Since its invention in 1876, the telephone has been a dominant method of communication. For 120 years it stood unequaled in its capabilities. Then came the Internet, then email, then text messaging and now social media. In less than 20 years, voice-based communication has lost its place to a textual form of communication not so dissimilar in concept to Morse code, which had its own period of dominance until 1876.
This is not to say that voice is dead—certainly not—but given the increase in options now available for social networking, you need an array of apps to stay on top of everything. And you do. Businesses that engage in social media provide easy access for customers, can manage their brand more efficiently and direct traffic to thier websites. Social media can also keep employees connected in ways more fun and interesting than the status quo.
Continue on with the slideshow to see some of the more popular, useful social media apps and a few of their alternatives.
Also, check out some other great groups of apps to make other areas your life a little easier:
LinkedIn is the No. 1 social app for business professionals, so its appearance on this list isn’t a surprise, but its recent update is worth a mention. The mobile version is broken up into four easy-to-navigate categories: updates, inbox, your network and you. Also, you can sync your calendar to the app, which saves time switching between apps and will feed you profile information on people you’re meeting with.
Facebook, Google+, Yammer
As the world’s most popular social platform it’s likely you or your company has a Facebook (Android and iOS) page, but some analysts say it won’t be long before Google+ (Android and iOS) has such a presence. At the very least, businesses might find the analytics feature valuable to see how well pages on Google+ are doing and what steps should be made to increase interaction with customers.
Yammer (Android and iOS) is a secure social network similar in concept to Facebook and Google+ but for company members only. You can access office conversations while outside the office, as well as view messages, post updates and receive notifications.
Twitter, HootSuite, TweedDeck
Rounding out the big three social media platforms is Twitter (Android and iOS). A dedicated Twitter app is available, but HootSuite (Android and iOS), TweetDeck (Android and iOS) and Seesmic (recently purchased by HootSuite) are more popular for managing tweets given their multiple features—such as monitoring and commenting on Facebook.
Bump makes exchanging contact information in-person quick and simple. Instead of handing over business cards that can be easily lost, each of you open the app and bump your phones together. A profile with each of your contact information—including photos if you want—will then transfer to the others’ phone. Best of all, anyone you’ve ever bumped with can be sent updates should any of your information change.
Zello is an app that enables your phone to function like a CB radio. You can see who is available or busy and group-chat with your office to decide who is going to make the coffee run. Remember, voice communication isn’t dead, it’s just gotten cooler—over.
It might be excessive to post a blog every couple of hours, but checking in regularly to moderate comments and monitor site analytics is a good idea. The WordPress app makes it easy to post, edit and stay current with your blog or site wherever you happen to be. There are several blogging forums out there; if yours is not through WordPress, it's worth checking to see if your host does have an available app.
Pair is an app for the most important social network of all: the one between you and your spouse. Send video messages, chat, and share photos and sketches without anyone else being able to see. There is even a feature to let you see where your loved one’s thumb is on the screen so that you can touch the same spot for a quick “thumbkiss.” It also has a reminder for birthdays and anniversaries, and it has a to-do list to make sure your partner doesn’t forget the milk.
You’re putting in all that effort to maintain a presence on social media, so you’re probably curious what kind of influence you have out there. Klout will answer that for you. Also discover people and content that can boost your influence and even earn rewards as your influence grows.