How to Host a Public Google Hangout

Hosting a public Google Hangout is a great way to hold a panel discussion, make an announcement or host a question and answer session for your market. The beauty of this tactic is that anyone, no matter where they are in the world, can interact with your brand and get an inside look at your business in real time.

Hangouts can make your brand more personable and give you another way to engage with your customers and potential customers. You can use them on a regular basis as a way to build and interact with your audience or on special occasions to create hype about a new product or service or as a free resource. Here’s how to get started.

1 – Set up an Event

Log in to your Google+ account and click on “Hangouts” and then underneath “Start a Video Hangout” click “View All.” Now you can choose “Hangouts on Air” and then “Start a Hangout on Air.” An “on air” Hangout is a live video feed that you can broadcast to specific people, circles or the public.

You can choose to start the Hangout immediately or schedule it as an event so you have time to publicise it. Add a catchy name, interesting description and invite people to watch it.

2 – Promote the Hangout

Share your Hangout event on Google+ and promote it on your account, through other social media channels, on your blog and anywhere else you can. Tell people what’s in it for them and inspire excitement so you’ll have good attendance.

If your Hangout will have panelists, you can mention their names and tag them as a way to generate interest and even ask your panelists to share the event with their social media and blog followers.

3 – Broadcast the Hangout on other Sites

Once the Hangout is set up, it will automatically be shared on your Google+ timeline and show up in your followers’ timelines, so people can watch from Google+.

People can also watch your Hangout on YouTube and even on your website or blog. Inside your hangout, you’ll have access to the YouTube link so you can share it with your followers and other YouTube users. You can also copy an HTML code for your Hangout so you can embed it on your website or blog so people can watch it there too.

4 – Start the Session

When it’s time to start the session, login to your Google+ account and find your Hangout on the menu on the left-hand side of the page. Invite your panelists to join and make sure things like video and audio are working correctly. When everyone is online and ready to start, click “Start Hangout on Air.” You are now live streaming!

Now your audience can watch the Hangout and you can even use the chat function to provide notes, summaries, tips, contact information and links to viewers.

Using Google Hangouts is a creative and interesting way to reach your market. Think outside the box and use this tool for events, products, best practices, how-to information or anything else that interests your market and helps you promote your business.