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article imageOp-Ed: Social media on-the-go for the small business owner

By Anne Marie Marais     Feb 17, 2014 in Business
As a small business owner you're always on the go. Off to meetings, networking events and just keeping your business running. You need the tools to keep up with your social media while you're on the move.
I'm sure that your smartphone is a tool that you rely on quite heavily, as I know I do. When you have a quick moment or two between meetings while in a cab, or grabbing a coffee to regrouping before your next meeting or networking opportunity, your smartphone is where you turn. That smartphone or tablet had better have some apps for you to keep up with your company needs, including your social media.
In my previous article Social Media 101 for Small Business, I talked to you about only setting up your business on the social media platforms that you can comfortably maintain while not getting overwhelmed. Remember you don't have to be everywhere, you need to be where best fits for you, your company and the time that you have to devote to social media.
When you are on the go, you need to be able to access, engage and maintain those social media accounts easily. There are few great, simple to use apps that can help you out.
Buffer App - ( Available for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, iPad and Tablet. This app makes it easy to manage multiple social media accounts including your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. As part of their free service, you can set up one of each social media platform.
The smartphone app gives all the same features as the web version. You can easily switch between accounts, create and schedule your posts or share them in the moment plus include pics or videos and the app also shortens links for you. You can also manage your post schedule and check your analytics for clicks, retweets and the like.
Along with a paid service called the Awesome Plan, which allows for more accounts and posts, Buffer has just launched Buffer for Business. This opens it up for access by multiple team members and the ability to maintain many social media accounts. However, I feel that the free service is probably all that you need for your small business social media.
Hootsuite - ( Available for iPhone, Android, iPad and Blackberry 10. Hootsuite is a great social media tool, both the web and mobile versions. It can literally handle all of your social media needs from scheduling posts, monitoring followers, lists, hashtags and more so that you can keep up to date, engage and share plus much more.
The free service from Hootsuite will most likely meet the needs for most small businesses. It allows for up to 5 social profiles and provides you some basic reporting. Within each of those social 5 profiles you'll be able to set up various streams which can help you monitor important hashtags, keywords and lists, plus mentions, retweets/shares, feeds etc.
The mobile app for the iPhone and iPad will allow you to manage campaigns, schedule updates, and view clickthrough stats for your Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare. And the android app provides all the same features but just for your Facebook and Twitter. While the web version includes: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Google+ pages, Wordpress, and you can add other apps for a fee.
Like Buffer, Hootsuite has a paid version called Pro that similarly allows for more social profiles, if you need more than 5, and more reporting.
Facebook Pages App - iPhone and Android - I imagine that you have the Facebook app on your smartphone so that you can easily keep up with your personal profile and monitor your Facebook Page for your business, if linked to your personal account. But I find that the Facebook Pages app makes it easier for me to ensure that when I post to my Facebook page that the posts are coming from the page, not me personally. Hopefully the Facebook mobile app has improved, but I had so many incidents, even when it confirmed that I was posting or responding as the page, that my post or comment would get posted from me, personally. Then I found the Facebook pages app and that doesn't happen anymore. It's a great free app that I can use to monitor and maintain one page or the multiple pages that are associated with my Facebook account.
From the app, I'm able to see and do all that I can from the web version of Facebook.
Twitter app - For all smartphones - You most likely have this app on your smartphone for your personal twitter account, but it's easy to set up your business account also within the app. You can simply switch between multiple accounts with the swipe of your finger. This easy to use app keeps things effortless and quick as you're on the go. Exactly what you need.
These are just a few apps that can help you with your social media needs on the go. There are many other apps that you might already be using and find effective. Tell us about them.
Anne-Marie, owner of Long Leg Productions, is a seasoned social media marketer. Clients such as the Toronto Star and Summerhill, work with Anne-Marie to increase their social presence in order to develop and retain community. You can follow Anne-Marie on Twitter @atmarais.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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