Google Plus Hangouts For BusinessesGoogle+ has been out for more than a year. Many are saying it’s dead on arrival. But, anyone who follows me on social media knows I don’t agree.

One major reason why Google+ is here to stay is the Hangouts feature.

In a nutshell, Hangouts are a 10 person online video chat/conference. With the added feature of Hangouts On Air (HOA), this conference/chat room can become a studio for a brand to produce a regular show about topics of interest that relate.

The beauty of Hangouts On Air is that, in addition to recording the session to the brands YouTube account, it also broadcasts the Hangout live to Google+ and to YouTube. This is very beneficial to any brand that wants to show that they are forward thinking and engaging in the social media space.

To make a quality show through Hangouts you need the right equipment

At Goldstein Media we’ve noticed an increased interest from many brands who want to do a live “Hangout” or show. Often, these brands are contacting us because they don’t know where to start.

Here here are a few steps for brands to follow that will ensure they have a good show:

  1. Take some time to plan. What is the show about? How long should the show be? What topics are going to be discussed? Are there any guests that need to be lined up?
  2. Decide on a time that works for both you and your audience. I’ve noticed that a majority of people are on Google+ and hanging out in the evening. So keep that in mind. Also remember that Google+ is an international social network, so people are going to be tuning in from all different locations and time zones.
  3. Plan some promotion. Google+ has a great event announcement system. Use it. Also don’t be afraid to use other networks like Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter to promote the Hangout.
  4. Don’t worry about it being perfect and error free. As you do more shows you’ll get better and more polished.
  5. Consider hiring a company like Goldstein Media to help you produce and promote your show.
  6. Consider what kind of graphics you want on the screen during the show (lower thirds with names and titles, etc.).
  7. DO A TEST RUN. Don’t jump into your first episode without trying things out first. Get your webcam and microphone setup (I suggest the Logitech C920 and the Blue Snowball microphone). A good set of headphones can help reduce sound playing back through your microphone.
  8. Lastly, HAVE FUN! People enjoy genuine conversation. The occasional trip or stumble isn’t going to ruin anything.

If the thought of doing a regular Hangout or even a one-off Hangout for your brand seems too daunting, consider consulting with a social media marketing agency that has experience with the Google+ platform.

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Seth Goldstein is the Principal Creative Director at Goldstein Media LLC. He has been in the Web design and Internet marketing business for more than 10 years. A self-proclaimed technologist, Seth is addicted to all types of technology. He loves to help businesses of all sizes figure out the best way to use the Internet to grow their business.

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