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Creative Ways For Businesses to Use Google + Hangouts

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Google + Hangouts can be very useful for businesses in helping to reach out and interact with customers. The Social Media Examiner highlights 5 ways that businesses are using [URL="http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/businesses-using-google-hangouts/"]Google + Hangouts[/URL]:

[B]#1: Crowdsourcing[/B]
Do you often feel like you’ve got something important to say but nowhere to say it? Maybe you have a few like-minded associates with a similar desire to share their thoughts?
Google+ Hangouts is an ideal forum to share ideas for new services, products and even your expertise to a wider audience.

In fact, when you provide potential customers with expert and valuable advice, it often goes a long way in converting them into actual customers.

Every Friday morning at 8am Pacific Time, Los Angeles–based accountant [URL="https://plus.google.com/102083403729841612140/posts"]Seth David[/URL] displays a virtual shingle on Google+ that basically says “open for business.”

[B]#2: The Question & Answer[/B]
Is white “chocolate” really even chocolate? Do you still use liquid milk in your products, and where does chocolate come from anyway?

These were just a few questions answered recently during the UK-based chocolatier Cadbury’s “[URL="https://plus.google.com/s/Chocolate Tasting on Air Hangout"]Triple Chocolate Tasting on Air Hangout[/URL]” hosted by one of the company’s official chocolate tasters.

[B]#3: The Demonstration[/B]
Do you work in the type of industry that is practically made for the one-on-one demonstration? Or maybe you often find yourself sitting down to show customers how things work as soon as they walk through your door?
One of the best ways to give consumers value while promoting your business is tocreate a workshop or demonstration that shows off both your expertise and value. And Google+ is a platform well-suited to offering potential clients an inside look at your skills.

One particular group of early adopters of the demonstration technique on Google+ Hangouts is chefs. There are numerous [URL="https://plus.google.com/u/0/113055030863291439319/posts"]chef Hangouts[/URL] that offer cooking classes and food preparation demonstrations in real time, revealing how to go about making dishes from the pedestrian to the sublime.

It’s like having a personal instructor join you in the kitchen.

Lee Allison [URL="https://plus.google.com/s/G%2B Chef's RoundTable"]Hosts G+ Chef’s Round Table[/URL] and teaches his audience how to make some tasty treats!

[B]#4: The Giveaway[/B]
At the end of every year, do you find yourself with a storage room full of last season’s hot products? What if you didn’t use all of your billable hours? Do you feel you’ve cheated yourself out of time that could have been better spent?

The point I’m getting at is if you’re in business, you’ve got something to give away.

Take the example of [URL="https://plus.google.com/117025221520990229961/posts"]Taylor Guitars[/URL] and one fast-rising star. In March, musician [URL="https://plus.google.com/100974258168375166691/posts"]Daria Musk[/URL] added her one-millionth follower on Google+ after only eight months using the service.

[B]#5: Pull Back the Curtain[/B]
You loved the Wizard of Oz as a kid, right? So maybe it’s time to take a page from that classic and pull back the curtain on your business.

President Obama certainly has.

If you want to learn more about social media best practices for any platform, you should check out what the White House is up to and try to emulate that. After all, President Obama’s historic victory back in 2008 is largely credited to his campaign’s[URL="http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/10/business/media/10carr.html"]innovative social media strategy[/URL].

And they aren’t missing a beat with the Google+ Hangout function.

The “[URL="http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/06/08/west-wing-week-06082012-or-roll-our-sleeves-and-never-quit"]West Wing Week[/URL]” is featured on the White House [URL="https://plus.google.com/u/0/105479712798762608629/posts"]Google+ page[/URL], and regular Hangouts with administration officials, White House staff and even the president provide an incredible look behind the scenes of the most famous address in the world.

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