If you’re looking for a way to engage with a wider audience, Google Hangouts may be exactly what you’re looking for.

Google Hangouts image - Aleweb Social MarketingJust think of this… Instead of taking days, weeks or even months to go on a book tour, you could meet your fans and engage with your audience all from the comfort of your home.

You can invite people to join you live on camera and carry on a multi-participant conversation.

The chat feature allows you to share a link to where people could buy your latest book or product, while they’re On Air with you.

Since multiple people can be On Air at the same time, you can actually interact with your audience.

The possibilities are limitless. You just have to be a little creative.

Getting started is simple

To use Google Hangouts, you have to have a Google+ account, but Google makes that just about impossible to avoid.

If you have a YouTube account, you have a Google+ account and just don’t know it yet. If you use Gmail, guess what? You’ve got a Google+ account too. If you use the Google Chrome browser? That’s right! You’ve got a Google+ account.

There are plenty of people who insist that Google+ is the next great thing, however, its slow adoption rate indicates otherwise. Supporters will use the sheer number of accounts as an indicator of how popular it is, however, since Google requires you to have an account to use Gmail, YouTube and other services, account creation is a misleading indicator.

There are definitely benefits to using Google

Don’t get me wrong! There are definitely benefits to using Google+, but it’s not the thriving metropolis of social media that some people would have you believe either.

Knowing why you’re using it ensures you use it effectively. Google+ is good for SEO and AuthorRank, period. That’s it. Not a whole bunch more.

Unless you’re using Google Hangouts! The Hangouts app is probably the most powerful feature of the social network that you can use, and here’s why.

  1. Google Hangouts allow you to hold group video calls for free.
  2. You can record the call and simulcast it on your YouTube channel to return to again and again, or to send out to your mailing list and social network after it’s over.
  3. Done correctly, the content and discussion from your Google Hangout can help with SEO.
  4. From the call recording, you can create audio or transcripts to repurpose the content into podcasts, blog posts and eBooks.
  5. Others can syndicate the content using the 22Social app to extend your audience and enhance their reputation.
  6. You can feature influencers as your guests on the call, enhancing your own reputation, and share your own knowledge and expertise, establishing your authority.
  7. If you’ve bundled your book with another author, you can appear on the call together and interact with your mutual audience.
  8. People love to consume video content. If you don’t believe me, just check out these statistics. How many more stops could you make on your blog tour if you offered a live interview to your hosts, just for their audience?
  9. Google Hangouts are easily accessible on mobile devices, TVs and computers. Whether the call is watched real-time using the Google Hangout app on an iPad or watched after-the-fact on YouTube or using Google Chromecast instead of watching late night TV, people can access your content anywhere.

Want to learn how to get started with Google Hangouts? There are some great suggestions in this article on Steamfeed.

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