Google Hangouts –Part 3 – How to Set Them Up

google hangout blog pictureGoogle Hangouts are a valuable tool for your business as we discussed in two prior posts. The 1st post gave an overview of what Google Hangouts are and the 2nd post, how Coaches, Service based and eCommerce can use them in their businesses.   In the 3rd part of this series on Google Hangouts, we will now discuss a few steps on how to go about setting them up:

  1. Create a G+ account –  If you already have one, you can proceed to the next step.  If you don’t have one, you need to create one by visiting https://plus.google.com/    It is also helpful to create a company page as well as a means to brand your identity.
  2. Install Google Talk –   This is a plugin that allows for you to have hangouts.  You can install it by downloading the plugin found at: https://www.google.com/tools/dlpage/hangoutplugin  or by clicking the “Start a Hangout Party located at the bottom right of your page, follow the instructions and then log in to your account to activate it.
  3. “Start Your own Hangout”- Click the “New Hangout” tab on the top right of your page and select either your personal or company page in which to host as well as the correct camera and microphone if you have one.
  4. Invite – You now have a choice as to who to invite to the party, it could be your customers, your friends or even your circles.  After confirming your invites, your guests will see a pop-up window giving them the option of joining or declining the call. As stated earlier, only 10 people can be invited, however, up to 100 can join, if just using chat feature.

Hangouts also come with many features that can be used based on your needs. There are 2 toolbars on left and top and the chat box on the right corner. The chat box can be used with or without video.

Features on the top panel include a setting to mute the microphone (if you were doing a chat only) settings to adjust your bandwidth speed and a/v devices as well as a phone icon to hang-up.

The left toolbar has a variety of features from which to choose. In addition to a screenshare arrow, it also has a camera icon to do screen capture as well as apps from which to choose.  It has a “toolbox” which is a 3rd party app where you can do things like add a name badge , track comments and an option to download other apps (3 green dots) such as Google Drive, Slideshare and YouTube, if it were to be recorded.

Two neat tools available are Symphonical  which has a calendar and task list among its features and Google Effects which allow you to draw faces and masks on your profile.

There is also one other tool that Coaches and Businesses can use, and that is Hangouts on Air. The only difference between the two is that HOA is by invitation only, which is a great way to interact with your customers. It can be recorded on You-Tube to be viewed later. There are two ways to create them, either by clicking on “add video call” or creating an event, where customers and prospects make a decision to either attend or not attend.

By practicing, having all needed information and promoting your hangout, you can take advantage of this powerful tool for your business.

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