With all the latest technology out there and the different ways to communicate, how can you choose which platforms are best for you or best for your company? With this tech savvy and social media dominated world, everyone has a social profile of some sort but how many are capitalising on video chatting? Some prefer Skype, some are embracing Google+ Hangout’s and some are even testing out Facebook’s video chatting option, (Yes Facebook has a video calling option!) but how can video chatting improve your online presence?
In only a few short years we have made it virtually impossible (pun intended!) to completely ‘unplug’. There is little fear of missing an email, client call or new assignment from the boss; but with all this hustling around, are we missing out on quality human interaction?
Today I decided to do an experiment and hold a Google+ Hangout session with some of my team members. After some inevitable hiccups in downloading the software and locating the proper hangout, I think the over- all verdict was that it was a lot of fun and well worth it. Below are 7 reasons why I believe that video chatting programs like Google+ Hangouts are great for business.
1. Social Media Rules The World!
It’s no secret that social media has revolutionised the way that we interact with one another but it has also completely changed the way that businesses communicate with their customers. Having a solid social presence online can make or break your sales for the year and can be a large factor in determining your reputation both online and off. Hosting a Google+ Hangout for your customers not only makes you hip, but it shows your customers that you’re willing to take time out of your day to speak with them.
2. Customers Are Far More Likely To Be Loyal With Face To Face Interaction.
While it may not always be possible to meet in person with your customers/clients, the next best thing is to have a video conference with them. By hosting a hangout, you are allowing your customers to get involved with your brand and have that personal connection with your business.
3. Humanises Your Brand/Reputation Management
Don’t be afraid to accept negative comments and/or reviews. Approach them head on; and what better way than to do it ‘in person.’ As we all know, it’s much more difficult to say something negative to a live person than it is to type out a bad review on an anonymous forum. When hosting sessions like this, it allows you to tackle any negative feedback directly and proactively. Hosting something like a hangout on Google+ let’s your customers know that you value their opinion and are willing to hear what they have to say.
4. Establishing Yourself As An Industry Expert.
When hosting an event such as a hangout, you are showing your customer/client base that you are, indeed, an expert in your field. After all that’s what Google wants to see; they want to see that you are so relevant and respected that people can’t wait to attend one of your hangout’s. And once you’ve hosted a hangout, social chatter is sure to follow and thus significantly improving your virtual social status.
5. Link Building!
Whether you know very little about SEO or have a vast understanding, you know that link building is the backbone of SEO. However, if 2012 taught us anything, Social Media has proven to be a powerhouse in the search world. And in 2012, Google showed us ‘who’s boss’ by positioning their own social network as a ‘must have’ for the online world. So when combining link building with social media, you’re unstoppable! (Hint: Unlike most social networks, Google+ links are indeed follow links!)
6. Increasing Your Social Chatter
With last April’s Penguin and Panda updates ( I can hear the grunts and mumbles from here!), we learned that while content is still King, relevance is his Queen! And who can prove that you are more relevant than your loyal fans/customers talking about you on their social networks. Not only are you gaining links, but you’re being talked about and establishing relevance.
7. It’s Fun, Get Your Employees Involved!
It’s 2013 and while meetings and conferences are a necessary evil in the corporate world, why not switch it up every now and then and invite your employees to video conference in via their Google+ page. It’s also one of the best ways to encourage your staff to participate in promoting your brand or business on their own Social platforms. After all, who can sell your brand better than a staff member who loves their job!
With the rules of SEO constantly changing and the algorithm updates that send the blogosphere into a tizzy, one thing has remained consistent and that’s word of mouth recommendations from our friends. I’m with SEOMoz’s, Rand Fishkin, in believing that 2013 will be the year that SEO embraces that it cannot survive independently from Social Media. So why not jump in feet first and start testing out all the different ways that Social Media can benefit your business and maybe even start with a Google+ hangout!
Happy 2013 everyone and here’s to a fantastic New Year!