Being on a G+ Hangout on Air (HoA) panel is a great way to build your authority and brand. Here are tips for making the most of the opportunity both before and after the live event.
Big Fat Caveat: These are what I recommend for panelists on my hangouts. Not every host would agree, so be sure to double check about behaviors that directly influence the event page.
1. Add Images to the Event Page
In the days before the HoA, upload relevant images to the event page. In the caption field, explain the image and add a link to the source, probably a blog post written by you.
The Reasoning Behind This Strategy
People who say Yes and Maybe to an event get notifications under their red bell when images are uploaded to the event page.
When the users click the notification, they can see a small sliver of the image you uploaded. Hopefully they will click over to see it and interact. At a minimum, they have been reminded of the event and can click it to see the date/time/details if they have forgotten.
Uploading images periodically is a way to provide a pleasant and useful reminder of the event. Make sure your photo is relevant to the HoA topic. Also use the caption field to provide valuable content. In this way, you are starting the dialogue even before the HoA begins. Think of it as an appetizer for your hangout presentation.
Plus images are pretty! And they show up on the event page in a section to the right offering another chance to brand yourself and bring more eyes to the event where you demonstrate your expertise.
Upload one striking image on the day before the event or on the day of the event several hours before it starts. Maybe upload twice, but don’t do more than that especially if other panelists are also uploading images. Reminders via notifications can easily become irritating if overdone.
2. Promote the Event Page Via Social Media
These tips may seem obvious, but it’s easy to get busy and forget to promote the event.
- Share the event link on G+ (to public).
- Invite your circles to the event. (Look on the event page for an Invite button.)
- Share the event link via other social media platforms.
- Schedule shares the day before and the day of the event.
TIP: Having trouble finding the event later on? On G+, look for your events section in the dropdown menu at the left. It will show events you have RSVP’d Yes or Maybe for and events you have been invited to.
3. Promote the Event on Your Blog
Write some valuable content that is relevant to the topic of the HoA and share the event in the post. Invite your readers to participate live on the event page by asking questions and leaving comments there. Many readers will need some help with handling the transition to G+. Give them some tips and reassurance. They might not even have a G+ account, so be prepared to walk them through that process gently.
If you want to embed the live video into your blog so that it plays during the HoA, you can do that! While you are in the greenroom before the broadcast is live, have your blog post editor open. Ask the host of the event for the YouTube URL. Embed that into your post, and it will broadcast the video live on your own site! This is a good way to encourage your readers who are not G+ savvy to watch.
After the session is over, the live video will convert to the recorded version for anyone to watch later. You don’t have to do anything. It is automatic.
You can also create a blog post after the event, recapping what was said, even listing an outline of the topics covered. If you can indicate the time when that topic arose, all the better. Make sure the post itself is valuable content even without the video. Make a pinnable image from a key nugget from the hangout.
4. Follow-up on the Event Page
After the event is over, take some time to visit the event page and interact. Those people watched your video, so they have a sense that they know you. Build on that potential relationship!
- Thank people for compliments.
- Answer questions and comment.
- Circle people you find interesting.
TIP: Open the event page in two tabs, one for reading and the other for commenting. This prevents the need to scroll back and forth to the comment field. If you do it all on one page, you will lose your place and probably skip over some important comments that were left.
When you tag someone, it can be difficult to get their +name link to come up in some cases (especially if you don’t have them circled). The solution is to use their special numeric ID instead. Right click on the person’s name, copy the URL, and paste it into the comment field with the + in front of it as always. Delete everything except that long number at the end of the link. The +number will not change to a link until you publish the comment. But it works everytime!
5. Promote the YouTube Recorded Video or Event Page
The video recording of the HoA shows you are an expert on the topic because you were invited to share on the panel. Make the most of it!
- Share the video via social media. Remember you can pin videos to Pinterest.
- In YouTube, like the video and comment on it.
- If you are especially proud of being a panelist in a certain hangout, add a link to the event page in your Google Plus profile, on your site’s about page , or as part of your speaking page.
Being part of a hangout is much more than showing up online ten minutes before an event starts. An excellent panelist will invest in the event before and after. The host who invited you will be thrilled with your promotion and you will be building your own reputation in the meantime.
Hone Your Hangout Skills
If you decide you want to host your own HoAs, I recommend (affiliate link) Ronnie Bincer’s Hangout Mastery course. The investment will help you wade through the confusion and get right to what you need to know in a timely manner. It took me only three months of membership to gain confidence with Hangouts. After that time I canceled my membership. But other people stay on long-term. The choice is yours.