Posted by : Amanda Stein Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The social media now rule the world, as far as the internet is concerned and for a growing power base in the marketplace that means social media rule the world, full stop. The digital native generation is all grown up now and sees no real difference between the world on its phone and the world outside its windows. Brand, product and service discovery are as likely to happen when the potential consumer goes online as they are when he or she has a “real-world” discovery event: for instance seeing a friend with a nice pair of shoes, or being introduced to a band by putting a record on a turntable.

The discovery process is the key for online marketers, who routinely try to find ways of getting target market members to discover client brands rather than having their products shoved in their face. This is a natural consequence of the cultural shift engendered by the social media, which made recommendations from peers the way that the digital generation shopped online. Brand and product discovery are essentially an extension of this and it is these areas that inform the social media apps that can make a difference.

1. Hootsuite: A web based application, which allows you to get in touch with your audience wherever you go. The app can be used either as a free management tool, or as a paid application, which has more functionality. Hootsuite is specifically aimed at smaller businesses, which makes it ideal for the purposes of this discussion. Should a larger business require a social media management application it may do better to look at something like CoTweet.

2. Timely: This little app aims to take care of timing issues with Twitter. To make a tweet have the most impact, it needs to be published at the proper time – for instance to coincide with a large group of known fans watching a specific event or coming into contact with a new online marketing campaign. The problem, of course, is that time and convenience are not the same thing – particularly when you are trying to run multiple campaigns at once. Timely allow you to set tweets up in advance and specify the time at which they should go out: it does the rest.

3. Foursquare: Foursquare is an example of a type of social media app rather than the only game in town – it just happens to be the most famous to date. Foursquare and its ilk operate as localised brand discovery unit, giving digital natives key information about what businesses and brands are running in their immediate geographical area right now. Note that proprietary versions like Nokia City Lens act as discovery agents for people who use particular brands of smartphone.

4. Tweepi: A little app that you can use to manage your follows and unfollows. A small business can grow a web of connections simply by keeping on top of its follows, and Tweepi’s the app to use to make sure your connections stay up to date. It is time saving and efficient.

5. Plume: This social media app allows small businesses to organise various tweets by colour and even create short links such as There are many who find it quite tough to follow Twitter conversations. With this app, things will be much easier for them as Plume creates an interesting dialogue-reader. The other features of this app include the following:

- Multiple Account Support
- Trending Topic monitoring
- Photo Previews
- Swipe Scrolling

With so many features, Plume is a good choice for small business that helps them to manage Twitter.

6. Klout: Are you aware of your reach in the industry? Do you know what kind of impact do your posts have on your audiences? If you posses very little idea about all this, then your small business requires the tool known as Klout. It provides you a score which correlates to your online influence level. It also outlines the number of users spreading the name of your business and the services or products it sells.

The web is an endless stream of data and potential connections. Use it.

About author: Stella Holmes finds interest in reading about various social media applications. She has written a number of blogs on the importance of social media for small businesses.

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