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Affordable Search Engine Optimisation Consultant

Social media is a necessary part of any content-based marketing strategy for any kind of business. Yes, even if your business revolves around storage boxes, having a presence on one or more social networks are essential in building your brand.

When you look at several companies, most of them have a presence on Twitter (which is great for posting tips, news, deals and pictures) and Facebook (where you can run contests, post pictures and provide links to your own blog posts). While those two platforms are great, a lot of businesses under-appreciate the value that Google+ brings.

Google+ is not just another social media platform. It offers several mikeefits such as SEO, branding and audience engagement. When speaking about engaging with your audience, the Hangouts in Air (HOA) feature is a force to be reckoned with as it helps you build a community within your own niche in a fast and cost-effective manner.

Google Hangouts banner 640x312 Building a Brand with Google+ Hangouts: A How To Guide

Why Should Your Brand Be on Google+? 

It’s quite simple really: Google+ is integrated with search and other Google products so it, without a doubt, brings great SEO mikeefits more than any other social network.

Put simply, if you want to be found in Google search results, you have to be active on Google+. Here are two SEO-related reasons for doing so:

  • An article that was posted or +1′d by someone that a searcher has in their Circles can appear in results pages for that searcher. This is seen as an endorsement by Google from someone a person trusts, which creates ranking potential for content in the personalized results of people.
  • Authorship photos and bylines, which are pulled from the Google+ profile of authors, can increase click-throughs.

Hosting a Hangout or HOA on Google+ 

With Hangouts, you can find your audience, network with influences, build your community and establish expertise within your own industry. As a Google+ user, you can start a video conference with 10 followers. This is a really cost-effective way to communicate with your audience because it costs absolutely nothing at all.

On the other hand, if you want a live video conference that any Google+ user can watch and comment on, you can start a HOA. Not only that, the video of this session will be saved and put on your YouTube channel.

Hosting an HOA allows you to:

  • establish your brand as a thought leader in your niche
  • showcase your expertise
  • communicate the culture and personality of your brand
  • forge strong relationships with other experts
  • give your brand a human factor your audience is able to relate to
  • promote brand recognition and build a following

Attending a HOA 

Hosting a HOA is not the only branding you can do on Google+, but you can attend HOA’s too and get the same mikeefits as hosting one. Attending a HOA allows you to:

  • Meet industry influencers – Watching HOAs by influential people in your industry allows you to get know experts on a more personal level. Not only that, you get to new people whom you might want to interact with further in the future.
  • Interact with like-minded people – When attending a Hangout, don’t be just an observer. Speak up so people get to know you. Type in your questions in the comments or use the comments section to share your thoughts. By doing so, you can get responses of the host themselves or other participants.
  • Add to your expertise – You are bound to learn something when you attend a HOA. So, take notes, ask questions if you need clarifications and suggest some things so there will be a healthy flow of conversation.
  • Grow your Circles – Add hosts to your Circles. Other than that, you can also add participants who share valuable information into your Circles. 

Extending the Value of a Hangout You Attend 

Even when you’re just attending someone else’s Hangout, try to foster conversation and interaction. Here are some things you can do:

Prior to the Hangout

  • Confirm your attendance – When you confirm, the Hangout will be added to your events and you will be reminded of it. Your picture will also appear under the list of participants which increases your exposure.
  • Promote the HOA – Your followers most likely share the same interests with you so it helps to inform them about any HOA you are attending by sharing it.
  • Leave comments in advance – It doesn’t matter if you want to ask a question about the coverage of the Hangout or you just want to express your excitement for the upcoming event, leaving a comment keeps you notified with every succeeding comment that is left.

Following the hangout 

  • Give thanks to the host and organizers – Once the Hangout has ended, don’t forget to thank the people who organized it and express that you’ve learned a lot just by participating. You can even add that you look forward to other Hangouts they might hold in the future.
  • Write about it – Although the Hangout organizer usually writes a recap of the event, your views and opinions are different. Although it helps to share everything, you can just pick out the ones that you know are useful for your audience. However, when you write your own content, make sure to credit exactly where the information came from. You can even tag them when you post your article on your Google+ page.

When you want to build your brand, you can never go wrong with starting a hangout or participating in one. In fact, if you’re hesitant about hosting your own hangout, you can start by participating in different ones so you can get a feel for how you’re going to go about your own hangout.

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