It is impossible to maximize your business without a smart phone these days. There are a lot of apps you can use to help your business, and there is no way we can list them all. But in this article I try to list my top ten apps that really help me with my business. I can say without question that I use each and every one of these apps on a frequent basis and each one helps me by making my life easier as it relates to my business. If you haven’t at least experimented with these, I highly recommend at least giving them a try.
By now almost everyone has a Google account of some kind. Well, chances are you also have a Gmail account. If you do, I highly recommend running your email through Gmail or Google Apps for Work and using the Gmail App on your smart phone. You can configure Gmail to handle multiple Pop3 accounts and email people from many different email addresses. If you are like me, you have a personal email, a business email, and several other emails of some kind. All of these can feed your Gmail App and you can stay connected with your emails on all your devices. Gmail has great organization features and add ons. It integrates well with almost every important CRM and business application out there.
You can download the Chrome Browser on any smart phone. What is great about Chrome is that it maintains your bookmarks seamlessly across all your devices. It also maintains your passwords very well. Chrome also has a data saver option that automatically compresses web pages and save your data plan for your phone. When you go back to your desktop, you can use Chrome and it has a ton of extensions and integrations that will help you as a business owner. I love Chrome on desktop and would be hopeless without all of the extensions. So on mobile it compliments my desktop activity well.
This is self explanatory, but it is still worth mentioning. Facebook is probably the most important and useful app I have ever used and is the largest social network in the world. You can keep in touch with family, friends, clients, brands, and anyone or anything else that is out there. You can also keep up with current events, run your company Facebook page, and keep an eye on competitors Facebook pages. You can keep track of events going on in your area as well. It is just a great app with endless possibilities!
A lot of businesses have made the leap to Facebook, but not all have gone over to Twitter. Twitter is such a powerful tool once you get it. You can Tweet top influencers in your industry. You can Tweet hash tags. Any time you put out a new product, update, picture, or article Twitter is a great place to put it out. If you stay active on Twitter you are bound to grow 10 to 20 new followers a day. Twitter is also very good for Search Engine Optimization. With only 140 characters, it is great for business owners who want to put out short sound bite updates. One other thing I like about Twitter is that it has a lot of integrations. So many platforms and services work well with Twitter and it is such an asset in marketing.
I get a lot of my business news and professional tips from LinkedIn. I follow all sorts of people in my industry and companies who can help me get better at what I do. I also get a ton of people reaching out to me on LinkedIn. I get a new lead or business connection on average every 2 days. It is a steady stream and the people who reach out to me are really helpful to what I am trying to do. If you stay active on there, post articles and updates, endorse people, like and comment on posts, it really pays off. There is a good balance on LinkedIn. If you check it once a day and do a few things on there for 5-10 minutes it will really help you in the long run.
Instagram is probably the best social media photo app out there. It is a booming social network with over 300 million active users. It has amazing photo filters. It uses hash tags that are very effective. It is great for branding. You can check into events and locations. When you post a photo to Instagram, it can cross post to Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Foursquare, and Flickr. You can always tell who uploads photos from Instagram to Facebook, the images always look very nice because of the filters applied to it. There are people who have made a lot of money on Instagram, especially if their company is product-based.
I spent a good amount time finding a good task-manager app where I could quickly write down tasks I need to get done, but then also organize them by due date, priority, category, and tags. Todoist ending up beating all of the other applications after my testing period. It also integrates well with other applications and you can tell their development team is dedicated to keep improving the platform. You can use Todoist on desktop as well as mobile. I highly recommend checking it out and using a task app to help you keep track of your many requirements.
Evernote is a note taking tool that has a lot of integrations with other software and platforms. I use Evernote to keep track of my long drawn out brainstorming notes that are too long to put on a task list, and are too random to write in an actual document. I have a note created for checklists of things I don’t want to forget that are too many to list on a task list. You can use Evernote to create notes for brainstorming projects or brainstorming possible scenerios and courses of action you may be thinking about taking. You can then check your Evernote when you get on your PC or Mac and everything is there. It is a good addition to your phone so you can be more productive and record your important requirements.
Google Analytics tells you in real time how many people are on your website. Of course your webmaster is going to have to configure your website for Google Analytics. But once it is configured, you are going to want to know who is coming to your website and when. It tells you how many people are coming coming to your website from your social media sites, from search engines, and from other referral sites. It tells you their location data, what pages they are browsing, and how long they are spending on each page. This app is critical for a business’ online awareness.
Klout is a great tool to track your social net worth. It keeps track of your Klout Score, which many people use to see who are influencers in their industry. My Klout score is 63, Barrack Obama’s is 99, Walmart’s is 90, and Simon Cowell’s is 88 to give you an idea… The average Klout score of all users is around 40. Klout has great content recommendations based on the categories you choose to list on your profile. The goal should be to always improve your Klout score. If you have a high score, you will get more people following you and reaching out to you for things. Plus it garners you real “klout” from people that are tech savvy.
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