Appy to Meet You! 10 Most Helpful Apps for Online Promotion
Some people think of a smartphone as an electronic personal assistant. But the truth is that it’s more like a team of mid and high-level employees – an office manager, social media executive, digital marketing administrator and design assistant.
Indeed, the smartphone is a funny little paradox: It’s both the most over-used and under-utilised device in the modern world. We over-use it in our personal lives, as we scroll aimlessly through an endless wall of opinions. But we under-utilise our smartphones because the average consumer still hasn’t fully exploited what it can do.
This is true in the business world too: Just about every entrepreneur, especially in the start-up sphere, should be capitalising on their phone more. If you’re using your smartphone in the most efficient way, it’s promoting your business, analysing your online footprint, streamlining communication and much more.
We’ve compiled some of the most useful apps for online promotion of your business. In each case, we’ve included a link where you can download the app, whether you’re using Android or iPhone. We’ll start with the most famous three social media titans…
1. Facebook Pages Manager
While it’s true that Facebook has an aging demographic, it is still a force to be reckoned with on the social media sphere: A stunning 2.23 billion people still log onto the platform every month. And the company earned $13.2 billion in revenue in the first quarter of 2018, a 42% rise year-on-year.
Their business app is essential if you want to run your page on the go: Updating news feeds (including with links and images) is easy, as is managing followers and other administrative tasks. There’s also the ability to analyse and track how your business’s page is doing via Pages Insights.
Instagram is famously popular with visually appealing b2c brands; fashion, retail and youth-oriented products. However, it’s growing as a b2b tool too. Major brands like Intel and Hubspot are using it to promote their company culture, narratives behind their products and the human face of their business. (So, a different tone from LinkedIn, for instance.)
It also has 800 million users, and that number is growing. What’s more – updates are relatively simple to do; text-light, image-heavy and easy to update and maintain.
Be part of the conversation with Twitter: This social network is great for building contacts, sharing your company’s message and joining in trending discussions that might suit your business. Twitter ads are a little pricier than Facebook ones, but they’re concise and handy for building profile – especially in the early days when follower numbers might be low.
4. WhatsApp for Business
The messaging platform (and text message killer!) is growing as a business tool. Small firms especially enjoy using WhatsApp for customer communications and engagement: Set automated replies for first-time customers; choose from a range of pre-written Quick Replies (“Order received, thank you”); and label and collate conversations to keep you organised (labels include New Customer, Pending Payment, New Order and more).
5. Google My Business
This is a pretty comprehensive business app: Google My Business allows you to easily build a website (mobile or desktop) using existing information from your profile. You then have the option to customise. It also, unsurprisingly, is useful for SEO (search engine optimisation): Your Google Business Profile will make it easier for customers to find you online. And the app offers insights into how the web aspect of your business is performing.
Mailchimp is not just an email marketing tool (though it is that). It also offers important, accessible information on what’s happening with those emails. Users can handily see how email campaigns are performing (open rate, A/B tests on alternate subject lines, and more). And it even sends automated alerts with news (sales as a result of emails, for instance) and suggestions on when to re-send mails or send follow-ons.
7. Google Analytics
For better or worse, nobody can collate and analyse data like Google. Analytics looks at just about every metric for your online business, from traffic, to sources of that traffic to return visitors and far beyond. One of the most popular features with Analytics is that you can customise reports, so you’re only reading what’s most relevant to your business. If you learn more or get more involved in this process, you can always dig deeper into those stats!
If your business has multiple social media accounts (and in many cases, it should), Hootsuite is very handy: It allows you to see all your social activity in one deck; post across multiple social networks at once; and schedule future posts. It also works as hub for correspondence across all these platforms.
The daily tidal wave of online content can be tough to distil, but feedly does it well. A customisable tool that gives you a feed of relevant, interesting and timely content based on your interests, feedly is becoming popular as a business tool. Find, read and share content that your customers or business partners will enjoy, and maybe boost your reputation as an expert in the process.
This is a terrific tool for improving the design of your business. With Canva, you can augment photos, create illustrations and design custom graphs. It’s user-friendly and designed to be accessible for both beginners and experts.
Downloading is slightly different for this app. Submit your number here and Canva will send you a download link.
Say hello to your little friend
Every business faces pressure, and the “always-on” culture of social media, customer communications and vague working hours add to that. But the same technology that has caused these problems offers a range of solutions. And outsourcing to automated apps will make your life easier.
Virgin Media Business offer a range of mobile options starting at only €25 a month. Find the mobile and data deal that suits your needs.