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Learn To Do Google+ Hangouts For Your Business Activities

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The ultimate aim of a business house is to stay connected to its people in an efficient manner. Organizations use different tools to keep the interaction going so that everything is synchronized. Communication is considered to be the channel which connects all the individuals associated with an organization.

Google being a pioneer in innovation, has always been able to come up with some or the other tool with advanced features to improve the overall functionality of any organization. These techniques or tools need to be unique in their own way as the competition is very tight. With each passing day, technology updates and some new tool is out in the market. The agenda for progress must be to keep the features updated as per the requirement of an individual and an organization. What else does one need? Organizations need to connect to people for various reasons. That could be for organising a meeting, a conference, a promotional event and a presentation etc. All of these happening at one place is really commendable.

In order to accomplish this, Google introduced a new communication tool called, Google+ Hangouts. With the introduction of Google+ Hangouts, Google has touched another milestone in the field of innovation. Google+ Hangouts is all about providing a platform or a window to get connected with the world over few clicks.

Google+ Hangouts

The term Hangouts indicates a place where people can literally Hangout with their contacts. Google+ Hangouts is a place where people come together and interact.

Any user who has a Google+ account can start accessing Google+ Hangouts. Google+ Hangouts can be used for chatting, carrying out live interaction and video conferencing with people in their circles. The live recording of a meeting or discussion can be viewed over YouTube and blog since the link of a video can be embedded in them. Google+ Hangouts invite can be sent to anybody in the circle, can be emailed and can be set to public so that anybody can view and join the discussion. People participating in Google+ Hangouts need to have a webcam and mike.

Features of Google+ Hangouts

Setting up an account: Google+ Hangouts can be started by clicking the ‘Start Hangouts’ button at the top right corner of the Google+ page. One needs to install all the plugins associated to start the Google+ Hangouts. Once the account is set up, invitations to other people can be sent out in two different ways.

  1. Private Hangouts: This invite sends out invitation to people who are there in the user’s circles, contacts and visitors to the blog etc.
  1. Broadcast Method: This is one unique feature of Google+ Hangouts. One can broadcast their videos, meetings, discussions and presentations etc. The broadcast method is generally set to public. Anybody visiting the blog or YouTube will be able to see the videos. 

Live Broadcasting: Google+ Hangouts facilitates live broadcasting. The videos are automatically streamed over YouTube and it is recorded simultaneously. The recorded video can be accessed later on. There are discussions or webinars which might go on for more than an hour. In such instances, these hour long discussions can be easily recorded without any hassle.

Hangouts on Air: One should be able to decide the kind of Hangouts that needs to be initiated. Once decided, click on ‘Hangouts on Air’ tab and click on ‘Hangout’. A question pops up, seeking permission to broadcast and one can select it to avail the option. The broadcasting does not start till the time ‘Start Broadcast’ tab is not clicked.

Google+ Hangouts allows people to participate in the Hangouts. This can happen in two different ways:

  • In the first method, people can join the discussion panel directly. One can view the invite, see the video and join the panel. Participants can immediately start communicating, talk over camera, stay visible to other participants and be able to leave comments on YouTube.
  • In the second method, the Hangouts video can be embedded in the blog. Invitations or information can be sent over email and participants can watch the broadcasting. The advantage of this method over the previous method is its ability to keep the visitors engaged throughout the session. The distraction by other videos and ads is avoided.

The link at the top of the Google+ Hangouts window can be used as an invite. People willing to participate can click on the link and can be a part of the discussion.

The Embed tab displays the YouTube link that can be embedded in your blog or website for visitors to watch.

Google+ Hangouts Apps: There are many apps available in Google+ Hangouts. One can choose from the available options depending upon the requirements. These apps can be browsed through by clicking on View more apps tab. Once the appropriate app is selected, click on add app tab to add the particular app to the list. There are few cool apps with Google+ Hangout. For example: YouTube video app allows the user to show YouTube videos in the hangouts. Hangout Tool Bar app has many cool features like lower third, using which the user can place a banner with the user’s name and flag etc. which will appear on the screen replicating the actual news broadcasting. After entering the banner details, the feature should be turned ON and saved.

Chat Feature: The chat feature can be used within Google+. If people are going to watch the video over YouTube or blog, then this feature may not be useful. In spite of this, the chat feature can be really helpful for a discussion within Google+. In order to achieve maximum viewership, one must identify the medium that the participants or visitors would most likely use and then start broadcasting, accordingly.

Google+ Hangouts for Business:

Business is all about interacting with people. These people may be customers or employees. Effective communication is the strength of any organization. Google+ Hangouts can be of great utility to take the communication to the next level. The following are different areas where Google+ Hangouts can play a major role in business activities:

a) Discussions: Google+ Hangouts allows nine people at a time to participate in the discussion. There are many players in the market providing video chat facility, but the number of participants are restricted and at any given point of time, maximum of two people can share videos. Google+ Hangouts allows more people to access the video, which is really a cool feature and it is very useful for businesses. This feature can be really useful for sales teams in which team members are always travelling and because of distance they may miss out on important updates or events. Google+ Hangouts allows to rope in everybody at a place to avoid any confusion.

b)  Customer Support: Google+ Hangouts can play a major role in improving the customer support department of any business. People can get in touch with customer support executive over Hangouts. The executive can give live demonstrations over hangouts and thereby remove all the inhibitions regarding the service.

c) Video Publishing: Organisations would want to publish their videos involving product description, demonstration to use and discussions on various subjects etc. Google+ Hangouts feature ‘Hangouts on Air’ which allows the business house to broadcast these videos over YouTube without any trouble. This in turn helps to reach out to more number of people which is good for the business.

The features in Google+ Hangouts has managed to change people’s perception towards communication methods. Efficient use of Google+ Hangouts in business can really do wonders!!!

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