This is a guest post by Marcela De Vivo
Google has made it clear that they are pushing hard into the social media world with the Google plus platform. Because of the smashing success of social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Quora, and LinkedIn, Google understands the value of social engagement and is working hard to strengthen their own platform.
In building the Search Engine of the Future, a strong social platform is essential.
What does this mean for you as a business owner? Is this just another social network that you need to understand and keep tabs on?
The answer is unquestionably no.
Because Google is such a big player in the search world, it’s important to pay attention to everything they do that has to do with another way to market yourself online.
Google plushas opened up an entirely new world called Google Hangouts, which can best be thought of as multi-way Skype calls between friends. You can see video and hear audio, as well as share files.
This opens up a massive opportunity to market your business and deliver value to your client base or customer base in entirely new ways. Here are five ways that you can make this happen in your business.
Method 1: Have Virtual Client Meetings
If your business lends itself to doing well online, you can cut considerable amounts of commute and travel expenses out of your budget.
How? Simply meet with clients online. All you need to do is set up a Google Hangout and invite your clients. Depending on the type of business you’re in, this could drastically speed up your ability to both meet with and service your clients.
For example, if you are a health, life, or fitness coach, this is an amazing way to have a quick meet up and check-in with your client. You can make sure that they are on track and ready to go, or you can even offer some quick advice in a time of hardship.
If you are offering consulting services, there are many things you can do online that do not have to be done in person.
For example, if you’re giving and SEO status update, you can simply hop on to Google Hangout and give a 10 to 20 min. presentation about the progress of the SEO campaign.
This is something I have done many times in the past and it has been an absolutely wonderful way to keep in contact with my client and ensure them that I’m doing everything in my power to make their business better.
You can use the screenshare feature to explain aspects of their reports and to walk them through different aspects of their campaigns, for example, Analytics metrics.
Method 2: Demo Products and Offer Training
If you have a product based business or are offering consulting that requires specific training, Google Hangouts can be a wonderful supplement. In the example of products, you can open up a hangout and invite any new customers that you might have.
You can then have an open forum, where they can ask questions on the usage, problems, upgrades, or accessories that have to do with your product. You’d be surprised at how many questions customers have about products that seem relatively simple – this is the best way to answer all of them!
A lot of people try to solve the training and support issue simply by making videos or writing articles. This is a way to scale your own expertise into pieces of information that people can watch on their own time.
This way you do not have to use up your own valuable time in order to say the same things over and over again.
However, sometimes you want to take that extra step and make sure that your customers are being taken care of appropriately. In that situation, using Google Hangouts is going to be the best bet.
There’s nothing like talking with someone face-to-face to instill trust and build a positive and lifelong relationship.
Method 3: Checking in With Virtual Employees
Many of us are working with people in different cities, states, or even countries. Because we live in this massive information and digital age, it is not uncommon that most of us have people that we talked to on a regular basis that we may have never even met.
While chat clients and Skype do an okay job of this, Google notes that that allows you to have really quick status meetings with people that you employ.
For example, if you have virtual assistant that takes care of day-to-day tasks for you, you understand that it can sometimes be frustrating to keep track of exactly what they’re doing.
Having a weekly status report and progress meeting will go a long way in making sure that you retain them as a great employee that does quality work. Google Hangouts is the absolute best way to get this done – it’s quick, easy, and doesn’t require the installation of any software like Skype.
The screenshare options and the ability to add multiple people can allow you to have virtual face to face meetings while adding in the component of chat and voice.
Method 4: Support System
If you run a software business or any other online business that requires considerable support, you probably already have a support system in place.
However, this does not mean that you can’t benefit from additional face-to-face support from time to time. If you are trying to close it particularly high-value client, this can be the best way to get this part of the job done.
Method 5: Record and Publish Your Hangout
This is one of the best features of the hangout system. You can actually record and publish your hangout on YouTube.
If you’re doing a product demonstration or webinar format on your hangout, this is a great way to get some extra value out of the format.
You might garner some more leads, views, comments, or interaction by posting to YouTube, not to mention all of the search engine benefits that you get from putting out quality content that people engage with.
To Google, nothing is more engaging than getting real humans on a call and publishing the content.
Get Out There and Hangout!
There are five reasons and methods that you should be using to absolutely explode the impact of your business to the online arena.
There’s no real excuse for not using Google hangouts to make something exciting happened for your business. Whether that is product demonstrations, customer support, or even adjusted internal staff meeting from time to time, the ability of Google hangouts to add productivity and profits your business is absolutely outstanding.
Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer for WhoIsHostingThis.com, a service that helps companies find the best hosting packages. Marcela is passionate about helping companies find the best tools and services to succeed online.
If you are interested in writing for this blog, check out the guest post guidelines.