Google Talk and Google+ Messenger are all coming under the banner of Google+ Hangouts, which means that text, and video chat have become more integrated. And so will voice.
Google Voice, Google phone service, will be integrated in the future. This coming together, and the fact that you can download the app from Google Play will make it very easy to host hangouts from your smartphone with just a few clicks.
Hangouts are great news for small business:
- They’e free.
- They’re better than Facebook’s offering which provides only one to one video chats via Skype Hangouts has a maximum of 10 participants.
- You can share documents, share your screen with other participants, record the videos to view and share later and broadcast them live to whoever you like.
- Business can host online press conferences, educate, announce updates to their customers and receive feedback, or just use it as a video conference for internal meetings. Livestreaming an event is another benefit.
- You can share photos and text chat live in them.
- It’s available on desktop, mobile or tablet.
Google+ is going strength to strength: it now has 190m active users. You may well have seen it already, but Google+ has a new Pinterest-style, multi-column, responsive layout that’s been getting very positive feedback (you can revert to the old layout if you prefer).
Simple and clean, it’s much easier on the eye than the old design. Therefore it’s easier to get your business’s point across (with the use of photos and videos).
The new share box in the top lefthand corner makes it very easy to tell stories and hold conversations
a usability tip for you: if you’ve scrolled down the page and don’t fancy scrolling all the way to the top, click / : that brings you straight back to the share box.
Google+ Related Hastags
If I click on that #SEO in the top righthand corner. I’m told that the article in the image above also relates to #business. When I click on #business, this is what I get:
When I click on that > I’m given a choice of some business-related posts. Eventually, I get to
Marvellous for searchability browsing within Google+ has never been particularly inspiring and this gives you lots of related content ideas.
As a business, take care to add your own hashtags (as you would on Twitter and within reason). Google will display up to three of yours, and it automatically assigns hashtags of its own to your posts.
Google+ is becoming more and more image-focused: you can see this with the enormous size of your profile cover photo, and you’ll see big images within the posts as well:
It only makes sense to post your eye-catching, hi-res professionally-taken product photos on Google+ to get noticed.
And to make these images look their best, Google+ there now has some very handy photo-enhancing tools. I’ll not go into them here, but you can read all about them on the official Google blog post
As a business, it makes sense to be on Google+ for all sorts of reasons. And as the number of followers grows, the number of reasons grows.