How often do you check to see what FREE tools or applications Google is offering to make your business more successful? What tools and apps do they offer for FREE that you might be able to use instead of others you are paying for from another vendor? If you aren’t checking regularly for these tools, you should begin doing so now. A few examples. . .
I was in a meeting the other day and we were talking about the new Google Maps app. We both commented that the turn by turn narration is fantastic and much better than having to look at the apple map app. True, this isn’t something new. “TomTom” and Garmin have been providing GPS for years. But the question you must ask yourself is, “Why pay for a separate device, when you have a free version from Google?” Are these vendors concerned that Google just took a big chunk of their business?
Let’s look at a few of the social media tools Google has available.
Google + Hangouts. Better than Skype? Allowing you to add multiple people and its free. Skype makes you pay for a party of more than two. Sure it’s only $4.99 per month but why pay? Should Microsoft (Skype’s parent) be concerned? The track record for Skype’s ability to earn money hasn’t been all that great. Many people will still use Skype because they don’t have a G+ account and do not want one. Most people do have a Gmail account and getting the G+ account simply to use Hangouts is very easy.
Google: Social Analytics
If you have a website and you aren’t using analytics yet, you should be. You will learn quickly that you can see what, why and how people are finding you on the web.. There are other tools out there to use, but we are talking about Google’s FREE tools here. If you are already using Google Analytics, you may not be familiar yet with all of the functionality and reporting it offers beyond “how many visitors” you have. Social Analytics for example, has the capability to provide you with the tools necessary to “measure the impact of social and tie it all back to your bottom line revenue through goals and conversions”.
Now anyone can argue pros and cons of free vs. paid tools. But Google is making it pretty easy to take a hard look at why you would want to pay for other tools. The more tools they make available for FREE, the more money you have, to spend elsewhere on getting your brand noticed. And let’s be honest here, Google controls two of the biggest search engines out there, Google and YouTube. A pretty solid argument for figuring that a percentage of your expenditure is going to be with Google. You just need to determine how to get the most for your money.
Some scoff that Google has spent a lot of money on a variety of tools, products and apps only to dump them later.
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
‘Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.”
[Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s poem “In Memoriam A.H.H. Section 27 (1850)]
Many of Google’s trial tools and apps have been successful and in return have driven millions of dollars in business their way. Whether you love them or not the entrepreneurial spirit continues to be alive and well at Google.
If there is a tool we can recommend to our clients that’s FREE vs. paid you can be sure we will tell them about it. If the tool is optimal and FREE, the money the client saves can be spent on something else they may need for the campaign or they can simply bank it.
So what are your favorite Google tools, apps, and platforms that you use for business?
Erik Hultman (a.k.a. E) is the Founder and President of ÜberBlueDM, Inc., specializing in Social Media Solutions for Brands, Businesses and Celebrities to build their social media success. He is also founder of the North Shore Entrepreneurial Network (NSEN) in the Chicago Area.