We need free chat lines.
Current electronic marketing trends tell us we need to connect to our audience.
B2C marketing strategies (Business-to-Consumer) tell us to get to know our customer.
The best way to learn about our audience is through verbal communication.
People give email addresses and hard-earned money to people they trust, and they trust people they can see and hear.
However, video tools that make face-to-face connections possible are costly.
Do you know where you can find free video conferencing tools?
This post will review the follow tools that give you free chat lines to your audience and potential customers and clients:
- Instagram Live
- Facebook Live
- Facebook Watch Party
- Google Hangouts
- Fans Chat
You can use these tools to have video communication with your audience, your clients, your virtual assistant, or whomever you want to chat with face-to face.
How to Use Zoom Video Conferencing
Update March 2022
In 2021, Zoom boasted a 53% increase and took in 4 billion dollars (Source).
- Download the software
- Enter your email. Agree to the terms of service when you signup. Click “I’m not a robot.” Verify your account by clicking the Activate Account link in your email.
- You’ll be given the option to invite people to use Zoom.
- If you want to start a Zoom video conference right away, click “Launch Meeting. If you want to launch a meeting at a later date, type https://zoom.us into your web browser. Click “Host a Meeting.” Your dropdown will give you 3 choices: Host a meeting with video off, with video on, or with screen share only.
- Click Open Zoom Meetings. Your choices will be Phone Call, Computer Audio, or Join Audio Conference by Computer. You’ll be given an opportunity to test your microphone and speakers. When you click Test Speaker, you’ll hear music play. You don’t need the person on the receiving end of your Zoom Video Conference invitation to be there yet. You’ll even be given an option to mute the microphone when joining the meeting in case you don’t want the recipient of your invitation to hear what’s going on in your room just yet. When you’re done adjusting your sound settings, click the X in the top portion of the screen.
- Click Automatically Join Audio by Computer when joining a meeting if this is what you want going forward.
- Click to invite participants.
- Choose your email service to send the invitation. I chose Gmail. Your choices are default, Gmail or Yahoo.
- Type in the recipient’s email address. Your invitee will get the invitation to join a Zoom Meeting. They click. My recipient was told the meeting would begin soon. They’ll be asked to enter their name and join the meeting. After they do, you should see them on the screen.
- Choose End Meeting for All or Leave Meeting.
- Zoom lets you know when a new version of this video communication tool is available.
IGTV enables you to chat with your fans in real time. You chat by talking. Your audience chats by typing.
With this method, you chat with your fans using Instagram Live Television (IGTV).
Using Instagram Live to chat with your fans is simple as long as you have the IGTV app.
I have done several IGTVs. I took questions I received at Quora and answered them in different IGTVs. Although I didn’t receive too many written messages, many members of my audience clicked the hand-wave emoji.
I felt like I was truly connecting to my audience since they were waving at me which felt terrific.
Clearly, you can boost your brand with IGTV.
You can also boost your sales with IGTV.
The beauty of IGTV is that you don’t need to limit your IGTV to 15 seconds like you do with Instagram Video.
As you can see, I made four IGTVs. I used them for all sorts of purposes.
The first advertised a webinar I was hosting. Since I was an affiliate, I stood to profit from people signing up for the webinar.
The next advertised my Black Friday specials, again a form of monetization, another one of my income streams.
The third advertised my blog. My goal was to get signups and advertised my optin, 137 free blogging tools.
My fourth advertised my blog post. I used IGTV in this instance as a method of generating blog traffic.
They are in order of recency, the most recent appear first. These will appear in your Instagram profile to the left of your highlights on the app. On the computer, they will appear above your post grid.
Another advantage of IGTV is you’re able to include a live link even if you don’t have 10,000 followers. For instance, in the case of my first example, I could include a link to the webinar registration.
More information about IGTV can be found in 3 Free Online Video Tools.
Considering over two billion people use Facebook according to 2019 statistics, using Facebook Live is a valuable vehicle for you to deliver information to your audience.
Facebook Live works in a similar way to Instagram Live TV.
Your audience chats by typing. You chat with verbal communication.
Go to Facebook. Click your profile picture. Then, click Live Video.
Facebook Watch Party
While Facebook Live can have an audience of one, a Facebook Watch Party is designed for group viewing.
Do you have information to share with many people at once? Have a Facebook party!
When you click your profile picture, instead of clicking Live Video, click Watch Party.
Group administrators might want to go live to give information to their group members. They hold watch parties.
[Related: Did you know you can get paid to watch videos?]
When my daughters were in college, we would Skype.
I’m also a member of a group of bloggers on Skype.
Honestly, I haven’t used Skype in years. I actually asked Quora if people even still Skype in 2019. The answer was affirmative.
The Quora user gave an example of mobility-challenged people who need to chat with their doctor; they use Skype.
Skype might be a tad confusing for people not terribly tech-savvy.
You need to be at a machine with a webcam. Older models may not have webcams.
I recall there was a Skype directory of names. You need to find the Skype name and invite the person to Skype with you.
Happily, today there are many Skype alternatives like the tools for free chat lines mentioned in this post.
FaceTime is easy to use, and I use it often.
My daughter moved to San Diego, and I wanted to see her new place without traveling. We FaceTimed, and she showed me her new apartment on her phone.
When I talk to clients, I let them choose their method of communication. Many prefer to FaceTime if they want a face-to-face conversation.
Apparently, the FaceNow app is used in conjunction with FaceTime, but I’ve never needed this FaceTime contact app.
FaceTime comes with the Apple iPhone.
Although I haven’t heard of people Oovooing in a while, Oovoo still exists.
You need a webcam to use Oovoo as well.
You can chat with up to 8 people.
I recall when my daughters were in school, they’d have study sessions using Oovoo when they wanted face-to-face communication.
In addition to verbal communication, you can text with each other while you video conference.
To download, go to the Chrome Store.
You can have free chat lines with up to 150 people at once.
On your smartphone, you can use Hangouts for Android or Google Hangouts on the iPhone.
How to know if someone wants to have a video conference with you using Google Hangouts
At the bottom of the screen, you’ll see an icon with quotation marks. Notice there is a number in the icon box. This indicates I have 9 Google Hangout requests. Just click on the number to respond.
Fans Chat isn’t free for the fan, just the blogger.
According to Adrian from Fans Chat, if you have over 10,000 blog and social media followers combined, you have the potential to make money using Fans Chat.
If you are not sure how many social media followers you have, sign up for a Klear account. Klear is a free service that counts your social media followers for you.
Note: At the time of this writing, Klear excludes LinkedIn.
Fans make an appointment to text with you. You set the price of the appointment. Fans Chat pays you through your PayPal account.
Wrapping Up: Free Chat Lines
Without spending a penny, you can boost your brand, traffic, work with clients, and possibly even make sales by using these tools for free chat lines.
Also, you don’t need to just use these free chat lines for networking as part of your B2C marketing strategies. As I explained, as I have often done with my daughters, you can use these tools for personal use as well.
Please share so others not familiar with these methods of using free chat lines learn about them.
Readers, are you familiar with Fans Chat or any of these tools for verbal communication? Which ones? Do you recommend them? I look forward to your views in the comments section.
Also see Kingged article on making money with online chat.
For those of you with a budget, I recommend the Intellameet video communication tool.