Let’s hang!

Aloha, friends! I’m back from a wonderful 10 days in sunny Hawaii and ready to get back to blogging. I was suffering from extreme social media burnout before I left for vacation and was providing absolutely no insight on this blog. So I just stopped writing it.

But I’m feeling refreshed! And opinionated.

So let’s start the week off with the talk of the town this week – Google+. TNW posted about G+’s “secret weapon” earlier today: its tools. From hangouts to easy interaction with photos and videos, Google definitely has some tricks up its sleeve. TNW profiled a musician who is using these tools to expand her career – but can brands utilize them the same way?

I’m going to give that a big resounding yes. And here are a couple reasons why:

One thing I always want to do on Facebook and Twitter is host a live chat. I see tons of other brands trying to attempt this as well. But it ain’t easy.

You need someone for your fans to chat with, and that person has to be (somewhat) social media savvy so they don’t become overwhelmed and completely blow-up everything you’ve worked so hard for as a community manager. You also need questions from fans. And they will only ask questions about topics they are interested in. So you need to be, above all, interesting. And lastly, the hour you spend chatting and answering questions need to be entertaining. A bajillion other status updates, videos and photos are calling out for your fans attention. You need to get it.

Unfortunately, these “live” chats are usually boring. Really boring. Facebook and Twitter are interactive technologies, but they still face the challenge of asynchronous communication. This means that consumers aren’t guaranteed an instant response. Community managers and experts can wait and formulate answers on their own timetable. Yes, it should be sooner rather than later. But it doesn’t have to be.

Google+ hangouts fix that problem! Consumers can come online and participate in an expert conversations, a focus group, a brainstorm, whatever, and communicate instantly with the brand and their fellow consumers. It’s incredibly personal and forces a brand to be incredibly human.

I personally think that’s awesome. Often times when I am responding to consumers, I wish I could just talk to them in person so they could see how sincere I am. A hangout would help me do just that.

And talk about humanization! We could show consumers the people behind our brand. The marketers, the customer service reps and the people in production of products. The possibilities are endless.

So let’s get out there and hang!

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