Google launched their social network, Google+, in June last year. Following the initial launch many have wondered how Google's social network can fit into their browsing habits. Google+ has some great features which other social networks don't. Let's take a look at what Google+ can do and how it can help your business...
Google Plus uses Circles to manage your contacts, your account will have a number of defaults set up but these can be edited or replaced to suit your needs. Circles allow you to organise your contacts into smaller networks, you can use your Circles to manage who you share your updates and other content with. If you're posting about an exclusive for those on your mailing list, you can create a mailing list Circle and share with only them. You can also target several, or all, of your Circles at once; saving you the task of making several updates. Google Plus even gives you the chance to contact those in your email list that don't have a Google Plus account.
One of Google+'s great features is the Hangout. Hangouts let you connect face to face with someone using webcam chat, but unlike most webcam systems the Hangout lets you connect with multiple contacts at once. One great way to utilise this is for creating an online meeting space; this way you can discuss a topic with multiple contacts at one time rather than having repeat conversations with several people individually. It's even possible to dial in a telephone contact to join the hangout.
The Hangout can also access a range of Apps such as YouTube, SlideShare and, Google Docs, allowing the group to view the same information at the same time. A Hangout can even be used for providing customer support; a built in feature lets you share your screen with contacts; this allows you to demonstrate a process or view and on-screen issue in real time. Best of all, these video chats are free and are compatible with both desktops and mobile devices.
The On Air feature allows you to broadcast live online, making it an ideal platform to run video-casts. On Air allows you to send out invites, asking them to visit your Google Plus page at a certain time to view a live broadcast. The On Air feature is great for demonstrating a product or idea to a number of people, and because you can broadcast openly you can even gather viewers that may not be in your contact list.
Your On Air broadcasts can also be uploaded straight to YouTube, allowing for repeat viewings and giving those that missed the live broadcast a chance to watch it at a more convenient time. You can also record the live broadcast to your computer so that you can edit it before uploading it.
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