Cloud Storage: Google Drive vs. Dropbox

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(Figure 1)

Google Drive was launched in 2012. It is a free platform where you are offered a storage to “create, share, collaborate and keep” different files. Initially, Google Drive gives its users a storage of 15GB for free. You can use this storage across Drive, Google+ Photos and Gmail. If you would like to pay a little more for a bigger storage, Google Drive offers 10GB for 4.99 per month.

You can access your files stored in Google Drive anywhere from any of your devices. You can set up offline access so that you can still be able to view documents stored in Google Drive and edit them.

Google Drive enables its users to sync their files whenever there is an Internet connection, so your files and folders are always up to dates. This is very useful when you work as a team to collaborate in files sharing. When you change something in your files on one device, it changes everywhere.

Google Drive supports up to 30 different file types, which you can open directly within the web browser. You can open files even though you don’t have the software to support on your computer. Besides you can view those files, you can also edit them online.

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(Figure 2)

Now let’s take a look at Google Drive’s peer in the market – Dropbox. Dropbox was released in 2007. It is also a free service that enables you to take your files, photos and videos anywhere with you and share them easily.

With a growth in the past 6 years, Dropbox now has 200 million users around the globe. Users are using Dropbox mainly for sharing files with family, friends and team members in a team project. The application developed by Dropbox work on various operation system including Android, iPhone, Blackberry, Windows and Linux.

Dropbox lets you access your files dropped in the Dropbox folders on  your computer, phone or Dropbox website. The first 2GB storage is free. You can get an extra storage of 125MB if you connect your account with Facebook, and 125MB if you connect with Twitter. More storage can be offered if you refer your friends to use Dropbox or send them your feedback. Sounds interesting. Dropbox’s Pro Plan offers 100GB for $9.9 and you can upgrade to max 500GB for $49.99.

Same with Google Drive, Dropbox works offline too. Changes made in a file will be automatically synced when you connect with Internet.

Dropbox support most of the files including PDFs, documents, video, photos, Photoshop files, and music. Not like Google Drive, you can only view these files but you cannot edit them online. You will be required to download the file first, after editing it, you will need to upoad it again to the cloud storage for sharing.

So generally speaking, Google Drive and Dropbox both offer free files storage on their platform. While Google Drive offers 15GB for free, Dropbox offers only 2GB initially, though you can always get extra space by offering something to Dropbox. For paid storage, Google Drive is much cheaper than Dropbox. Both Google Drive and Dropbox enable their users to access files offline and the files will be synced when there is Internet connection. In addition, if you deal many types of files, both Google Drive and Dropbox can serve you. However, if you prefer to edit your files from anywhere at anytime quickly, only Google Drive allows you to do that. With all the competitive features that Google Drive has, I personally prefer Google Drive if I need such a service.

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Summaries of 3 HootSuite Video Lectures

(SMD104)

Lecture 1: How to Amplify Your Paid & Earned Social Media with Storify

Storify is a social network service that enables users to create stories with any content that can be found online, including article, image, blog post and tweet, mostly from social media.

The video presentation was given by Xavier Damman, Founder and CEO of Storify. He demonstrated in the video that users can search for content related to their story from sources such as Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, and Google, as well as other stories on Storify, and then drag that content into their own Storify story timelines. Users can add comments to each link within the story, and can also embed URLs in their stories. Users can also embed their own Storify stories elsewhere on the internet, for example on their own blogs.

Xavier also introduced to us different types of stories that users can create with Storify:

  • News: Collect reports from the ground reported on social media and live blogging
  • Events: Conferences, sports, concerts, and personal events (weddings or parties)
  • Debates: Collect and publish the highlights witness them.
  • Memes: Curate and publish highlights of trending memes
  • Content Marketing: Curate the views from experts in your industry
  • Micro Sites: Show the social momentum around a product launch

Xavier also mentioned that, when you embed a Storify story, you could either embed it as a classic story or embed it as a slice show. This is an interesting feature that many people don’t know yet.

Lecture 2: How to Use Social Video to Drive Results

Videos are becoming one of the major sources of information. Marketers are using more social videos to draw attention from consumers. Meanwhile, people are consuming videos in the ways that they never had before. So how to use social video to drive result has become critical.

In the video presentation given by Cameron Uganec, HootSuite’s Director of Marketing, we first learned the definition of social video, which is: Online video that is designed to be shared through social networks. And then Cameron shared with us some social video strategies:

  • Clear and measurable objectives: The success metrics for social video objectives are usually cost per view, shares, views, click through rate, embeds, clicks and time spent.
  • Customized content: Focus on your target audience and corporate beliefs. Always know what is the one key message you want your audience to take away.
  • Distribution plan: Either the videos are going to be distributed through paid, earned or owned channels, you should always have a well designed plan. Otherwise, users and consumers are not coming.

Ok, strategies are done, now what should we do to ensure successes in social video? Cameron told us 11 secrets in creating videos:

  • Make it shareable
  • Tell a story
  • Shorter is better
  • Always start strong
  • Try non-linear storytelling
  • Remember search
  • Have a long tail
  • Focus on evergreen content
  • Take advantage of Youtube as a search engine
  • It’s now always the case to have a lot of product information
  • Always consider music as an important component in the video

With all these strategies and practical tactics, we are all going to achieve more success in social video marketing.

Lecture 3: Customer Service in a Social World

With the blooming of social media, organizations have more channels to connect with their customers. Meanwhile, the customers are experiencing more services from the service providers. The more good experience they have, the stronger engagement they would have with you. Social media provides the opportunities of connecting customers anywhere and for anything.

In the video of Customer Service in a Social World, Sharad Mohan, Director of Customer Success here at HootSuite, introduced to us how we can leverage social media to provide awesome customer service.

Where are your customers?

Before you jump out to create social presence in the market, you need to know where are your customers. In social media context, that means which social media channel your customers are using. After identifying this, you can place your focus on that channel and maximize the customer satisfaction there.

What are they talking about you?

Listen first. Try to response to the dissatisfaction with a prompt solution. At the same time, amplify the positive sentiments from your customers through social media. Spread every good word about your organization and product/service.

Are you meeting their expectation?

Social media are fast and inpatient. So once you create a presence on social media. Make sure you response fast and cover different time zones and languages. Customers expect you react on social media reactively and proactively. Keep that in mind.

Are your teams collaborating?

There are two types of conversation on social media: band conversation and product conversation. So internal teams (or individuals within a certain team) need to collaborate when trying to response to customers’ inquiries and solve different type of problems.

The strategies in leveraging social media to provide customer service introduced in this video are great guidelines for organizations and individuals. Applying these strategies will bring the customer service experience to a new level.

In general, HootSuite not only developed a fantastic social media network management dashboard, but also provided us splendid self-taught content in HootSuite University. All those lectures are specific and practical. Professionals in social media or digital marketing industry would all benefit from these great resources.