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12 Must-Have Apps for the Mobile Community Manager

Ron Schott
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community-manager-arsenalThe job of a community manager, although sometimes shown on paper this way, isn’t a 9-to-5 gig sitting at a desk. It often takes being able to snap a photo or write a post sitting on the bus or at 35,000 feet (thanks, GoGo Inflight).

Luckily for most, a host of apps make being a community manager, regardless of when, where, or how, a bit easier. Here’s a look at 12 must-have apps that should be on every community manager’s iPhone (or iPad).

Foursquare

Brands on Foursquare are getting more and more prevalent every day. Being able to leave tips and check in as a brand is a necessity. Just don’t forget to log out of the brand account before you check in to your spin class or at the bar during a work day.

Get it from iTunes

HootSuite

While there are a ton of apps out there, Hootsuite is by far my favorite for managing multiple brand accounts on my mobile devices. Spredfast is great in the office, but nothing beats Hootsuite for on-the-go work.

Get it from iTunes

Facebook Pages Manager

Fresh off the digital presses! Pages lets you manage your Facebook Pages via your iOS device (though, it’s only for iPhone right now). You can post updates, make comments, post photos, moderate, and even get a quick glance at your Insights.

Get it from iTunes

Instagram

A little artificial light here, some tilt-shift there, add the Lo-fi filter… and voila! Photo magic! Instagram is definitely one of the best photo-sharing applications out there and brands are quickly taking to the platform. Again, with no easy switching between accounts, be sure you’re logged out of your brand account before posting that photo of your dog wearing a tutu… unless your fans are into that.

Get it on iTunes

Pinterest

This app is super lightweight, but being able to see your brand boards and know if there’s anything going on is a good thing to check up on. Without full functionality, it’s a little weird, but you can still spend time repinning and checking out who is acting on your content. Look for more functionality to come soon.

Get it on iTunes

Keynote

Short of having a full-fledged version of PowerPoint on your iPhone/iPad, Keynote is the next best way to get ideas across to stakeholders and team members (bonus if you’re a Mac office). Have an idea for the next editorial calendar? Throw it in Keynote and all of a sudden it’s a document, not just an idea. Keynote is good for showing visual ideas and tossing concepts around.

Get it on iTunes

Banjo

OK, yes, the whole proximity social network thing is a bit weird. However, the mobile community manager is a social beast and they like to co-work in coffee shops, hotel lobbies, and airport terminals. The great thing about Banjo, compared to Highlight, is that it only uses your existing connections (from Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, etc.) to let you know when friends are nearby.

Get it on iTunes

Box

Dropbox is great, but for the enterprise-level community manager, Box’s functionality and security is top-notch. You can access docs right on your phone fairly easily and don’t have to worry about version control thanks to Box’s built-in management system. Send links instead of giant documents that might clog up your bandwidth and don’t worry about not being able to view certain files thanks to the preview mode.

Get it on iTunes

Flipboard

Third-party content makes the community go round. RSS feeds are great, but Flipboard is quickly becoming a great way to consume and curate content for later use. You can add feeds, accounts, and “magazines” to the app and have all your favorite content sources at your fingertips. Easily tweet, post to Facebook, and save for later reading right from within the app.

Get it on iTunes

Reminders

This is the only “factory-installed” app that made the list, but it’s an important one. To-do lists are the guiding documents for most community managers and the one on your phone is usually the one closest to your heart (and head). Use reminders to help you schedule your day and stick to them. A routine isn’t a bad thing to have… as long as you keep it lively.

It’s already on your iPhone

Starbucks

Not only is this app essential to keeping community managers on the go fueled with caffeine, it’s always good to know where the nearest SBUX is. You never know when you’re going to have to ditch the mobile for an actual PC to get your work done and that free Wi-Fi is always a plus.

Get it on iTunes

Uber

Late night at the office and need to get home, but don’t feel like braving the bus? Uber can get you there (if you’re in San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, Chicago, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, or Toronto). Need to get to a TweetUp, but don’t exactly know where the address is? Don’t worry; they’ve got GPS in the car. You don’t even have to talk to a real human until the driver shows up – just the way we like it.

Get it on iTunes

What other apps do you use most for your community manager role? What apps do you wish existed?


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