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How to Run a Google+ Hangout for Your Social Marketing Campaign

As a social marketer, you’re in control of your Google+ Hangout, so it’s up to you to take the lead and run things accordingly. In essence, as the host, you’re a moderator for a discussion, and you’re also there to pose topics and ensure there’s no dead space or long pauses in the conversation. Here are some tips and best practices for hosting Google+ Hangouts:

  • Talk first. As people file in to the Hangout, say, “Hello” and make small talk. When you feel it’s time to begin, start. Don’t wait for someone else to get the ball rolling if it’s your Hangout.

  • Ask participants to introduce themselves. When it’s time to get started, encourage participants to introduce themselves. They’ll participate more often if they also see it as a marketing opportunity.

  • Use the Mute button to silence background noise. Sometimes you might hear unintentional background noise coming from someone’s mic — for example, planes, trains, kids playing, and road noise. You can mute the participants with particularly noisy backgrounds while still enjoying the chat — simply click the Mute button under that person’s name.

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  • Use the Block button if someone is causing a disturbance. Sometimes people forget their etiquette and play music or talk to others while a Hangout is going on. For those people who are creating a negative experience for everyone, the Block button comes in handy and deletes the offending party from your view.

  • Don’t dominate the discussion. Though it’s your Hangout, don’t dominate the entire discussion. Make sure everyone gets to participate so all points of view are represented.

  • Be prepared. Before the Hangout, write out a list of what you plan to talk about so you don’t lose track of the day’s topic. Make a list of questions and comments geared toward provoking discussion.

  • Offer perks. Surprise participants with coupon codes for discounts or free stuff. If word gets around that you offer perks or swag to the people who participate in your Hangouts, you’ll attract more participants, and more people will add you to their Circles.

  • Minimize noise. Using a headset or ear buds help to control background noise, feedback, and echoing.

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