Google + Circles and Hangouts for Your Business

June 26, 2012 Lindsay Kisor

Google+ circles and hangouts aren't just for replacing family reunions and filtering your coworkers from friends. They have many beneficial features that can help to promote and grow your business. Circles are a way to group your friends that more naturally represents how we create friends and share with them. You can put people into one or multiple Circles, depending on your business needs. Think of how you can utilize your Circles: Potential Clients, Top Customers, Family, Friends, Associates, and Competitors. The natural aspect of Circles is that you can stream news or updates to the Circles you choose. If you have different products, you can tailor your update message, pictures, and videos to grasp the attention of a specific Target Audience interested in that product by sending it to only that Target Audience Circle. You have complete control on what information goes out and to whom, as well as what information you want to receive.

Using Google + Hangouts

Hangouts are another way to really differentiate you and provide superb customer service. By creating a Hangout, you are inviting up to 9 people to join you in a group video chat at no cost. You can invite clients around the world that you have a one on one relationship with, not to mention co-workers and business partners. A person is more likely to start and continue business with someone they know and trust, and to be able to see a person and interact with you on such a personal basis really helps to strengthen relationships. Hangouts can take place of a customer service phone call, business meeting, client introduction, brainstorming sessions, employee trainings, or just a friendly hello. You can also share your videos and truly gauge the audience's honest response. It is also great to replace your expensive market research group studies with the hangout that will allow you to get more in depth content directly from the end user.

Maximizing Google + Hangouts

Here is an example of maximizing the potential of Google+ by properly using your Circles and Hangouts. Let's say Ann, a cruising agent, just started her franchise. She created her Google+ page and added people to follow. For example, John is a brand new prospect she met at a trade show so the first circle Ann put John in was "Prospect". Down the road, John booked a cruise for September 2012 - John was then placed into "Sept. 12 Cruises" Circle. As John's cruise approached, Ann sent out messages to all her "Sept. 12 Cruises" Circle members about reminders for passports, packing tips, and an article on how to make the most out of your cruise. John really appreciated it, especially because they had monthly Hangout sessions for all the people going on the same cruise that booked with Ann. This allowed John to meet people he would be cruising with, before even stepping foot on the cruise! Ann made sure that she sent out a message to her "Sept. 12 Cruises" Circle members to take lots of pictures, because there would be a discount on the next cruise for the best picture.

After the cruise was over, John was so happy he met people to cruise with that he did a Hangout session with Ann telling her all about his wonderful experience. Ann saved this Hangout session and it was posted to her blog as a testimonial. Of course, John was then put into the "Fav. Avid Cruisers" Circle. The video got so many +1s that it went viral all over Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. As you can see, Ann used these free resources to maximize her potential to be seen out in the social world.

As you can see, there are countless ways that you can take advantage of Google+ to boost your business. Google+ provides all the resources, free of cost. Circles and Hangouts aren’t just a fun tool; you can use it to your advantage. All you need to do is be innovative in the ways that you interact and reach out to your target market corresponding with your business.

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