I joined Google Plus a long time ago but like a lot of people, I never really got my head around it. And at that stage you couldn’t have brand Pages, only personal profiles so I couldn’t have one for my blog. (It doesn’t like pseudonyms and refused to believe my name was ‘Disney Rollergirl’ for some reason – can’t think why). However a while later, when it launched Pages, I gave it another go and now populate it the way I do Facebook. I also follow a bunch of fashion bloggers and brands so it works like a kind of Google Reader, allowing me to read their blog posts and updates in an easily digested format.
But the big appeal of Google+ only came to me last Christmas. Google+ gave some of its fashion influencers a big push and collaborated on a bunch of highly engaging and entertaining Google Hangouts. Anyone on Google+ can do a Hangout; just decide on your topic of discussion, invite your followers and press the button when you’re ready to start ( oh wait, you need to enable the Hangout function first). Lyst, Bag Snob, Vanity Fair and Eva Chen are the early adopter Google+ evangelists who do regular Google Hangouts on subjects like accessory trends, gift shopping, modelling, beauty launches, basically, anything that will get viewers watching and asking questions. (Only nine speakers can be in a Hangout but you can participate by submitting questions and comments in the comments box before or during the chat.) The best bit is that after the chat, the conversation/Hangout goes on YouTube and sits on your Google+ page for later viewers. And of course, you can embed that code on your blog afterwards too.
Fashion brands are just starting to use Google+ and Google Hangouts to close the gap between the brand and the customers. Topshop famously used it for its AW13 show, interviewing the Topshop design team on a Hangout and giving online viewers a model’s eye view from its Model Cam. This week, Versace is relaunching the Versus brand with a Google+ ‘photo walk’ and a Google Hangout.
Google Hangout isn’t perfect, sometimes the quality and sound is a little iffy as you’re using your computer webcam, but actually I don’t mind that because I think it’s less intimidating. All that said, I haven’t taken part in a Google Hangout yet, but I have got a few ideas up my sleeve.
You can follow me on Google+ here – just sign up, type Disneyrollergirl in the search bar and look for the name with the verified tick next to it. Or if you’re already on Google+, just click here and add Disneyrollergirl to your circles. In the meantime, here are some previous Google Hangouts to entertain you…
UPDATE: Click here for an easy-to-understand article on Google Plus that also mentions the whole circles thing and something called Google authorship (which I understand in theory but haven’t got around to implementing)