The joy of SM

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  • martin.stott@bulletin.co.uk
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“Social media is a bit like teenage sex – everyone is talking about it, very few are doing it and almost no-one is doing it well.”

Weber Shandwick’s chief creative officer James Warren certainly came up with an amusing analogy at Brand Republic’s recent Social Brands event to describe the social media challenge facing companies right now.

When it comes to reaping the rewards of successful social media management, only a handful of organisations are actually getting some.

Read, hear and watch more of Warren’s thoughts here.

One of the key issues for those looking for an SM manual is how to make the ‘anywhere anytime’ demands of social media manageable. Smart phone apps are one way of helping.

Having tried and tested the good, the bad and the downright ugly from the smart phone app world, I’ve pulled together five that I couldn’t do without:

Twitter

The world’s favourite micro-blogging site recently updated its mobile app, making it cleaner and even easier to use than the website. Probably my most-used app – it’s by far the most user-friendly way to experience Twitter and helps you stay in touch with everyone you follow.

Hootsuite

This is the ideal tool if you’re responsible for managing multiple Twitter accounts. It has a clear folder structure, helping to compartmentalise your company, client and personal accounts. Many people swear by it and won’t use anything else. Others prefer to use Tweet Deck, an app that works in a similar way. Personally, I like to use Hootsuite on days where I know I’ve got a lot of tweeting to do.

LinkedIn

Clean and tidy like your desk ought to be, this app makes networking, recruitment and business discussions simple through an easy-to-use mobile site. It runs fast, which is more than can be said for other apps, and lets you use all the best bits from the website wherever you are.

Foursquare

Something we’ll be covering in more detail in weeks to come, Foursquare is the perfect example, I think, of what former Times editor and current Guardian columnist Simon Jenkins’ called the post-digital world. Using the internet as a ‘route map to somewhere real’, rather than a destination in itself, this app lets you put your business on the map and tell others where you are. Why would you want to do that? Watch this space.

Google+

It might not be on your radar just yet, but all roads lead to Rome, as they say. I was an early sceptic, but with such a widespread web presence, Google+ is unlikely to go quietly. And the more I use it, the more I understand where it will fit in our social media in the future. Learning to use the app is all part of this – and it looks fantastic too.

And one to watch…

Pinterest

Any site that increases its site visits by 4,000% to 10 million in just six months shouldn’t be ignored. There’s plenty of buzz around this at the minute – as it seems to be a genuinely effective way of driving people to company websites. I’m still trying to see if it will really catch on, so I’ll probably go into more detail on this in a later blog too. But if you can’t wait for that, here are six reasons why you should be using it – courtesy of Hubspot Blog.

This may not be the definitive list, but hopefully it’s a helpful start.