Google+ Hangouts are a pretty cool tool – one which we’ve put to good use here at MakeUseOf. Whether it’s to hold editorial meetings or to host our own Podcast, Technophilia, we’re big fans of everything that Google+ has to offer. We’ve already provided users with a handy guide on how to use Google+ Hangouts to meet with friends and told you why Hangouts are cooler than any other online video service– and now we want to give you a few extra ideas on how you can get even more out of the service.
We’ve already seen prominent personalities using Google+ to connect with their audience or constituency – from President Barack Obama and NASA astronauts to Bishop Desmond Tutu and the Black Eyed Peas’ Will.I.Am – and there’s no reason you can’t get in on that action, and connect with an audience of your own. In no particular order, here are 5 ways you can use Google+ Hangouts to get more out of your social media experience.
Online Classes and Tutorials
Google+ Hangouts can be put to great use in an educational environment. Google+ users can use the online video service to broadcast tutorials and lessons to a live audience. Another great way Google+ Hangouts can come in handy for teachers who want to provide one-on-one teaching for their students – no matter where they might be in the world. One great way Google+ Hangouts can be used is to teach someone another language, providing teachers and students with all the tools necessary to learn pronunciation, and take collaborative notes using Google Docs, a service which is fully integrated with Hangouts.
Vlogs and Podcasts
You’ve got an audience built right into Google+ so why not use it to publish your Vlog or Podcast? After you’ve broadcast it live, you can also save your Google+ Hangout to YouTube once you’re done so that anyone who couldn’t see it live can always catch up later. Google+ puts all the necessary tools at your fingertips and they’re pretty easy to use. Alongside a blog or online presence, Vlogging can be a great way to build up an even bigger audience. Just be sure to choose a niche topic that you know well – just as you would with your blog.
Interviews, Press Conferences, and Meetings
Why not take things one step further with your vlogging and create an online talkshow of your own, much in the spirit of TWiT TV – but with the added bonus of not having to be in the same place, or even country, as your guests. Huffington Post, with Huff Post Live, was among the first to really push the envelope with Hangout-based interviews. You can invite experts on any topics to be interviewed, hold a press conference, or even hold a private meeting using Google+ Hangouts. Because Google+ gives you the choice between private and public hangouts, there’s really no limit to how you can put these features to good use. Be sure to also check out our tips on planning and holding effective meetings with Google+ Hangouts.
Social media has become a game changer for customer service. It provides companies and clientele with an instant connection to submit complaints and give positive feedback, and respond. It also opens up the door to personalized and beyond-the-call-of-duty attention for special customers. What better way to make a customer feel important than to dedicate time to hear their complaints, problems, or even positive feedback through a Google+ hangout? It opens up the door to troubleshooting problems, and could also be an interesting way to post testimonials on your site, provided your customers agree.
Concerts and Performances
As we mentioned, Google+ comes with a pretty active audience and if you can create a decent following for yourself on Google+, why not use it as a tool to hold concerts, or other kinds of performances. You could host your own inspirational talks a la TED, poetry readings, and wow your audience with original songs or covers. And of course, with the option to save these performances to YouTube, you can continue to get some mileage out of your performance beyond the live experience you can provide your fans. Google launched Studio Mode last year to provide musicians with the necessary tools to turn Google+ Hangouts into the ultimate concert experience, by optimizing sound for a live music performance.
Still need more tips on how to get started with Google+? Check out our introductory guide to Google+.
Can you think of any more creative uses for Google+ Hangouts? Let us know about them in the comments.