COM0015 – Post #4 – Out of the Box

Google Logo

I know Google is a vast empire and suspect that it will eventually take over the universe. What I didn’t know until recently, is that there is so much more depth to Google than I could have imagined. I’m not talking only about Google search, which makes me bow down to the keyword gods when I write blog posts for my clients. I’m also not talking about Google+ as a social media platform. What I’ve discovered is mega amounts of information and apps that Google provides for free to help businesses with their online marketing and communications both internally and externally.
Entry Symbol to Google Tools

If you have a Google account, and you should in order to take advantage of all the free stuff, click on your suite of tools in the upper right corner (that little array of 9 squares) and be prepared to have your mind blown by the sheer number of tools available. I’m sure most of you are familiar with apps like Gmail, Calendar and YouTube.

But have you ever used:

  • Google Drive: Improve your productivity with cloud based office software similar to MS Word, Excel and Powerpoint. Store up to 15 GB of files in your account for free. Use your space for additional backup and feel more secure. Work on documents from any location on any device. Working from home? Edit documents with your colleagues in real time. Never email a document back to yourself again! Collaborate and streamline your workflow in ways you might not have imagined.
  • Google My Business: Get your business listed to show up on Google maps. List your website address, hours of operation and phone number. Ask your customers for a review.
  • Google Hangouts: An alternative to FaceTime and Skype. Chat, send messages, make a call or join conversations on air. Schedule and hold your own live Google Hangout, record it and post it on YouTube. Write a “How To’ script to showcase your services. The possibilities for marketing activities are endless!
  • Google Trends: Get found online by Google’s search engines. Research keyword trends that are relevant to your business and work them into your web pages and blog to improve search engine optimization. See charts and graphs of trending search terms. Get ideas for variations and rising search terms.
  • Google Forms: Build your own survey and find out what your target audience is interested in.

I’ve used Survey Monkey, but I’ve never used Google Forms. As an experiment, I just created a survey to find out more about one of my target audiences – small and medium businesses (SMBs). The interface in Forms is very simple and I was done in about 15 minutes. I’d love for you to get involved, so please complete the survey!

 

These are all FREE tools and I’ve barely scratched the surface here. You can get virtually lost inside Google’s platform learning and taking advantage of online marketing tools, business apps and documents.

Have fun learning and please let me know which Google apps you tried for the first time. I’d like to know if they were useful to you or your business.

 

COM0015: Blog Post 4 – Get Out of the Box!

shutterstock_123899473Social media is the latest and greatest way to reach people. This may be on a personal level, giving you access to photos and information on family and friends but can also be used as part of a marketing strategy. Over the course of the last year, I have made a real shift to the see the value on the business side of things. I have always used social media as a personal tool but did not completely understand the true value of it in a business setting. I have seen a slow implementation at my place of employment as we begin to incorporate social media into our plan for online marketing.

Looking externally, I was surprised to see how active the government and politicians are on social media. This summer I stumbled upon this very interesting article that discusses “7 weird and wonderful ways that governments around the world are using social media.” I was shocked. Social media is helping to keep our streets cleaner and to detect earthquakes before they happen? Wow! I hadn’t thought about it that way. The police are also using social media to help solve crimes. The information that they can gain from someone’s Twitter-feed or Facebook page is substantial. Although I do not know the legalities around using that information, once again, pretty cool stuff.

On a more personal note, I recently noticed Facebook really ramping up their advertising. Now, when you visit the login screen, you will see a wonderful ad for a dating website. Although these ads are consistently changing, add it to the list of things that make me go hmmm. A dating website, really? I hope these ads are customized for my account because my 16 year old cousin does not need to see that.

Bottom line, the world is changing, the shock factor is a huge strategy right not as it is assumed the greater the shock, the greater the impact. Expected  is boring, unexpected is interesting and gets people talking. A lot has changed in such a short amount of time and I can’t wait to see what new applications and online marketing strategies the future will bring. Never a dull moment when it comes to social media, that’s for sure!

* Image care of: www.assembledchaos.com