Live Blog: Working With Brands on Google+

This session was captured by Dawn from When she has time to blog, Dawn talks about her weight loss struggles while trying to balance motherhood and a full-time career.

Working With Brands on Google+ is brought to you by Rebecca Stifter from Fit Approach. Rebecca is the community manager and business development manager for Fit Approach, which is an online health and fitness community. She manages Fit Approach’s Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Pinterest accounts, manages 3,000+ brand ambassadors, and works with top health and fitness brands to increase their social media presence. She is a student at UC Berkeley with a double major in business and media studies. As a Sweat Pink College Ambassador, she helps college students find a balance between college and healthful living.

I think we can get started, my name is Becky and I’m the Community Manager and Business Development Manager at Fit Approach. It makes me excited to see Sweat Pink Ambassadors in the crowd!

So I’m going to give you my agenda and a quick tutorial on Google+ and how you can use it for brand exposure for your blog. 

Here’s our agenda; are there any questions to start? Awesome!
1. Who we are
2. Google+ Basics
3. Best practices for successful Hangouts On Air
4. Working with brands
5. C.R.A.P.
6. Tutorial
7. Q&A
The Sweat Pink community is three years old and we just celebrated our anniversary. Jamie and Alyse are the the founders. They wanted to be here but Jamie is getting married tomorrow which is why they aren’t here. They created Fit Approach three years ago and we have three thousand Sweat Pink Ambassadors (SPAs) world wide. Sweat Pink connects bloggers with brands they are passionate about which is one of the perks of being a SPA. 
Google+ – what is it anyway? Google+ is an emerging social media platform. People are kind of scared to get into it but it’s great to get into.  Circles are the people who follow you. Use those to your advantage so you can share information with certain circles and can create interest groups. You can have one for co-workers, one for brands you work with – you can segment. Communities  are a great part of Google+. Fit Approach has the Living+ community – nutrition, fitness, wellness, mindfulness, balance – where people can post and promote and utilize platforms and ask questions. Another example is that Runners’s World has a running community on Google+  so if you have a running injury you can ask an expert.
Hangouts on Air  help you get more exposure. You can host an event on running and create an event in the Runners World running community and everyone in there would see it. You would use it as a live broadcast. It seems kind of scary at first to go live but it’s not a big deal to mess up. Once you get the hang of it, it’s easy. If Google Hangouts On Airs is connected to your YouTube account, you can share it later which can be valuable.
Why do a Hangout On Air? What do you have to lose? It gives you deeper brand engagement, increases marketing performance, you can connect with brands, and you can share on your other social channels for pre/live/post-event engagement. You can make the hangout a more intimate thing and you can invite people to become part of your community and market yourself as a blogger, person, and brand. You can create overlays for your video that shows where to follow you and what your qualifications are and that increases your marketing performance. Fit and Funny Foodies on Fit Approach is an example of that. To better connect with brands you could do a live review and cook along with the product. Fit and Funny Foodies made Vega smoothies where they did a live demo, included the recipe, wore Vega t-shirts, and used overlays to enhance the user and brand experience.
You also need to share your Hangout – get people to RSVP and share on other social media channels. Let them know what it is about and use key words and hashtags. Pre-enagagement is important with Google+ Hangouts. Once people RSVP, Gmail will automatically send them an email to come to the event. You can also schedule tweets if you use a twitter scheduler. Post event engagement includes YouTube video for playback. The event does not go away on Google+ – it will stay in your events section. The video and information will still be there as well as the chats that go underneath the video. Once we have the content to share we usually do a quick recap on our blog and tag relevant people on the Hangout, include the recipe or workout or that kind of thing to let people find the content.
Any questions?
Google+ benefits are relevant to you and other bloggers. You can direct people to other questions on your blog, position yourself as an expert and use this platform to answer questions. You can also reach various timezones because Google+ is one of the more global social media platforms.  Be aware of time zones when you are planning something and schedule it for a decent time when people can actually join. Workouts On Airs are great for morning and lunchtime is good too to bghten up someone’s day. Evening time is also good so people can sit and relax and learn a little bit more on what you have to offer. 
Question: Is it true that there can be no more than 10 people?
Yes – recommend no more than five to keep the Hangouts condensed. The max is 10 but we’ve never reached that so it’s not too much of a constraint. 
Best practices.
It’s important to engage with the community and keep content up to date. If you host a series, make sure you do it and don’t forget about it. Be responsive – if you post a status and someone asks a question, comment back so people know you’re engaged. 
Ask questions! There are so many help sites that Google has about Google+. Ask questions about the platform of communities and ask in communities as well as a way to get involved.
Give shout outs! Most bloggers have google plus channels so give them shout outs to show them some love.
Relevant blog content. Make sure you post pictures because they are more engaging as well as a status that is engaging to catch attention and pull them in. 
Once a week rule.  Things like posting, hosting a hangout, following a new community, creating a new circle. Google+ is an easier platform to forget so do something once a week that is new to help you build your brand on Google+. We’ll host a hangout once a week – two examples are Jamie’s ultra marathon Google on Airs and the Fit & Funny Foodies. 
Track key words. Look for articles, hashtag those key words so your post comes up when people do a search.
Hangout on Airs – try it out and see if it is something that you like.
Any questions?
Q1: What’s your Twitter name? @golddenbearbecky @Fitapproach
Q2: On Google+ you recommend posting once a day? Yes, just like on Facebook, you can do it once a day -you may want to share across but not on every platform. If you do weekly roundups you can share that content and keep posts up to date so you don’t go two weeks without posting on Google+. 
Tips and Tricks
Download the toolbox for your Hangouts On Air. The dotdotdot (…) will take you to app store to download the toolbox.
Overlays are really important! You want people to know who you are. Put your qualifications with your brand. Make sure you do a trial run with Google+ a couple of days before hand to make sure you feel comfortable and there are no technical issues. That will give you time to research technical difficulties so you don’t find them five minutes before it goes live.
Working with brands. You should make a one pager  to show who you are as a blogger. You can do one for each brand that you’ve worked with and add Google+ as an option because a lot of brands want to start using it. Create a price sheet with descriptions; a more official document will show what they are getting and what your intentions are for the campaign.
Payday: it’s important to start small. You can even offer to do it for free to get case studies under your belt to build your one-pager in the future. It’s also important to set and manage expectations. Keep in communication with the brand to find out expectations. It’s also really important to measure so you can show your brands the analytics and return on investment.
Analytics. How many circles and how many people circle you;  if you can get 1k to circle you that is a good number. It’s typically easier to gain followers on Google+. Fit Approach has about 12k Facebook follwers, 6.5k Twitter followers, and over 672k on Google+. More circles will lead you to a higher page rank and will pop up more often when you have more circles and search engine optimization.  The engagement metrics are (+1s) + (shared) + (total comments) = total engagement. KPI=5-10 actions/post. 
C = Communicate! Share on Twitter…share share it’s all good! Use key hash tags and key words like on every other social channels.
On Google+ you can create an event right before the hangout on air or ahead of time and can link video to event.
Clarify earlier question: more than 10 people can watch the video live, only 10 can be in private session – entirely different link to join than what you send for people to watch. You can have as many people watch as you want.
Let your followers know it will be recorded on  YouTube for later playback because brands really like that. Ask that they send their followers too and they can schedule tweets about it too. It gives the blogger and the brand more exposure and the blogger and brand followers can go to the event and RSVP.
R = Reward! Offer discount or reward or do a giveaway. If you’re doing something with a  brand, do something. Other ideas are a cook along and then do a blog recap give away a product – just do a raffle copter give away at the end on your blog post.  Include your brand partners in all communications – tweets, Instagram, Facebook – and do it early and often.
A = Ask! Spend more time listening and responding than talking. Direct questions to experts, keep it conversational and have fun. Ask friends to join your first Hangout On Airs to boost your numbers and ask them to share on their social media channels. Understand what the brand’s goal is for doing a Hangout On Airs. Figure that out, utilize that, and help them build those goals and accomplish those goals. 
P = Party! This is supposed to be fun! People are coming to watch you so keep it fun and engaging. If you have a glitch or something goes wrong, keep moving forward. Wifi issues are common. If you refresh page won’t close the hangout and refresh usually works. It may help to copy/paste URL at top of hangout, exit out, and then reload right away.
Now I’ll do a quick tutorial to show you how this all goes down.
To create a Hangout ahead of time:
go to Events >Create event
You can create a banner (get Google+ dimensions beforehand)
Title, time, end time, no need for location, details – put public in invite box – if you put a certain circle only that circle can come. 
(Becky then showed a past event with banner, event, video, have to add in link for video to show up.)
You can include what people can expect, tag people, you can post recipe before or after so people can get product and cook along with you. 
You can also create a Hangout On Air without creating event before hand.  
Question: If you do a live video, you can automatically save to youtube?
Yes, once you have the Hangout On Air, it will be live on YouTube as well  and you will have a YouTube link for later. It takes about five minutes and then will automatically upload to your linked YouTube channel.
Continued demo…Then it will bring up a new screen – click start. There will be a URL link for guests. That’s an easy way  to send the link to people and bring into hangout green room. 
Sidebar – asd we talked about before, dot dot dot is at the bottom left of the page for Google Hangout Toolbox. Click Add apps = that  will take you to apps you can download into Hangout. You can search for it but it’s usually one of the first three that show up. The YouTube link is at at the bottom right. The Hangout toolbox at the top right once downloaded  and the lower third box is where you upload your overlay. The default shows a mirrored image so you can click the arrow and to flip it around under “Lower Third. You can also turn the Lower Third on and it will turn on the Google+ profile information.
Google effects is where you find the funny masks. 
Q&A is a cool tool! You turn it on the event page. The comment section is under video and those question will pop up and you can refer to them at any point in the hang out. You can enable Q&A at the start of the video.
That’s the tutorial! 
For timing, I usually say that 20 mins tops is great if you’re by yourself doing a review and 30 mins tops if you are on a panel.
Any questions? Ask away!
Question: When you finish the Hangout On Airs and upload to YouTube, can you change name of video?
It will come up with whatever your HOA title is but you can change your settings in youtube video later and it will change it on there.
The green button is to go live – press that – red button will come up and say Live – press button again to go not live. 
Once live button goes away no one can see you anymore. 
Thank you all so much for coming! Let me know if you have any questions. I’ll be here for another twenty minutes or so!
After the session, I caught up with Heather from Divas Run For Bling. She said “I have over 1k followers in Google+  and never knew what to do with them. I learned about Hangouts and how they work because I had no clue. I felt like I learned something from this!”