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Google Plus Hangouts is a great portal to grow your small business. Through the new video and collaboration applications, Google Plus provides businesses a great tool for connecting with current customers and finding new customers.

The Google Plus Hangouts video functionality offers some unique features over other video sites.  Hangouts allows up to nine other participants in a video chat that can all see each other and converse simultaneously. These chat sessions can be marked as either public for all to see and join (up to nine users) or by invitation only. Users can connect via any Android or iPhone portable device, though the host must start the session via a laptop or desktop computer.

A really nice feature for businesses is the new ability to connect more than one camera to the host’s video stream and switch between views.  This allows businesses to present a more polished image by switching between multiple views. This will allow video presenters to show themselves from multiple angles if they are giving a presentation, show multiple presenters or show multiple angles at a large venue like a concert or conference.

The ability to share a document during the video conference is a great benefit to businesses. Throughout the session, you can share relevant educational literature to back up your presentation, share a slide deck or distribute marketing material such as price sheets. Google Hangouts screen sharing capability allows you to present your slide deck live or run a live demo of an application. If you need to watch a Youtube video together during a video session, Hangouts allows participants to converse with each other via a text chat on the side of the video as it runs.

Google Plus has some extras that are available as premium services that are very useful to any business utilizing Hangouts. The first extra is the ability to use a virtual white board.  I have used a white boarding session via conference before and nothing gets your point across faster sometimes than being able to put it into a quick ad hoc diagram.  After all, a picture, as they say, is worth a thousand words.

Making a call during a video session is another extra premium that Google offers.  This could be useful when a decision needs to be made during a business meeting that requires the expertise of someone who did not initially join. The last extra premium feature is the ability to title your presentations. This is possibly the most important feature for small businesses hoping to utilize Google Plus as a marketing tool. With this naming feature, you can schedule up your video conference and name it and then it is searchable via Google Hangouts video conference search capability.

You can also see what other businesses are on Google Hangouts by using this search feature yourself.  This can be extremely beneficial to you because it allows you to take a look at some best practices that other businesses are following, and maybe give you some ideas as to how you can better use Google Hangouts where they may fall short. If you are using the Google Chrome browser, you can also download Hangouts extensions that will allow you to more quickly find scheduled video sessions and businesses that are using the service.

Google Plus Hangouts is a great platform for performing all sorts of business communication and marketing.  Real time chat could come in handy for troubleshooting technical issues with your product or service, or just giving a friendly face to your customer service department. All manner of presentations from educational to sales can be made to a number of potential customers on this platform as well.

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Posted by Jasan Phillips

The article is authored by Jason Phillips; he is a part time blogger and loves to cover varied topics like technology, Android and social networking. He works in rounds video chat as a social media marketer.

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