I’m just hanging out

If you’re still not sure about whether your brand should be on Google+, consider the benefits of Google Hangouts. The group chat feature is highly interactive, even compared to previous social networks, and can have increased longevity thanks to its integration with YouTube – simply record your Hangout and upload it for anyone who missed out to view at a later date.

Hangouts have been seen increasingly within the music and fashion industries; MKS (that’s the original Sugababes lineup of Mutya, Keisha and Siobhan) made it more mainstream, and popular online retail brand ASOS has hosted ‘Shop-alongs’, featuring US Editor Indigo Clark, and New York fashion guru, Cory Kennedy. The hour-long Hangout saw them taking questions live online, and go through products on the ASOS website with their viewers, as well as have a good old natter about all the latest looks.

The Mashies, Mashable’s awards for marketing advertising, and social media, now has a ‘Best Use of Google+’ category. This year’s winner, Cadbury, is a great example of Hangouts done well. Their #CadburyKitchen campaign saw them create a community of bakers and culinary creators, with a Hangout the icing on the cake (sorry!). Included for your viewing pleasure below, they invite French pâtissier and celebrity chef Eric Lanlard to teach them how to make the perfect soufflé.

While Google+ still has some flaws (being unintuitive being one of the bigger ones), it’s clear that more and more brands are getting to grips with the social network, and competitors should be following suit. Social media is now an established part of marketing and PR; Google+ should definitely be considered as an integral part of that.