Your Brand and Google+ : 6 Ways to Use It

Discussion in 'Social Media, SEO/SEM & Online Marketing' started by Proudlock, Apr 3, 2012.

  1. Proudlock


    Mar 30, 2010
    So after seeing an advert on the TV for google+ and exploring the “Hangout” feature a few weeks ago (which became an obsession I must admit) – I thought lets see what information I can find out about G+ and the help it can offer for brands. I stumbled across a post @Volusion’s Ecommerce Blog that helped me to find some uses.

    The ‘Hangout’ feature:
    For those of you who either don’t currently have a G+ account or haven’t heard of or used the Hangout feature it is based around being able to hangout in a group of people but via video chat over the google platform – think of group skype – it allows for up to 10 people from anywhere around the globe to join up each with a separate video feed and have a conversation.
    Still want to know more check this out.

    The 6 Ways Google+ Can Benefit Your Brand
    To begin with I think I can hear the cogs in some peoples brains turning as to the use of Hangout and how they can use it for their brand – which brings me to the first benefit.

    1. Special Product Launches:
    So your brand has a new product to launch and you want to drum up some interest and get people wanting the product before launch, similar to the idea of a viral marketing campaign with a Youtube video, how about using the google+ Hangout feature to host a behind the scenes product launch?
    You invite a load of your current customers and keep the event exclusive offering a promotion discount for the new product if they attend i.e. a discount coupon or something similar – maybe limited edition items, etc. you get the idea. This hopefully will aid in sales on product launch, whilst also offering a really personal engagement offer to customers and making it known that your brand’s G+ page is a good place to keep up to date with the brand promotions.
    This moves me onto the second way to benefit your brand.

    2. Live Giveaways
    The option to host a live product giveaway or promotional give away through the Hangout platform allows you to again drum up interest in specific products as well as offering another very personalised method to interact with your customers. Ideas such as offering the 1st and 5th customer to join or to pick 3 random customers in the hangout to get a 20% discount are potential incentives to get customers there.

    3. Customer Service
    One of the most important factors in distinguishing a brand today can be customer service and what better opportunity than to be able to offer live video chat to the customer in an attempt to sort out their problems. The hangout feature takes the current social media customer service to the next level. The ability for you to share a screencast with your customer can provide in-depth extra information to the problem they may be facing and the best way to resolve it. Likewise the service can extend further into areas such as useful tips for using the product to a group of clients, or as an instructional aid. There are many possibilities, but the real question is can you implement this process into your brand currently.

    4. Focus-group Feedback
    The G+ Hangout feature also has the ability to get customers together in one area for a focus group to provide feedback into your brand, whether it be for a product in development or a recently launched product, this sort of primary research from customers is invaluable to a brand. Got a new website layout/design or a new feature on the site? Get the feedback required to make sure it is doing what you want it too through your customers. If necessary offer them an incentive to get them to attend.

    *focus groups can sometimes suffer from a dominant lead respondent in the real-world influencing others and it is uncertain whether or not that will be the case with the Hangout feature as a focus-group.

    5. Product Training
    Training can be a difficult at times as you need to get the whole team together, well with the Hangout feature its becoming an easier task as people can sign on from different places and all receive the same training about the brands products. This is especially important for online companies that operate in various locations meaning the only thing they need to set is the time and not the place anymore.
    Not to mention with the ability to share powerpoints, videos and all collaborate together through the screencasting ability it allows for a very interactive method and effective sessions.

    6. Host Meetings
    So above I discuss holding training sessions so why not host meetings for your business using the platform – either internal with staff or external with suppliers or various other people – hopefully allowing you to collaborate and take your brand to the next level. The ability to operate Google Docs within the hangout make some mundane tasks easy such as taking meeting minutes or recording important data.

    To close, above are 6 ways to use G+ to benefit your brand (and business) and hopefully get a better level of brand engagement with customers (which should lead to higher SEO rankings). If you haven’t already got a G+ account I would suggest to get one, as it is tipped to become more important in the future anyways with the new features being added such as the Thanks button that Lace talked about in another thread.

    I’ve pretty much just discussed the one feature, Google “Hangout”, but the G+ account does offer lots more and many other techniques for getting customer engagement and to offer them content. I recently read about a brand, I think Ford maybe, posting a picture to their G+ page and asking for comments regarding a caption for the picture to which the best one received a prize which shows the G+ platform offers a lot of content opportunities just like the other major social media platforms.

    If anyone has anything to add please feel free to and hopefully TWF might run a hangout session in the near future for the community to get to know each other even better and organise something great. (i)
    JustCraig likes this.
  2. Lace

    Lace Retired Moderator

    Mar 21, 2011
    I can really see this lifting off. Previously, the climax of online giveaways and draws are simply in the form of winners announcements, but with hangouts - it's possible for customers to see the draw and engage with one another as it happens. This means, brands can better leverage on their promotional activities and use it as an opportunity to build better connections with their audience.

    The challenge here is to get your customers to use Google+ because unlike Facebook - Google+ is not the primary social network as of yet and many are still disconnected.

    I wonder if Google+ Hangouts will become an optimal venue for webinars as well, what do you think?
  3. Proudlock


    Mar 30, 2010
    I think for webinars they will be slightly restricted currently due to the ability to only hold 10 people in a Hangout and thus some companies/businesses will want more than that number to attend their webinar. The Hangout offers a good alternative though with easier interactivity for those involved compared to some of the webinar technology out there.
    Lace likes this.
  4. JustCraig


    May 30, 2009
    Some good advice there - I don't use Google+ yet but it is certainly something I am looking into.
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