So you’re tired of hearing everyone say, “Your business needs to be on Facebook!” “You need to become a Social Business!” You are finally ready to tackle this social beast but you have no idea where to start. Stay calm. Sharpen that pencil and let’s get going~
Tame The Beast
UNDERSTAND THE BEAST
Facebook is a social media platform and the key word there is SOCIAL. As a business you are not necessarily trying to be FRIENDS with your community. You want to be engaging, helpful and unique–This will bring FANS of your business who will bring their FRIENDS! Once you do tackle the beast and get set up, you will need to continue to care for it by feeding it great content and engaging questions on a regular basis, but that is for another adventure at another time.
There are 2 heads to this beast, or 2 types of PROFILES you can sign up for on Facebook–PERSONAL PROFILES and BUSINESS ACCOUNTS. Before you can create a BUSINESS PAGE (used to be called FAN PAGE), you must have one of those two types of accounts. You may already have a Facebook personal profile so you can jump right in. (It is important that you understand–and possibly even read– the Terms of Agreement and Page Terms.) Basically you are just providing Facebook with your name and an email address proving you are a real person and not a spam account in hiding.
Personal Profiles are for individuals to use for personal and/or professional networking. A personal profile is for sharing information about yourself.
Business Accounts are for someone who does NOT have a personal profile but would like to set up a Business Page and needs an account first to get started. *This will limit some of the features available to you as you administer a business page later on.
I recommend that you create a personal profile, even if you never want to actually USE it. There is no harm, you can set the privacy settings to maximum and you don’t even need to load a mug shot of yourself to get rolling.
Now that you have your basic profile, the beast is less intimidating. Let’s set up your Business Page. Now you are not going to use a different email address and you don’t need to worry about people on your Business Page seeing your contact information. You will log into your personal PROFILE and then create a stand alone page. This is a hard feature for people to understand and many think the two will be linked. They are NOT. You log into your PROFILE and you can be the manager of many PAGES. No matter what you put on your PERSONAL PROFILE, no matter who you are connected with there, fans of your PAGE are NOT able to see or connect with your personal information, unless you invite them.
Business Pages are for businesses to connect with fans and potential customers. This account has no privacy settings, because it is open for the world just like a website is. Anyone who googles the name of your PAGE can find and LIKE your page (this is your hope). Every post you make from your PAGE is indexed and can be found by search engines.
To create a PAGE, log into Facebook (yes…your PERSONAL PROFILE) and then change the address at the top so it reads, http://Facebook.com/pages
When you hit enter you will be taken to a page that has the CREATE A PAGE button in the upper right.
(HIT THE PAUSE BUTTON)
Before you commit to your Business Page, decide on the name for your page. Once you create the Page, you cannot change the name. Consider the length of the name. When tagging your business page around Facebook town, this will be awkward if it is too long. You want it short enough for people to remember and search for. This may be an easy decision if your business name is not taken, but for some, it is something to give thought to. You can see if someone has the URL by typing in the address bar http://facebook.com/YOURNAME. If no page comes up…it is up for grabs. As of Sept 13, you can claim your Unique Facebook URL such as: http://Facebook.com/GettinGeeky immediately. (You needed 25 people to LIKE or Fan your page in the past before you can claim the URL), so give some thought to this before moving on, but don’t think too long.
Once you have your page claimed, the beast has been tamed. It is now time to make it look good. Add your logo, or photos. Put some posts with helpful information for the people you will soon invite. Don’t invite people to an empty page. Make it visually appealing with links to your website and photos of your products or team members. Check out other pages for ideas.
Before leaving your Page, bookmark the page, or favorite it in your browser, so it will be easy to find later. Also don’t forget to LIKE your own page.
Now CELEBRATE! You have successfully created your business PAGE on Facebook! Congratulations. Stop by our Facebook Page and tell us the name of your page so we can all come over and visit!
Let me know if this was helpful, if you have additional information that could benefit others or if you have questions. If the beast starts acting up, drop me a note! Our team can also help you create a social strategy and even manage the daily social activities to ensure you continue feeding the beast!
This past week ended up having a theme message, which was COMMUNICATING YOUR BRAND. On Tuesday, I spoke to the Women in the Cable Television (WICT) here in Denver, about the importance of creating and communicating your personal brand to advance your career and become a thought leader within the industry. Thursday I spoke to the Young Presidents Organization in Phoenix, Arizona along with their teens, about protecting your personal brand when using social media and the importance of privacy settings and common sense. I thought I would share some of the points covered as it relates to YOUR brand…for your business and yourself.
When we think of BRAND we typically think of big companies such as Apple, Nike, Coca-Cola, Ford, or Old Spice. And when we do think of these companies, or brands, we use specific words to describe them. COOL, FITNESS, ACTION, CREATIVE, REFRESHING, RELIABLE, MANLY, and so it goes.
Now let’s apply this exercise to your brand.
Take an index card or piece of paper and write down how you think others describe YOU and your BRAND. What words do you think others use, or better yet, write down words that you would LIKE to have others use to describe you or your company. Perhaps it’s time to add a new scent on an old brand.
Now make a list of all the “touch points” you have with others- customers, employees, vendors, etc. You may have voicemail, email signature lines, stationary, newsletters, traditional marketing material, and then all of your social media channels.
Now to begin sculpting and crafting that desired brand message into every nook and cranny of your communications. Do you need to craft a new voicemail message? Is your signature line in your email consistant with your brand image? Does the content you send out via social media channels SPEAK the brand you want?
Social Media is just one of your mediums, but it can be the most powerful
Because of the frequency and amount of communication we send out that can affect our brand, social media is a wonderful brand shaper. The more consistent and frequent your messaging goes out, the faster that brand can be shaped…Good or Bad, so be intentional. When you are reshaping a brand or bringing a new fresh focus to it, take a look at what the folks at Proctor and Gamble did with one of their aging brands, OLD SPICE. First released in 1938 for men (It was actually first released as a scent for women in 1937), Old Spice had become something that reminded us of Grandpa and other old men.
To freshen it up, they obviously came out with one of the most creative video campaigns that went viral on YouTube, but they also combined that with a Twitter Account offering tips for becoming an OLD SPICE MANLY MAN, and a Facebook Page with 1.5 million fans that all want to post their version of the commercials. They created voicemail messages that you can pay to have the sexy actor, Isaiah Mustafa, speak to your callers. The most impressive social media blitz happened when they launched their Twitter page to allow fans to ask questions about manliness to the Old Spice Man. They began posting near-real-time video vignettes responding, in character, abdominals front and center in a bathroom set, with the creative crew and comedy copywriters of Wieden + Kennedy behind the camera furiously writing jokes and chasing down props.
Here are the MANLY wrap up lessons for your FRESH Brand:
Bring focus to your message. Use your voice, personality, and brand image…whatever that is for you and use it in every touch point! Re-record that voicemail message, spruce up that stationary or marketing pieces you have ben using since Grandpa was using Old Spice.
Get creative as you engage your social communities. Quit posting boring content. Old Spice commercials keep adding surprises around every turn. Perhaps you need to break the normal routine and add more “spice” to your messaging. Ask your fans to play and participate. Are you a professional organizer, get everyone posting their messiest workspace photos or videos on your page, but instead of you selecting one to “make over” perhaps you add a twist or surprise that no one would expect. If you own a themed restaurant, instead of having your fans name the mascot you have, perhaps you come up with a fun twist where they video-tape themselves becoming your next mascot.
GO BIG! Engage some of the BIG players in your world. Can you get the mayor to play? Who are the big bloggers in your world of influence? Is there a local celebrity that you can pull in? (Many times they will do it for exposure for themselves)
Be consistant but FRESH. Whether it is your YouTube channel, your Facebook Page, tweets or emails, make sure everything is speaking the same words you wrote down in that first exercise as you add little surprises like the Old Spice commercials. Keep people wanting more but keep each message speaking that message you want folks to hear!
I may not be manly, but our team can help you bring more focus to your social marketing efforts. Before you “look away” give us a shout!
[This post was updated on July 22, 2017 with new apps and some of the original apps have been removed because they are either no longer available or something better has taken their place here on the list.]
This could be the longest blog post ever recorded! But with so many people getting iPads and tablets, and so few knowing how to use them for anything but expensive email readers, we have pulled together our favorite business and creative apps that help us stay productive on the go here at SocialKNX. In social media management, we live online and we are not tethered to our desks anymore, because of so many wonderful apps. We use lots of photo apps for creating visual content and content curation apps for staying up on the latest news in many industries. I update this list every few months, so if you are checking back, you may see some new apps and you may notice a few got their pink slips. Please let us all know what apps you love or post your questions in the comment section. We love hearing about new apps to check out. Okay, here we go…The BIG App Round Up for November 2013.
NEWS & SOCIAL MEDIA
Flipboard: If you reminisce about the good old days when you got a daily paper delivered to your door, this app is for you. A customizable magazine that curates content from around the web FRESH every time you open it. Flipboard also allows you to share the content you find helpful with friends on Twitter, Facebook, or email. COST: Free
Hootsuite: If you are using Hootsuite on your desktop, this app mirrors most of the features and columns you have set up and allows you to schedule and post to all of your social networks- LinkedIn, Facebook, Facebook Pages, Twitter and even Instagram. COST: Free
Pocket:This is the best research tool for saving web pages to read later. Create your POCKET account on your computers, and then load the app on your iPad, iPhone or Android devices so when you are reading a blog post that you want to read later or save for research, simply click on the “POCKET” link in your browser or “ADD TO POCKET” on your app, and then like magic it is in your Pocket and available on all of your devices to read on the go. COST: Free
WordPress: This allows you to blog on the go. Log into your blog and throw out those excuses that you have to be at your desk to blog. Load photos, tag the post, and many other features of the full featured WordPress. COST: Free
USA TODAY: Be sure to download your FREE newspaper each day and especially if you are about to hop on a plane. All the same features and articles as the paper version. COST: FREE
Find My iPhone: THE MOST IMPORTANT APP ON ANY iOS DEVICE! This should be the FIRST app you add to your iPad, iPhone, iTouch and any Apple laptop. It will track down your missing device and show you on a map where it is. Great if you leave your iPad in the back of an airplane seat or your phone in the back seat of a taxi (hypothetically of course!) COST: Free
Android Device Manager: THE MOST IMPORTANT APP ON YOUR ANDROID DEVICE! This app allows you to have an alarm go off loudly, even when the volume is turned all the way down. You can track it via GPS by logging into Device Manager on your computer, wipe the data from the device and much more. COST: Free
Square: An AMAZING app for those who take credit cards for payments of products or services. The Square plugs into your phone, or ipad headset port and then with this app, you type in the sales amount, swipe the card and email the customer their receipt. (You must first sign up and be approved by Square) You can almost hear the cha-ching of money going into your bank account! App COST: Free
Stripe: Another great tool to take payments from clients or customers. This works in person or through your website. Like Square, you have to get signed up before simply using the app. App COST: Free
Analytics HD: This Google Analytics app helps you keep tabs on your web traffic on the go and in REAL TIME. Instantly showing you where your web traffic comes from, the demographics and how long visitors stayed and so much more. Of course it puts your data in colorful charts and graphs that are easy to read and share in meetings. COST: $6.99
SoundNote:This is one of my favorite note taking apps for client meetings where I don’t want to forget a word. Turn on the recorder as you take notes (typed or written with your finger or a stylus) and like the Livescribe Pen, you can go back later to the exact place you need in the audio by touching the page of your notes. COST: $4.99
Noteshelf: This app is for those of you who love writing, mindmapping your notes or just creating notebooks for each topic. Like iBooks, you get a bookshelf to fill with custom notebooks. You hand write or use a stylus to take the notes. COST: $4.00
Evernote: This is a FABULOUS Superhero note-taking, remember everything, project management tool, allowing you to keep notes, pictures (iPad2 or later users can snap and add in), audio files and more. It syncs with your computers, iPhones, Androids or Blackberry as well. The more you use this app, the more you will LOVE this app. COST: Free
DocuSign: A definite MUST HAVE app for anyone who needs to sign documents or annotate a PDF document. No need to print out a document, sign it and rescan it to email back. DocuSign allows you to simply sign with your finger or stylus and email to anyone that needs it. This app is available on iOS, Android and Windows. COST: Free
Sign-N-Send: Another app if you have pdf documents that need your signature and you are no where near a printer or scanner to do so. You simply open the document that was sent to you using Sign-N-Send and sign with your finger or stylus before emailing it back. Very similar features to DocuSign. COST: $1.99
Dragon Dictation: Voice recognition has finally come of age and this is a great app that will allow you to get that book started or write your blog post with your voice. Yes there are a few typos when you are finished, but just a little clean up work and you are good to go. COST: Free
DocsToGo: This Office Suite brings Word, Excel, PowerPoint and PDF into your iPad (with limited functionality). This app allows you to edit, create and view Word or Excel files, and view PowerPoint or PDF files. COST: $9.99
QuickVoice: Need a quick digital recorder? This is the app for you! Want to record your own ring tone or dictate a note to yourself? Press record and you are in business! COST: Free
Dropbox: Most people are familiar with Dropbox and its wonderful cloud storage for your important documents, and now you can add this app to your iPad and access anything you have stored or that someone sends you via Dropbox. COST: Free
Keynote: Create your slides and present your ideas straight from your iPad. COST: $9.99
Calculator(MobArts): A basic, but great calculator. COST: Free
Whiteboard: This whiteboard has the added feature of collaborating in real-time with another person on the whiteboard if you are using the same wifi network. (We have only used it for kids who want to draw) Erases like an etch-a-sketch and if you have a stylus you can make likes skinnier than your fat fingers. COST: Free
Keynote Remote: If you present using Apples Keynote, this is a great app for you. You can use it as a small viewer of your slide presentation as well as operate your deck with a swipe of your finger! Cost: $0.99
PrompterPro: This is a great app for anyone who gives presentations. Type out your presentation, use the timer to time out each piece. Record yourself for practice and self-feedback and use as a teleprompter, slowly scrolling, during the presentation. A wonderful rehearsal tool. Cost: $3.99
Giant Timer:Great for activities or presentations that require a timekeeper. This can be seen from miles away! COST: Free
Writing Prompts: To inspire the writer in you, this fun app throws out a prompt and you start writing! COST: $1.99
Cozi:For some reason GREAT calendar apps are hard to come by and of course they are very personal. If you are juggling a “home” calendar as well as a “business schedule” calendar, you might just find EVERYTHING you need in Cozi. You sign up online at www.Cozi.com and then download the app on any and all mobile devices. Keep your calendar, shopping lists, birthday reminders, ToDo list, and more. COST: Free
Pocket Informant HD: If you still long for that big tab-filled Day Planner with its color-coded pages, bulky address book, calendar and task lists, you will drool when you see this great organizational app. Fully customizable and syncs with your online calendar system. One of my favs. COST: $4.99 ++ (many add-ons–like the old Dayplanners)
Innovate: Looking to spark some creativity or need some inspiration for a new idea? Scroll through the app to connect with some of the world’s best innovation articles, videos (including TED talks), and news reports. All information is updated in real-time as the information is published. COST: $0.99
COMMUNICATIONS, TEXT & VIDEO CHAT
Skype: The Skype app offers full screen video using your front facing camera along with regular calls and text messages. Your only challenge? Placing your iPad in a place where your caller isn’t looking up your nose! COST: Free
GoToMeeting: No longer are you tethered to your desk for conference calls. With this iOS, Android or Windows app, you can join, host or schedule a meeting on your mobile device! COST: Free
Join.Me: Another great conferencing app that allows you to share your screen and even take control of the presenter’s computer from your tablet for support or collaboration. Additional features for ProAccount users. COST: Free
Hey Tell: This is a cool Walkie-Talkie like app. You are using voice to send instant messages (we have used it as an intercom in our house) and if the person is not online, it will save like a voicemail message. COST: Free
Messages: This comes on your ipads (iOS 5 or later) and will allow you to send a text message (including messages with the all important Emojis) to anyone using an iPhone or iTouch. COST: FREE
MUSIC, VIDEO & PHOTOGRAPHY
YouTube: This pre-installed app makes viewing YouTube videos as easy as pushing a button. Since many videos will not play on the iPad because of the Flash/iOS battle, this app is very helpful. Open the app and you are in your YouTube account. Select your videos, your favorite, featured, and more.
Pandora: How anyone can survive without this fabulous app loaded on every computer, mobile device, digital reader, and in some cases, your car, is beyond me! Type in the name of a song, artist or genre and Pandora will customize a radio station just for you. Commercial free is under $20/year or you can put up with a commercial every few songs for free. COST: Free
Spotify: Like Pandora with, what some say, a better selection of music. Spotify allows you to listen to the radio (in the US), and then tap to save a song that you like and build playlists. You can also save or share custom playlists. The app is free and you can purchase Spoitfy premium for $9.99 a month. COST: free
Instagram: One of the hottest social networks out there today, Instagram is available on iOS, Android and Windows. Snap a pic, apply a filter for cool-factor and load it up. Although Facebook owns Instagram, it also integrates with Twitter for those sharing shutter-bugs. COST: Free
TweeGram: This is a very cool app for Instagram users. It allows you to turn text into a visual art piece for your Instagram timeline. You might post a narrative for a series of pictures or just a deep thought that needs to be displayed beautifully–after all, a picture is worth a thousand words so a text is worth at least 10! COST: Free
PostAGram: Take any picture you snapped and turn it into a REAL post card that gets sent to your recipient for only $0.99 each. FABULOUS marketing tool to send thank you notes to clients or use for vacations shots! COST for app: Free
TouchReTouch: This app is MAGIC!! You might snap a great poto and then discover there is a person walking by in the background you don’t want there or a trashcan in the corner that just ruins the shot. With TouchReTouch, you can truly ERASE the object and the app fills in the background leaving you with a perfect shot! Android and iOS. COST: Free
A Beautiful Mess: This is a fabulous app that allows you to add fun doodles and text to photos before sharing. A bit more creative feeling than the standard text on photo app. iOS only. COST: $0.99
Over: This is a beautiful app that allows you to add text to your photos before sharing them. Add a quote or your company name to a pic. Whatever you’d like. iOS only. COST: $1.99
Fotodanz: Create a photo that has a piece moving…also called a cinemagraph. This is a fun app that allows you to snap several frames and then choose which part you want to be moving in the photo.
PicCollage: Why just share one photos from your event or day, when you can create a fun collage of several photos and add some fun text before loading it to your social media sites. Android or iOS. COST: Free
100 Cameras: One of my favorite photo magic apps. Take your average photo taken with your iPhone, iPad2 OR Android and flip through 100 different filters that turn any average photo into a dream photo! Cost: Free
PicSayPro:This is a FABULOUS photo editing app that blends fun elements like cutting out and pasting different parts of a photo (think head swap), with wonderful filters, red-eye removal and more. Android. COST: Free
Swift: This is a MUST HAVE app for anyone who has missed a video opp because it too long to open your camera, switch the video on and begin recording. You touch the app button and you are recording! COST: $4.99
Videolicious: Create and send short video messages that blend your video message with photos and background music. COST: Free
ClipCam: This is a great app for taking several short snippets of video and then stitching them together with the greatest of ease! With your finger you can reorder the clips and then share on social media sites or upload to youtube when you are ready. So simple even a 50-year-old can do it! (I would have said easy enough a child could do it, but that is obvious!) COST: Free
Incredibooth: This is like carrying an old fashioned photobooth around with you. With the iPad 2 you can select 1 of 4 filters and then press the big red button, wait for the 3-2-1 countdown and then it snaps 4 photos and puts them into the familiar strip that you can share via Facebook, Twitter, or email. Keep them in your photo album for later use as well. COST: $0.99
Photogene: This app is allows you to take any photo in your album and do some fun edits including cropping, red-eye reduction, rotating, adding chat or thought bubbles. COST: $2.99
Cut Me In:Loads of fun background images to play with or use your own. Cut yourself or someone else from one picture and paste into the backgrounds. Stand at the great pyramids or on the back of a shark. COST: Free (limited version) or $1.99 (full version)
StripDesign: Another fun photo app that allows you to make a film strip of 2 or 3 photos and add cartoon “POW!” statements on them. Great for creating scrapbooks from pics on your ipad….does anyone really do that? COST: $2.99
Photopedia Heritage: If you need a photo-vacation, open up this beautiful app that houses 25,000 photographs of some of the most stunning places in the world and set it to Slideshow mode. COST: Free
Moquu:This is a combination of photography and video! Create stop action film shorts with this amazing app. COST: Free
ComicStrip: Create your own comic book page with all of your own photos. COST: $0.99
ColorBlast: This app allows you to create stunning blak and white photos with a blast of color where you place it. COST: $0.99
iSupr8:Create unique and vintage looking film with this great app. Great to add a unique twist to some of your videos. COST: $1.99
MyScrapLife: This is a GREAT app for those of you who wish you could scrapbook your photos but either don’t know how or don’t have the time. Take your photos, drag them onto the digital page, change the paper, add borders, buttons, words & quotes and VIOLA! You can save each page as a picture and once you have several send off to your local photo printing store and have them made into a book! The perfect cheater version of scrap booking! COST: $0.99
TV, MOVIES, PODCASTS, BOOKS & MUSIC VIDEOS
IMDb: If you are a movie or TV buff, this app is for you. Find information about your favorite celebrities, movie and television trivia, find showtimes, watch movie trailers and even get your tickets online! COST: Free
Flixter: Watch movie trailers, find showtimes at your favorite theaters, get critics ratings or share your own with friends. COST: Free
Audible: If you like audio books, this is a wonderful service. For $14 a month you get 1 credits to purchase an audio book each month. You can purchase additional books for discount prices as well. The platinum level allows you to purchase 2 books per month for $24 a month. App Cost: Free
Kindle: This pulls your Kindle libraby into your iPad for easy transport and reading. Cost: Free
iCatcher: Search for and listen to your favorite podcasts, as well as discover more to learn than your brain can hold. This is a must have app for those who love to learn or just listen to interesting information! For iPhone and iPad. COST: $1.99
TWIT touch: If you are a TWIT podcast network (tech podcasts for true geeks!) This app organizes the channels and allows you to watch LIVE or on demand. Cost: $0.99
TED: Like the YouTube app, when you open the TED app you are immediately on their channel allowing you to select from Featured, Themes, Tags, or Saved videos. Cost: Free
Vevo HD: This music app is fabulous for those of you music-lovers who want to have a concert in your pocket…or purse (if your iPad wont fit in that back pocket) Search for an artist (not all are on here) and let the video concert begin, or check out their featured artists for a fresh sound! COST: Free
Xfinity:(Comcast) Forget to set the recorder on your television, or are you just too lazy to get up to fetch the remote across the room? This app allows you to control your television from anywhere you can get online. You can log on and watch some movies and shows on your iPad like having a Slingbox without the additional $300. App Cost: Free
DISH Anywhere: (DishNetwork) Watch your favorite shows on the go, set your DVR, and get your TV listings. COST: Free
TRAVEL, EATING OUT & LOCATION BASED APPS
Expedia: Obviously this syncs up all flight information that you have booked through their website. Helpful when stranded somewhere and needing to change or add flights. COST: Free
The Weather Channel: Another no brainer for travelers or those who just don’t want to turn on the news, or step outside to find out what the forecast is where you live. This app provides lots of helpful information but can be more than you really need. COST: Free
AccuWeather: Since you can never have too many weather apps, this one provides the information you need to decide whether to throw that sweater in the car or bring out the snow boots! I like the larger font and graphic layout of this app better than the Weather Channel app. COST: Free
GasBuddy: If you aren’t familiar with this great money saving app, you need to download this on every mobile device you own. Great while traveling to find the nearest gas station and it will show you the price per gallon for that moment. COST: Free
Waze:Discover where those traffic snags are located so you can adjust your route, or report a traffic problem yourself on this great crowd sourced traffic app. COST: Free
Maps: This comes on your iPad and comes in handy whenever you need a map!
Trover:This is a fun social networking app that lets you share places and discoveries around you. It’s part photo sharing app , part location based adventure app. If you like geo-caching and Instagram, this is worth checking out. COST: Free
Trails Lite:Get outside! With this GPS enabled app you can record your hike, bike trip or jogs (a bit awkward jogging with your iPad, but works on all smart phones). Imports maps to popular trails as well. COST: Free
OpenTable: Great app for finding a restaurant and making reservations right from your app. No need to call or get there and wait. COST: Free
UrbanSpoon: Select where you are, type of food you want and budget range to see restaurants to check out. Great when you are not in your neck of the woods! COST: Free
Scvngr: A fun geocaching game that uses your GPS and sends you on hunts created by others. It will get you out of the office or the house and playing in your own city! Great for teams and events. Android and iOS. COST: Free
Auto Trip BINGO:Great for road trips with the family! Choose road signs, Car Models, Gas/Food/Lodging signs, or Mixed and see if you can get a BINGO before the timer hits your goal time! Get each family member their own iPad and you can compete! HA! COST: $0.99
SHOPPING & OTHER FABULOUS APPS
Houzz: If you are remodeling a home or just dreaming, this house design app lets you browse through rooms, furniture and home accessories and save items or pictures in your personal scrapbooks. A great way to waste a Sunday afternoon! COST: Free
Pinterest: This app is like holding a stack of great magazines in your lap to browse through ALL DAY LONG! Part StumbledUpon, and part Facebook, you can LIKE objects you see or “pin” them into your albums to share or save for later. You may not want to log in before 8pm, it is addicting and you may never come out! COST: Free
Amazon: This app allows you to quickly search, shop and compare prices on all things Amazon! COST: Free
Grocery IQ: One of apps I use regularly to create a running grocery list at home. With the iPad 2 or mobile device with a camera, you can use the barcode scanner to scan item you are low on and have it automatically added to your list. Email or send your list to someone else or bring it with you and cross things off as you go. COST: Free
mGifts:Used throughout the year to track gift ideas and the stores they are found in. This app was invaluable to me over the holidays when I was out shopping and wanted to remember what to actually look for. Keep lists of people, stores, event dates etc. Spot a gift idea for a later date–log it and forget about it. COST: $4.99
Boutiques: This is an interesting project by Google. Someone there must be a fashion-designer wanna-be. This allows you to browse the world’s largest collection of boutiques and you can do so by designer, by style, or by celebrity. Click on an item and it takes you to the store to purchase it. Interesting! COST: Free …. Cost of that Ann Demeulemeester seamed cardigan…PRICELESS!
Zappos: Browse and buy shoes! Need I say more? Well you can also get clothes, accessories and probably a pizza. Just bypassing the need to search from browser. COST: Free
Accelastudy (Spanish):Study with flashcards, audio prompts, quizes and more. A great basic Spanish language app. COST: Free
Jibbigo:A great language translation app. You can speak in English your statement or question, it will type it out so you can verify that it heard you correctly and then it translates on the other side of the screen into the language you have downloaded. Press the play button and let the app tell the person what you wanted in their language. COST: BIG PRICE DROP in March 2011 – from $24.00 to $4.99 (I should have waited)
Conversational Spanish: A simple app that has hundreds of phrases that you can read or hit the play button to play the audio. COST: $0.99
Word Lens: COOL concept, but needs a bit of work. Open this app on your iPad 2 and it will use your camera to look at any sign and translate on the screen what it says. The free app comes with a BACKWARDS filter that turns backwards words around (Not really sure why you would need this) or pay $9.99 to translate Spanish to English and another $9.99 from English to Spanish. Another problem is you are using your data plan when you open this app in a foreign country which is VERY expensive and can get you into trouble. Initial App Cost: Free
COOKING & FOOD
Epicurious:If you love to cook, or just want people to think you do, this app is fabulous. Type in ingredients you have around and it will suggest recipes for you, or select a recipe and read the feedback from others and the app will build a grocery list for you out of your favorited dishes! COST: Free
Urbanspoon: Find restaurants near by and read what others have said about them before you take a chance! COST: Free
All Recipes: Another cookbook app with thousands of dinner ideas! COST: Free
Wine.com: I love the look and interactive features of this app. Enter your virtual wine cave, track your favorites, search for new treasures or order a case. You can also find deals or read the latest Wine Notes. COST: Free
GAMES and SILLINESS
TableTopics HD: Great for discussion starters at the dinner table, in the car, or at a dinner party. Different sets available such as: Happy Hour, First Date, In Flight (don’t sit next to me), Gourmet, WAter Cooler & More. You can also post a question straight to your Facebook Page to start conversations there! COST: $2.99
Heads Up:This hilarious game will have you and your party guests crying with laughter. Ellen Degenerous plays this on her show. Guess the word on your head from your friends’ clues before your time runs out. COST: $0.99 (option to purchase additional categories in app
Words With Friends HD: This popular Scrabble game is sweeping the nation and now integrates with Facebook and Twitter to allow you to wage word war on your friends on their mobile devices. COST $2.99 (Free version available with ads)
Max & the Magic Marker:One of the coolest physics and problem solving games I have ever seen for older kids (probably best for ages 7 to late teens because of difficulty). This game has won all kinds of awards and like Harold and his magic crayon, Max can draw things to life and the objects he draws help him solve problems, collect ink for his marker and have wondrous adventures along the way! I have played this with my teen-aged daughter and it is truly MAGICAL! The link shows a short video of the game in action. COST: $2.99
Etch A Sketch: Just like you remember as a kid, turn the dials and create masterpieces. Yes, you even shake the iPad to erase (be careful not to drop it!) COST: Free
Flight of the Hamsters: While I have never played most of these games, including this one, they have all been mother viewed and kid approved! This one is a favorite and it is similar to Angry birds in that you fling these hamsters into the air (for no violent reason though) and try to keep them gaining altitude as they collect balls, skateboards and other random objects that can save them from falling flat on the ground. COST: $0.99
Bookworm: This addictive spelling game is one of my favorites! Kindo f like Scrabble or Boggle where you have to make words from the letter tiles, this game adds a sense of urgency to each move. you must collect high point words before letters burst into flames. Great educational game for older children and adults! COST: $2.99
Bebot: After seeing this incredible performance by the North Point’s iBand I had to have this cute little robot synthesizer! COST: $1.99
DJ SoundBox:This is much more complex sound-mixing board than I had thought. A professional DJs dream! COST: $0.99
Jib Jab Jr: Let your kids create a custom story book and place them right inside! Fun for kids and adults. COST: Free
Koi Pond:A totally useless, but relaxing app if you need time to just sit and stare at giant Koi fish swimming across your iPad. Many have played with this time sucker for quite ahwile on their iPhones. Cost: (embarrassed to admit) $1.99
Fireworks Arcade:While you are sitting in your Koi Pond zen-like state, why not start some fireworks? Touch your screen to create a beautiful explosion. No purpose other than to put yourself or any young child into a trance! (hmmm – this could be BIG) COST: Free
Cozy Fireplace: This is purely for fun or for phycological purposes. If you want to go to sleep by the fire and you do not have a fireplace around, simply open this app and listen to the crackling sounds see the glow of the flames. You can set the timer for your fire to die down after an hour so you don’t catch your iPad on fire! Cost: $0.99
In Style Hairstyle Try-On: Want to know what you’d look like as a red head? Wonder if it’s time to cut those locks? Try it on your face first. Load a photo and start exploring! COST: Free
RANDOM BUT AWESOME
Lifelike Alarm Clock: My FAVORITE nightstand clock and alarm. See the time, the weather, set unique alarms, play music from your library before bedtime, and even pull the virtual shade down on the clock’s lighted screen when you are ready to go to sleep. COST: $3.99
iSoundBite: Simply a goofy voice changer app that will end up driving you insane if your kids get ahold of it! Record your voice and then press one of the many options including: Max Headroom, Robot, Schizophrenic Mix, and Poltergeist COST: Free (therapy not included)
Bucket List: Put your own bucket list into this app, prioritize them, share with others or read and get ideas from others. Mark each one when completed!
Backyard Birds: This is great if you are a crazy bird person like me. Peterson is the authority in bird watching and this app allows you to search birds by zip code, type of bird and then has a checklist so you know when you can say your life is complete! Hey I might be a crazy bird lady but at least I’m not the crazy cat lady! Cost: $2.99
Pzizz:The Power-Napping aid I cannot live without. For those of us who are sleep deprived and need to snag that 20 min nap every once in awhile without oversleeping and waking up groggy. I discovered this miracle app over 10 years ago when it was an MP3 device preloaded with this program. You press start and lie down. It sends you into a deep relaxed nap in minutes and wakes you at the end of 20 min. COST: $5.99
ReQall: If you need reminders like, where you parked your car at the airport, what time you need to pick up your son from football practice, what you had for lunch in case someone asks you later, this app will allow you to record a message and it will convert to text and send it to you or someone else. ReQall is very similar to Jott,com which just closed their doors this month. COST: Free
WhiteNoisePro: This app is a must-have for anyone who has trouble going to sleep anywhere! Not only does it play white noise, but it allows you to customize your own white noise, choosing 5 different sounds from the 40 available, to send you into la la land in minutes! COST: $2.99
TextHog: This app has a misleading name because it has nothing to do with text messaging or HOGS! It is an expense reporting and finance app. Take pics of your receipts, track business or personal expenses and stay financially organized. They say the service is free but I read many reviews stating it is a TRIAL offer and they will start charging you. I have never been charged, but… there are too many out there to have to worry about it. COST: Free
TourWrist: This is one of those AWESOME apps and is great for checking out wonderful travel locations. Take a 360 tour to exotic locations around the world with a click of a link. COST: Free
MyFitnessPal:Great tool for shedding that “layer.” Keep track of fitness goals, food you consume, exercise you were thinking about doing (just kidding…exercise you DID), and more! Syncs with online program as well. COST: Free
BIGGER Words: This has come in handy when you want to hold up a sign in a crowded room to tell the person on the other side “IT’S TIME TO GO!” Or how often have you wished you had a sign to hold up to the person driving next to you to tell them “BLINKER IS ON!”? This fun app turns your message into not just BIG words, but BIGGER words! COST: $0.99
Discover (Visual Wikipedia): A wonderful way to research something without just seeing pages of text. This app pulls in photos and graphics that accompany your research topic. Now if only schools would allow kids to use this. COST: Free
Bizarre Holidays: How do you know when National Ice Cream Sundae Day is? How can you find out if it is Defy Superstition Day? Download this app and it will show you each day’s National Holiday! COST: $0.99
Garden HD: A wonderful garden reference guide with over 2000 speices. Get garden help right on your iPad! COST $2.99
Hunting Call: I find this to be a hysterical app. You can select animal calls such as deer, coyotes, elk and birds and call them in the wild (or your living room). I believe it is a serious app for hunters to use and even incorporates the use of a second device like a cell phone where you can place one in the bushes and control the sounds from the hand held (not sure how wise that is to lay your phone or iPad in bushes near running bear or deer).I have used it to scare my kids on a hike and other kids climbing the rocks in our backyard. When they hear a bear growl, they take off! COST: $2.99 Scaring kids…PRICELESS!
Star Walk:One of the coolest apps for stargazers. Incorporates your camera and GPS allow you to point your iPad to the sky to discover what stars, planets or satellites you are looking at. Moon calendar and loads of educational information. A must for anyone studying astronomy. COST: $4.99
Now it’s your turn…what are the apps you can’t do without–on any mobile device?
Hesitation is the quality your competitors most admire about you.
The first domain name was registered in 1985 (www.Symbolics.com) and in 1990 there were 15,000 domain names registered. Today there are over 200 million. Were you an early adopter or are you still waiting for this whole WORLD WIDE WEB thing to pass? Business websites changed the way business communicated with its customers.
We are experiencing a social revolution that is not only changing the way we do business once again, but it is changing consumer behaviors. Just like we go to a website today without any amazement or second thought, many are using Facebook that same way. Consumers ask their networks for suggestions or feedback before making buying decisions. “Does anyone know a great Plummer in Littleton?” “Has anyone had their kids at a charter school?” “I wish I knew someone who distributed pink sheet metal to commercial realtor. Anyone know of someone?” (okay the last one would be pretty darn random, but you just never know!”
Yesterday a friend of mine was sharing his frustration over name squatters or cybersquatters, as they are called on the internet. Cybersquatters are those people who go out and register domain names, Twitter account names and now Facebook Page names, just to prevent someone else from using them. My friend had waited too long and his business name on Twitter was already being used by someone else.
Here are 4 things I recommend you do today…right now.
1. Go register your business name and your personal name on Twitter. You can simply put a link to your website with a post directing visitors to learn more about you there.
2. Type your company name into Google and add + Facebook to see what comes up. If you find a page, see what is posted and by whom. Many businesses find that their fans did not want to wait for the company to take action and they created a page themselves. Remember, people want to talk about you and with you.
3. If you already have a personal Facebook profile Create a Facebook Page For your business, post a few interesting tips and facts about how customers work with you and start telling your current customers to join you on Facebook. Once you get 25 people to join your page, or “Like” it, you can secure your custom company URL
4. If you own a smartphone, which is an Internet ready phone such as a Blackberry, iPhone, or any Android-based phone, go into the phone’s app store and download one new app today to explore. Check out the top apps, or the recommendations provided. Since mobile is the fastest growing trend today, you should start think of ways your customers may want to interact with you through their mobile device. Our phones are considered the “3rd screen” (the first two being the television and computer) and it’s the one we don’t leave home without.
So if you still find yourself resisting the use of new technology because it is time consuming or frustrating, you cannot afford to wait any longer. Perhaps you should …go ask your competitors.
If you are having a hard time immigrating into this new social world, Gina and the team at SocialKNX can help you make sense of this foreign social landscape and determine which pieces make sense for your business. Give us a shout through that WORLD WIDE WEB Gina@socialknx.com, or use the telephonic device and have the operator connect you to 303.978.0887
300 business owners gathered here in Denver for the Vistage All-city, all day, leadership event. Vistage is a company that creates mastermind groups or boards for small to mid-sized business owners. I am here to discuss how to incorporate today’s social media marketing tools into their business.
The opening speaker was Dave Logan, author of Tribal Leadership. There is another famous Dave Logan here in Colorado (the voice of the Denver Broncos). I think some were surprised to learn we weren’t going to talk football leadership.
Dave Logan says the strength of your company is determined not by the CEO, but by the strength of the tribe. Of course he is talking about your executive team, your board of directors or core management team members (he says ideally a tribe is at least 20 people) but I wonder if your customers can also become tribe members? If you have strong values that are ingrained into your company, the tribe should be able to make decisions and recruit other supporters because the tribe knows your business.
Your customers, and potential customers, can provide innovative ideas, give you needed feedback, and potentially solve some major company problems…if you engage them in these conversations. In the social stratosphere, you can throw a question out or a poll, and within minutes you can have wonderful data and perhaps a few solutions.
Before you start throwing out that tribal invitation, there are a few things to consider.
1. Are your values so clear that it comes across in your communications and marketing messages? Like Zappos, do your customers even know what you value?
2. What are you doing that communicates those values?
2. Are your values so clear that others can tell what they are without reading them? Are you living them and walking the talk?
3. Does your tribe feel valued and that their input appreciated?
4. How are you willing to solicit feedback and invite new ideas from your tribes?
Well then….what are you waiting for? Go engage!
What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear from the tribe.