top screen of the hangout where group members can collaborate on edits to a business plan, modifications to a budget, or last minute tweaks to an important presentation.
Find New Customers on Hangouts
If you don’t have a storefront for your business where customers can wander in and ask questions or learn more about your products, Google Plus Hangouts is an ideal solution. By making a hangout open to anyone, you can have conversations with potential customers in a casual and relaxed setting.
Tim Gray at the Social Media Examiner suggests “Google+ Hangouts is an ideal forum to share ideas for new services, products and even your expertise to a wider audience. In fact, when you provide potential customers with expert and valuable advice, it often goes a long way in converting them into actual customers.” Best yet, these new customers will need to add you to their circles in order to join your hangout, so you now have permission to contact them about future hangouts and promotions.
Connect with Prospective Customers
Besides reaching new customers, Hangouts are ideal for connecting further with your latest prospects. For example, you could send a note to all of your latest email newsletter subscribers to let them know that you’ll be hosting a Hangout at the end of the month where you’ll be available to answer any of their questions or to provide a free consultation.
Mark Pitman at the Social Media Examiner is careful to point out that the purpose of this is “Not to put a high-pressure sales speech on them. Just to further the relationship.”
Record Hangouts for Employees or Customers
A Hangout on Google Plus does not have to be a one-time event. You’re also able to record your Hangouts in order to use them for a variety of other uses in the future.
Andy Havard at SitePoint notes, “This is one of the biggest plus points of Google+ Hangouts; it can help businesses reach all of their employees and even create content for their audiences and clients too. You can create product demos, tutorials, webinars and instructional videos with key members of your team to aid your clients with any problems or queries they may have.” A Google Plus Hangout is also an ideal setting to conduct a product demonstration for a small group, especially since the current Hangout size is limited to 15 people.
If you’re looking for a competitive edge in reaching your customers or if you simply need a more efficient online meeting and collaboration tool, Google Plus Hangouts are an ideal tool for any business to use.
This post was written by Lior who is a marketing advisor to a shopping cart abandonment service for ecommerce companies and also works with a company who developed a Passbook app to get notification about suspicious credit card charges.