How Events Can Alert the Public about your Hangout on Air
Google Plus Events and Hangouts on Air – Public Alerts are Possible
Google Plus Events help us ‘get the word out’ about what is coming up. They can even do some things that Hangouts on Air alone can not do… they can alert the Public about your upcoming Hangout on Air (HOA). They don’t do this directly (yet) but with this ‘work around’ you can make them do a lot of your marketing work for you.
Watch the above video for details, then read on for more details below.
How Events Can Alert the Public
One limitation that Hangouts on Air have is they can not directly be shared with the ‘Public’ via the Hangout Invite area. You can share a HOA with any of your circles, but not the one called ‘Public’. I think this is because of the rowdiness that seems to happen in many Hangouts that are open to the Public. If the HOA had the public coming in and out all the time, then there is a much better chance that the ability to do HOAs would be revoked because of likely copyright infringement or other such thing.
Alerting the Public is Not the same as Inviting the Public
When I talk of Alerting the Public I am not taling about “Inviting” the public. Inviting the Public to a HOA has the connetation of Inviting anyone into the Live Broadcast. Inviting them to be part of the ‘pannel’ or ‘filmstrip’… that is not what we are doing (nor wanting to do). No, instead, Google Plus Events make it super simple to get the word out to the public that you are going to go live with a HOA at a certain date and time… They let you ‘Alert’ the public about your event. Events can make it super simple to know where and when to Click and watch the HOA live (an issue many of us have had difficulty with in the past before Events existed).
How Events Can Alert the Public in ways you don’t know
It is possible for the general public to discover your HOA Event Invitation before your show goes live. This can happen because the Events Page has a link which encourages people to “Search for Public Events”.
If you have used the technique described here, you will put your HOA Event out there into the Public pool of avaiable events to join or take part in. This doesn’t mean that the Public will be ‘part of the HOA’ as in inside the show, but it does mean they can easily decide to say “Yes, I’m Going” and then they will automatically receive a Reminder Alert when the HOA goes live.
Using the steps outlined here, that Reminder Alert will also include the link they need to click on in order to watch the HOA live, or after the fact (as long as the HOA originator did not turn off or change the video URL once the event was no longer live).
The Steps Needed for Events to Alert the Public about your Hangout on Air
There are 3 main steps involved to accomplish this cool work around.
- Post an Event to the Public (and others as well) Announcing the HOA
- Start your HOA Session and ‘Harvest’ the YouTube URL (View Link)
- Edit the Public Event post by pasting in the Harvested YouTube URL
First you start out by making an Event that describes your HOA. You send it out to the “Public” circle as well as to some other people and or targeted circles you have. You’ll want to send it out to others besides the pure “public” circle since your goal is to ‘alert’ people about the event… Sending to Public does not alert the Public.
Including individual people in your address list or circles of people will automatically send them an alert. My understanding is that Event Alerts will be sent to everyone in the circles you include, up to 5,000 people (but not to the ‘Public’).
If someone opened up the Event Invitation (sent to the Public and other circles), they can choose to say they want to ‘attend’ or ‘go’… if they do so, then they are added to the automatic Alert List and will receive an alert at the time the show is scheduled to start.
This First step is best done ahead of time so that people can plan to attend your HOA event. This may be multiple days or multiple hours.
The Second step is done right before the HOA goes live. A common time to start the HOA and get everyone involved ready is 15 minutes before the published start time. During this time, people check their sound, lighting, computer speed, etc. all part of getting ready. Many times this is referred to as the “Green Room” time.
During this Green Room timeframe is when step number 2 should happen. The Originator has started the HOA, but has not pressed the red ‘Start broadcast’ button. The originator should click the link named ‘embed’ in the top portion of their HOA Screen and copy the YouTube Link on the far left of the 2 choices.
The Third step should happen right after the Second step. Once the YouTube URL is copied, it should be pasted right away into the Event Post. To do this you must choose to Edit the Event post, and then I suggest pasting the Youtube URL into the Event Field called Website URL. You will want to edit the Event Post before the scheduled start time of the event. That way when the automated alerts go out, they will include the desired URL link that everyone can click on and start watching the show once it goes live.
Events can Alert the Public - Some Additional Details/Tips:
When you Type in the Event Details (aka Description) it is a good idea to make note that as the Event is just about to go live, the Details shown in the event will change. Mention the fact that the Link used to watch the HOA will be added to the event Invitation just before the Event goes live… and encourage everyone planning on watching to use that updated link to easily watch the HOA. If this suggested text was not included from the very start, then it should be included as part of the Edit to the Event. Take a look at the example text we used below in the Final Event Invitation Screenshot.
When you use this technique your final (Edited) Event Invitation should look something like this (the Yellow outline is only for drawing your attention to the link and will not be part of the final Event Invitation) :
Visit my YouTube Channel to watch some other videos I have made on Events to get a bigger picture of all they can do. You may want to read up on my introduction to Events post called Google Plus Events – Making a Hangout Invitation. Since HOA will use your YouTube Channel, you will also want to be sure that your YouTube Channel is properly connected to your Google Plus account to get the most out of what Google wants to do for you, so read up on How YouTube and Google Plus Connect.