Google-plus-for-businessWhen you think of hanging out, you imagine relaxing in a certain location with a group of friends just catching up. However on Google+, Hangout is a video-conference that allows you to connect with people in different locations. This is a feature that has the potential to change the way businesses communicate.

With the rapid growth of social media, interpersonal communication has declined greatly, however, Google Hangouts a group video application allows up to 10 people to have a face-to-face virtual meeting free of charge may be able to reverse that trend.

With the ability to see and engage with dozens of people, Google Hangouts on air also allows  you to broadcast your Hangouts to people around the world. Once you’ve finished your Hangout, Google uploads a full-length recording to your YouTube account, which can then be shared with everyone. Ideal bandwidth for the best experience, outbound from the participant: 900kbps Inbound to the participant: 1.2mbps this tool can revolutionise communication in and among businesses.

For instance, rather than driving across town or walking across the office, Google Hangout can enable one to have a conversation in person with someone from your own desk. Where an email isn’t enough, a phone call can be a quick solution. However, a call can interrupt your workflow, and a missed call may go unnoticed. With Google hangout, you can start the conversation, while continuing to working.

The integration of Hangouts and Google Docs a web-based word processor, spreadsheet, presentation, form, and data storage that allows users to create and edit documents online makes it easy for people to share documents, edit them simultaneously and sketch ideas while running a video group chat. It’s very easy and convenient to watch two people editing the same document in real time while talking and seeing each other.

Two heads are better than one, but sometimes even that’s not enough, one can add as many people as you want mid-conversation, and see them all face-to-face, be able host an all-company meeting from across the country and be assured that everyone is there and involved.

President Barack Obama recently held a Hangout session on the White House Google Plus page, more than 225,000 people submitted questions and anyone could tune in to hear his responses Live.

Convenience and reach is very crucial when trying to pass on useful information to people, like Njoku Emeka a teaching Assistant at the University of Ibadan Distance Learning Center who lectures and shares his class presentations to his class via Hangouts on Air, engaging more that 180 students on his Google + page.

Bernard Alve the General Manager of CitiFM, Accra states that “The Google+ hangouts have opened a refreshing chapter in the CITI Breakfast Show in terms of scope and audience experience.”The English-speaking radio station in Accra carries out live interactive video sessions on Google Hangouts that allow listeners not only to see for themselves what happens live in the studio, but also engage with the host and guests in real time on air. “ It’s amazing how much the listener experience can change with the help of a little bandwidth and the ingenuity of an interactive platform,” he adds.

Promotions and giveaways can be a great way to get potential customers involved. Do a live giveaway among your customers or clients. Rather than having someone “like” your page to earn entry into a drawing, get them to show up to a hangout.Nothing says customer service like face-to-face communication. Rather than having customers or clients call in, give them a link to a live hangout with a customer service representative.

Check in with your clients from time to time. Ad agencies can “hang out” with a client to show the progress on the latest project. Rather than taking time to go meet the client to check in, you can show them your work instantly using Google Docs.

After a hangout, your stream shows everyone who was present, so that you know exactly who was there and who wasn’t. This makes it easy to follow up with customers or clients who were involved in the conversation, or new people you met in the hangout. Creating and maintaining relationships is what Google+ is all about, after all.