Obama Hangs Out on Google+. Should You?

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Google+, which continues to roll out cool features for brand pages, still hasn’t quite won the hearts of social media experts. Despite its fast sign-up process and easy access to millions of users, many marketers have been slow to hop on the Google+ bandwagon. But maybe Barack Obama’s fondness for the platform will change their minds.

Yesterday, the president let the people interview him about issues and topics sprung from last week’s state of the union address. He answered questions submitted to Google+ and YouTube. According to Google and the White House, 227,000 users sent in 133,000 questions and cast 1.6 million votes to determine which of the questions the president would answer. The event was broadcast via video stream on the White House website, YouTube and in an exclusive Google+ Hangout. The prez and his team know how to rock social media and have done this kind of Internet Q&A before, the last time being a Twitter town hall over the summer. So it’s an eyebrow raiser when Team Obama takes to a relatively new platform like Google+ Hangouts.

That said, we can certainly see the appeal of Hangouts. Hangouts, in case you haven’t heard, are Google+’s true leg up on the social media competition and sponsored brand Hangouts are another trend we’re bound to see more of this year. Hangouts allow an invited group to get together and chat through live-streaming video. These state-of-the-art get togethers connect users instantly and “face to face.” For brands, organizations and politicians, this kind of access and back and forth is worth its weight in gold. Marketing magazines and blogs have been pondering the branded possibilities for Hangouts for months and it looks like the White House has yet again blazed another social media trail.

So, readers, tell us — are you still resisting Google+ and, if so, why? Let’s Hangout in the comment section below!

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