Social media is constantly changing and shifting (just like us) and as new platforms are introduced, the early adopters jump on the new user train while the masses stand back and wait for the report of whether or not something is worth their time. Google+ has been around for over a year now and with the newly introduced G+ Communities and Google Hangouts, people are starting to get more and more curious about how to not only leverage this network, but how to get started.
At New Media Expo a few weeks ago, some of the most popular panels were about how to build a Google+ following and how to use the Communities to build brand awareness.
People are clearly ready to invest their time in the platform, however they are not sure how to get started, which is why I am writing this post.
I am by no means an expert in this area, but I have hosted a few Google Hangouts and found that they are a great way to connect and have conversations with people from all over the world while delivering quality content to my audience.
There are a handful of other social influencers who have really gotten deep into using Google Hangouts. To be honest there is a little learning curve involved with getting connected with your guests, broadcast timing and using some of the tools, but this step by step guide should walk you through it.
Here is a step-by-step guide to starting a Google+ Hangout:
- Login to your Google+ account (can be accessed through Gmail in top bar navigation.
- Once logged into Google+ account, use left sidebar navigation, click on “More…”
- When you click the “More…” button, a menu will slide out, select Hangout.
- Click the red “Start a Hangout” button and a new window will pop up
- If you want to broadcast the Hangout live on your YouTube channel, click the button below the name and invitation section to enable Hangouts On Air. Broadcasting to your YouTube channel will also be accessible in your G+ timeline.
- If you want to have your name across the bottom of your screen, you can use the Lower Third tool where you can enter your name or your and website or your name and Twitter handle… whatever you want to promote.
- As soon as all of the people who you have invited have joined your Hangout, click the Broadcast button. A few seconds after you press the button you will hear a chime, once you hear this noise, you will be live and broadcasting on your YouTube channel.
When the Hangout is over, you can stop the broadcast and privately talk to your guests in the Hangout or you can close out the window and be done. Once the Hangout has come to an end, it can be viewed on your YouTube channel. If you want to save the footage for a later date or as an exclusive unlisted video for your email list, you can make the Hangout private in the dashboard of your YouTube channel. If you want to edit the video, download it from your YouTube dashboard, edit the footage, add titles and music and then upload it to your channel.
If you are hesitant to jump into Google Hangouts, the key is to just start doing them. The more you try them, the more ideas you will get about how they can benefit your audience.
Get creative. Think outside the box.
You may want to have a couple of Hangouts with friends just to have some casual, non-broadcast conversations that will help you to get comfortable with the platform. Better yet, if you have a friend who has hosted a few successfully broadcast Google Hangouts, ask them if they can do a quick Hangout with you to show you the ropes!
Still have questions? Or do you have any tips for using Google Hangouts? Join the conversation in the comments!