As a social media manager, you don’t need to be plugged in
24/7, but you do need to monitor the company’s online communities more hours
than most. Some situations call for a fast response time, and you’re not going to
get that on a weekend if you have to log in at a computer terminal to check on
things. This is why a smartphone or a tablet is a necessary tool for your job.

While many kinds of posts are more easily created from a
traditional computer setup, some smartphone apps offer features not found
elsewhere. Before I cover which apps to download, I will suggest the smartphone
I think is best for social media directors and community managers: Samsung’s Galaxy Note II. This recommendation is unsolicited. I have this phone, and
I LOVE it. There are apps I had on my old Android phone that I didn’t have to
download when I upgraded to the Note II, because it comes preloaded with software
designed for social media managers. The S-Pen functionality is amazing; I love
the multi-window; and the battery lasts forever and charges quickly. Yes, it is
large, and yes, people tell me how big my phone is on a daily basis — they
don’t do this job, so they don’t understand. This phone isn’t particularly hip
and trendy, but it makes my job as a social media manager easier.

Now that I’ve told my take on what equipment to buy, here’s
a short list of some of the most useful apps a social media director or
community manager can load that phone up with:

1. Evernote: Put this app on all your
devices and curate content from anywhere. You’ll thank yourself for it the next time you can’t
think of anything to post on a slow news day.

2. Facebook Pages Manager:
This app will alert you to Facebook page activity that needs a timely response
(like fan comments), and the functionality is more robust for page management
than the regular Facebook app. You should have both apps on your mobile devices
— the regular Facebook app for personal use and the Facebook Pages Manager for
business use. 

3. Twitter official app: It’s actually
easier to use Twitter from this app than from a computer. The best thing about
this app is the Quote function. Bonus: A recent update makes it easy to switch
between Twitter accounts, which is great for managing multiple business
accounts or a business account and a personal account.

4. Instagram: You never know when a great
photo op might happen, and images are the best social media content. Plus,
Instagram is a social network in its own right, so that’s one more place to be.

5. Google Analytics: This app allows you to watch
your company’s website traffic in real-time, so you see what posts are working
and when. You need Google Analytics permissions set by your website manager in
order to use it.

good rule of thumb is to have the mobile apps for all social networks that your
business is on installed on your mobile devices; this allows you to get
activity alerts without having to log in to all the networks throughout the
day. Different networks are busy at different times of day, and being ready to
engage community members when they want to be engaged is important.

deeper into good Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practices will also help your
message be more effective. Next month, we’ll take a closer look at SEO tools
and how to use them.

Also read: Five tools to help simplify social networking management