Are you using Google Hangouts to promote your business? Hangouts could be your secret weapon making it easier to connect, engage and build relationships with key influencers and customers for your business.

So what is Google Hangouts?

Built by Google+ and Gmail, Google Hangouts is a free unified communications service allowing members to participate in text, voice and video chats, either one-on-one or in a group. There is also Google Hangouts on Air, which allows Google+ users to broadcast video calls live on YouTube. Hangouts on Air has proven a free way for organisations to conduct online seminars and talk shows.

To inspire you, here are 10 brands that are using Google Hangouts creatively for their business and getting results.

Manchester United

During a home match, Manchester United introduced their Google Plus Front Row campaign.

Using Google Hangouts, the Front Row campaign involved broadcasting videos of fans at the side of the Old Trafford pitch. As a world first at the time, this allowed Manchester United supporters from all over the world to ‘be in the front row.’

Shoppable Hangout with Diane von Furstenberg

Fashion designer, Diane von Furstenberg, was the first brand to host a shoppable Google Hangout. All the featured clothes during the Hangout were made available to buy via a link that took viewers to a new window where they could purchase that item.

The success of #ShoptheHangout was impressive. The promotional trailer released a week before the Hangout generated 2.3 million views on YouTube. In addition, the project generated 150 million social media impressions and over 65 million press impressions which helped increase traffic and in addition sales for partners selling Diane von Furstenberg clothes.

Penguin

Penguin, the children’s book publisher, bought to life the story of the ‘Billy Goats Gruff.’ By creating an app on their Storytime Hangout Page.

By clicking a ‘Launch Storytime Hangout’ button, users could initiate a video call and invite friends to share in Storytime. Then, by using their webcams, participants could pick a character from the story they wanted to play, and a mask depicting that character would appear over their face.

Anna Rafferty, MD of Penguin Digital, said that “While nothing will ever replace the act of snuggling up with a book and reading a story with a child, we’re using technology to give it a twist, enabling it to happen at long-distances, and connecting stories and readers as Penguin has always done.”

Warner Brothers

To promote the launch ‘sci-fi’ film, ‘Interstellar’, Warner Brothers held a Google Hangout with Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway, among other stars of the film. This provided a chance for film fans to ask the cast questions in real-time via a Q&A app, as well as the opportunity to buy tickets for the film and access related links. This use of technology proved to be a fantastic method for engaging with their audience.

President Barack Obama

 It was what the White house called the “the first-ever presidential hangout road trip”, as Barack Obama spoke with nine geographically dispersed Americans using the Google’s Hangout tool. Thousands of people submitted questions to ask the President.

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift unveiled her new album ‘Red’ on Google Hangouts, providing fans from around the world with the chance to ask questions about her new album and give them the opportunity to listen to one of the first tracks.

Taylor’s Google Plus followers rose from 209,739 to over 2 million.

Cadbury

The #cremeeggbake Google Hangout campaign proved a massive success for Cadbury building up their Google Plus page.

Cadbury are now an advocate of the platform. For this reason, in the run up to Easter, the chocolate manufacturer used Google Hangouts to generate buzz around their #cremeeggbake competition where participants posted recipes using creme eggs on social media.

The winners were then invited to partake in Hangouts. Cadbury got 3 million organic views across Google Plus and 36,000 engagements – including 3,000 comments, 5,000 shares and 28,000 +1s. That is solid proof of its success.

We hope this has given you some inspiration to begin using google Hangouts to promote your business online. If you have had your own experience of Google Hangouts then please let us know in the comments section below, we would love to hear your story.