It’s been over a year since Google released their challenger to Facebook’s rule on top of the social media pyramid, in the form of Google Plus.

Launched in June 2011, the search giant hoped that Google Plus could strike a huge blow to Facebook’s dominance of the social media world. While that hasn’t quite materialised, the numbers for Google Plus speak for themselves: 400 million members and 100 million active users are impressive for its first year.

Whilst Google Plus may not possess the stature of Facebook, the controversy and outspokeness of Twitter, the business acumen of Linkedin, or the attractiveness of a Pinterest, there is one way Google Plus distinguishes itself from the rest: Hangouts.

Google’s answer to Skype, here’s some top ways how B2B marketers can use Hangouts to interact and network with both clients and staff in your organisation.

Meeting clients without the hassle of travel:

If you are unable to travel for a meeting with a client, then Hangouts can be a great substitute. Hangouts give you the ability to schedule video conference calls and create that in-person feeling without the need to travel. And even if a member is unable to access Google Plus, they can simply join in the video-conference with a free voice call.

Training made easier:

It’s hard to train someone over the phone, so that’s where Hangouts come in. You have the ability to do some internal training with staff or external training with clients, with Hangouts allowing you to see what’s going on and giving you visual and personal feedback to the session.

Networking on a new level:

Networking is important. But what about the people that are unable to attend the shows? Hangouts on Air allow you to invite the people who cannot make it so they see your brand and reap your industry knowledge.

Customer Service is essential:

Social Media gives businesses a platform to speak to their consumers and Hangouts can be an extension of that service. Hangouts give marketers the opportunity to hold either Q&A sessions or a virtual help desk to interact with customers on a more personal level.

It’s all about videos:

Customer testimonials are important to every business. Hangouts is a great cost-free way to record a testimonial, edit it and then upload Youtube for the world to see.

Have you used Google Hangouts? What do you think are the best features that marketers can adopt?

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