Hanging Out Is Good for Business
If you want a simple strategy that is good for business – “hanging out” is a smart choice.
Google Hangouts had a slow start, particularly for businesses. However, you must ask yourself, “Is it time to embrace Google Hangouts and make them work for you?” The answer is a simple YES!
That is the short answer; but, not terribly informative. So, let’s take a look at the development of the service, and why it makes sense to begin incorporating it into your business strategy.
As social networking sites grew – most notably Facebook – they allowed businesses as well as individuals to interact. This new business usage has driven profits up, so it was inevitable that the other big online players would want to get a slice of that action. Google was no exception, because if they had ignored the issue they would have been left behind.
If you were paying attention, you know that Google tried – and dropped – more than a few ideas. Google Buzz and Google Wave make the top of the list of abandoned social networking ideas. Because of those failures, it is no wonder that when Google+ was launched, it received a cool reaction. People simply viewed it as just another weak attempt to catch up.
Although it didn’t catch on with individuals, it did catch on with businesses, which in turn drew in more individuals. In fact Google+ has quietly grown, under the radar, to become one of the biggest social networks online.
The Hangout service received a similarly cool reception, viewed as no more than a Skype copycat. After some tweaks to functionality, it has now turned into a resource that can be an effective business tool.
You have to be a Google+ user to take part in Hangouts. While that was originally seen as a downside, the fact that Google+ is continuing to expand its reach has turned that requirement into a big plus because it means you can tie into a huge existing social network.
A Hangout not only allows you to connect with existing clients, it is also an inexpensive and easy way to host webinars as a method for attracting new clients. Training videos, customer service Q&A’s, and many other types of customer interaction videos can be broadcast via this social network. A huge advantage is that since Google bought YouTube, you have the option of integrating with a YouTube channel making it immediately available to the public.
The bottom line is that in spite of a slow start, which had critics dismissing it as another desperate attempt at catch up, it seems like Google Hangouts are here to stay. In the scramble to avoid being left behind, services will continue to come and go, and they will always take time to take root. Users don’t want to invest time and/or money in a service that may possibly disappear almost as quickly as it appeared.
Google Hangouts is a classic example of customer hesitation that ultimately changed to embracing the service with enthusiasm. The Handouts have long since passed the user tipping point and have developed into an easily-accessible, user-friendly tool for promoting a business. If you are not already using Google Hangouts, now is the time to start.