In the latest April 20, Help Desk Hangout On Air, Google discussed how business can benefit from engaging with customers via social media -- and shared best practices for building great content. You can watch the full hour-long Hangout embedded below.
Here is what you learn in the video, with Google's community managers -- Jacky Hayward, Sarah Price and Brian Rose:
1:59 - How our guests use social media to engage with Google's customers
6:34 - Identifying people who are excited about your business and brand
9:30 - Time management: Where to prioritize your time?
11:59 - Prioritizing the mentions you need to respond to
14:59 - Strategies for choosing the right content for the right platform
16:43 - What kinds of content do people like?
21:13 - Online and offline, bridging the two worlds, building a 'family'
28:28 - Managing feedback from your customers
35:00 - Balancing your personal identity and the brand's identity
41:56 - Wrapup!
Here are a couple of questions answered during the Hangout:
Why spend time using social media?
First, think about your goals. Sarah, who works on the Gmail team, says she doesn't see social media as "an end in and of itself," but rather as a tool to help her reach her goal of connecting with users: "I want to help users learn more about Gmail, [so] I use social media as a tool to share information. I have a goal that I want to have relationships with the users, that they have a relationship with the company and each other, so I use social media as a tool to facilitate those relationships."
What kinds of content work?
Don't underestimate fun. Eye-catching rich media (photos, videos) are always engaging. Be mindful of time zones and when you're sharing (do you usually get more engagement in the morning, at night?). Also, people love having a connection with you and your brand, which you can do with something as simple as highlighting or resharing content by a customer.
In other Google+ news, Gmail already allows sharing image attachments with other Google+ users by clicking the "Share" link, but what about the embedded images? Now, you can share embedded imaged in Gmail messages by mouse over the image and clicking the "share" button.
To insert images into a Gmail message - just drag and drop the images from your favorite file manager. It should work in the latest versions of Chrome, Safari and Firefox, assuming that you haven't disabled the rich text mode.