All companies, small and large, are learning to embrace social media. Some are adapting to the curve fairly quickly while others aren?t quite sure where to start. But it doesn’t have to be a complicated process, in fact, it can be rather simple and for the effort you will notice your readers are more actively involved and loyal.

In no particular order, below are some of the apps that you can start utilizing today to embrace social media.

Hootsuite for Twitter There are no shortage of Twitter apps available, but I personally favor the Hootsuite mobile app above the rest and I’ve tried quite a few. You can easily schedule messages, monitor brand mentions, follow #hashtags within your preferred industry and much more. It can also be used on a desktop or an iPad. Hootsuite took message scheduling a step further and they’ve just launched a new auto-schedule feature for optimal impact. According to Mashable, the best time of day to send a Tweet is between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. if it contains a link.

Dropbox This app can be used on both your laptop and mobile device which can extremely helpful. Dropbox can function as your virtual hard drive. It essentially means that your photos, docs and videos are always available anywhere. You can share among family, friends and teammates. But to take it a step further, the real beauty is that should your computer crash which is a nightmare of sorts you will have your photos, documents and more stored in your Dropbox account effectively making it a backup. In addition, if you change your computer or device, Dropbox makes it so you don’t have to “move” any of your files from one device to another.

Gmail App I moved my email accounts to Gmail and I’m glad I did. I find it much easier to manage my accounts and view and save my attachments. Before utilizing the Gmail app, if I sent an email from my outlook email using my smartphone, the ?sent? message was never copied. But with Gmail the sent message can be found and stored. Also, if you accidently delete a message it’s easier to retrieve it. Also, you can forward up to five (last time I checked) email addresses into one account so that you don’t have to login to several different email accounts.

WordPress ? If you manage a WordPress blog as part of your business, having the app installed on your phone is not only a good idea but it makes it that much easier to write posts and manage comments. I’ve found that I often come up with a good blog post at the oddest time. With the WordPress App I can start the post at any time and leave it draft mode. How many times have you had a ?great post? idea only you forgot how great it was?!

Google Analytics App ? Check essential data for your sites and apps anytime, anywhere. See what’s new and important across your Google Analytics profiles in real time. The app also has customizable dashboards and intelligence events on your phone. It’s impossible to know what works for your site and your distinct market without analyzing your visitor patterns and traffic. Having this app available will likely get you checking your stats more often.

LinkedIn With LinkedIn being all about business it only makes sense to utilize the app to connect with other professionals within your industry. It’s a great way to network and share all of your social media profiles at once. For instance you can incorporate your Twitter feed and add a link to your Facebook page or WordPress blog. The easier it is for people to find your social media profiles, the easier it is for them to interact with you.

Six degrees of Separation refers to the idea that everyone is on average approximately six steps away, by way of introduction, so that a friend-of-a-friend chain reaction can be created. This thought process can easily be applied to harnessing the power of LinkedIn.

Skype App As a business owner you mostly like have team members that you check in with on a regular basis. Or you may be trying to land a new client. The Skype app makes engaging in a video call easy because you don’t have to be home at your computer. You can also stay logged into the app on your phone ensuring that you are always available. But, don’t worry there is also an option to be invisible, away or busy. Personally, I like the chat function better than the video and it stores the conversation so you can go back three months if necessary to reference something.

Next Step: Choosing a Mobile Device

Now that we’ve gone over social media apps you should be using for your business the next step is having a mobile device that makes downloading and using these apps easy. I recently made the switch from BlackBerry to a Samsung Galaxy after I was constantly disappointed that I couldn’t find a BlackBerry app for many of the programs I use. 4g phones offer more flexibility in terms of apps and even appeal and I was resistant to using a touchscreen phone until now.

Did we miss an app that you think all business owners should use? If so, please leave a comment and tell us!

Ann Fleming is a freelance writer for andgeeks.com and bbgeeks.com. She has a knack for clarifying the more complex side of technology and how to use it for the average person. When she’s not obsessed with the newest gadget, Ann is chasing her young son around the house or hiking nearby Camelback Peak.

 

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