Since its conception, users and non-users have debated Google+’s value. Is it worth it if most of my friends still use Facebook and Twitter? One truth remains: Google+ is owned by Google and interacting solely with your friends won’t improve your brand or your SEO.  Google+ is worth being on your radar for several reasons. One of those is the Google Helpouts feature that’s ushering in something called “see-commerce”.

See-commerce is e-commerce via live video. Consumers now have the ability to conduct financial transactions for services via a video chatroom.  Google Helpouts have a Google Wallet integration and after the service session, customers can pay for that service via Google Wallet.

Helpouts put people with questions in real time contact with those who have the right answers. No more scouring search engine results pages, no more emailed questions going unnoticed for days, you can now see the whites of the eyes of your online service provider and interact with them via webcam as if they were in the same room.

So why are Google Helpouts a must for those interested in building their personal brands?

They Help You Become an Authority

If you ever want to succeed in your industry, becoming an authority online is a must. If you don’t have an online presence, it’s like not being listed in the yellow pages, as it’s difficult for people to find you.

Juice for SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a necessary facet for anyone interested in building and maintaining an online presence. However, SEO can be incredibly expensive, and isn’t always affordable for smaller companies or individuals trying to build their brands. So if you are looking for inexpensive or free ways to boost your SEO, simply sign up for Google+ and use features such as Hangouts and Helpouts.

Simply having a page on Google+ makes it easier for Google search engine to find you, and by using Google Helpouts, you could increase the likelihood that your brand will move higher in the search engines. The more your information is viewed or clicked on the greater online visibility you could achieve. While Facebook and Twitter can definitely help you as you seek to become an authority, Google+ has its own unique and streamlined features to make your efforts more efficient. Because Google+ posts are indexed by Google faster than Facebook or Twitter posts, using Google+ and Helpouts increase the likelihood that your results will show up in search. When people search for your name, your Helpout can show up. Using Helpouts creates “Google Juice” to power your brand in search engines.

One great real-world example: this feature is exceptionally beneficial to real estate professionals who may work with clients that are moving in from out of state. Homebuyers want real estate agents who know their neighborhoods and the first place clients go to research their potential agents is the Internet. By offering quality Helpouts on home staging, inspection tips and the agent selection process, you appear as authoritative to prospective homebuyers.

Social Media Monitoring

In addition to being able to embed a Google Helpout on your website, you can also share your Helpout listing on all of your social platforms. Each time someone completes a Helpout with you, they can also share that experience on their own social platforms further amplifying your brand.

You Get Cash for Advice

Helpouts can be free, however getting paid while you build your brand is always a plus, and with Google Helpouts you can do just that. Although free tutorials on how to set up a business Facebook page or website are great ways to draw business, no one will have any reason to hire you if you give all you know away for free.

So consider a nice balance of free and for pay tutorials. You’ll build your reputability while also getting a little extra cash on the side.

Better Customer Service

With Google Helpouts, you can reach more customers outside your geographic region. Helpouts are a magic carpet for see-commerce that can take you around the block or around the world via webcam. People get fast, face to face, accurate information they want from a professional and you get the opportunity to better allocate your time and build your brand while still providing your customers with what they want.

Face-to-Face Interactions

Directing your customers to video tutorials and blog posts is easy but it lacks a human component for your brand. People do business with people whom they know. Face-to-face interaction is still a highly important feature of good business, and with Helpouts you can conduct real-time Q & As without even leaving your home. All you have to do is set up a meeting time, and interested persons can sign up. Not only does this allow you to still be personable, but it allows for a greater customer learning experience and the face-to-face interaction they want.

 

A more personal connection to your brand is just a Helpout away. How might you use Google Helpouts to boost your brand?

 

Sarah Hill is the Chief Digital Storyteller for Veterans United Home Loans, where she is the Hangout Host for its veteran and military issues news hub, Veterans United Network. Learn more about Veterans United from our customer reviews and connect with Sarah on Google+ to start a Hangout, or chat with her on Twitter.