Social Media Blogs by Aliza Sherman
Aliza Sherman is a new media entrepreneur, author, women's issues activist, and international speaker.
Using Google Plus Hangouts
Google’s social network, Google+, is part of Google’s family of sites that also includes YouTube and the Google search engine. Google+ offers two free video conferencing options - Google Hangouts and Google Hangouts on Air.
You can use Google Hangouts for your business in a number of ways including for virtual team meetings, tutoring, interviews, troubleshooting support, consulting, webinars, and presentations to limited audiences. You can make your Hangouts private or public, inviting individuals to join you or groups of individuals called Circles on Google+.
Some of the features for Hangouts include:
You can also add additional apps to your Hangouts such as Google Drive to share Google documents and let others collaborate and SlideShare to show slide presentations and even pass moderator controls to others.
If someone can’t join your Hangout through G+, you can call their phone and conference them in. Calls to the U.S. and Canada are free through VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) technology, similar to Skype.
You can launch Hangouts from the upper right corner of your G+ Home screen or even from Gmail by clicking a person’s name to chat. You’ll see a button with a video camera as an option, and this will launch a Hangout. While you’re in a Hangout, you can invite others to join you at any time. The Hangout button is available through other areas of G+, making it easy to access and launch.
If you have established your G+ Business Page, you can launch a Hangout as a Page when you are logged into your Page. Using Google+ as your Page helps you better brand your business as a whole versus yourself as an individual.
Google Hangouts on Air
If you’re looking to reach a broader audience, you can click a checkbox when you are launching a regular Hangout and choose the Hangouts On Air feature. Once launched, you can opt to turn your Hangout to a live broadcast that can be accessed from your Google+ profile or page stream. The live video also broadcasts to your YouTube channel and automatically recorded and archived there. You can also copy code to embed the video player into your website or other sites. Hangouts On Air also has a 10-person limit on video conferencing, however, others watching the video can participate through text chat.
You can use Hangouts On Air for all of your public video conferencing and broadcasting needs. Some good uses for Hangouts on Air include presentations to wider audiences, concerts or live performances, product demonstrations, Town Hall-style meetings. Some people are now using this feature for live, scheduled programming such as news reports, interview and talk shows, and instructional shows on topics ranging from cooking to healthcare to tech tips and business advice.
Incorporating video into your internal and external communications is a logical step given the increased bandwidths available and the popularity of video. Google Hangouts and Google Hangouts on Air provide a free option to fill your video needs.
Read other social media blogs by Aliza Sherman