Google plus hangouts and circles are a great engagement tool

Use Google plus to collaborate

If I told you to check out Google plus.

That it could be the next big thing.

You’ll probably want to hit me.

As if we needed another social network.

But I uphold my advice: take an hour and check out what Google+ can do for you.

It offers something that other social networks don’t: the possibility to have quality conversations – not just with friends but with peers, colleagues and customers.

On Google+ it’s easy to start a conversation. It’s also easy to keep it from the public eye: every conversation you start, you decide who takes part.

Making it possible is the concept of Circles.

It’s hard to explain in words, so for those of you who haven’t been on Google plus, I made a short screencast.

What gets me excited about Circles and, of course, the Hangouts, is that they make it so easy to collaborate.

They are not only good to get input and feedback, they help you to create engagement.

That’s because circles are exclusive. There are those inside and those outside. The ones inside share a feeling of togetherness and you can use that to pull people closer to you.

In particular, I see them as a great way to build closer relations with those who have already warmed up to you.

Supporters into ambassadors

Say you are developing a new product. Why not ask good customers for their opinion at an early development stage? Make them part of your creative process.

If you run a non-profit, give your donors an active role in the planning and maybe even the execution of your next campaign. Get people involved. It has the power to turn quiet supporters into ardent ambassadors.

And why not invite partners and like-minded organizations to a Hangout: talk about how you can share resources, how to help each other out, how to expand common ground. Bring the partnership to a new level.

None of these ideas are new, of course. But the problem with collaboration is that, all too often, it doesn’t get off the ground because the available tools aren’t fun: intranets, extranets, project management software, webinars and all the names they go by.

Circles and hangouts are different. They are easy to use. They are fun to use. They are engaging.

Will you try them?

You can leave a comment below.  And here’s the link to my profile on Google+.

About Carsten

Hi, I am Carsten Wendt. I help people make their writing more exciting. I am also a passionate public speaking coach and Humorous Public Speaking Champion of Belgium.

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