Guest Post: Four social networking apps for the community manager

by Lacey Rose

Lacey Rose is an event planner by day, and social media wannabe by night. She's a Social Media Manager for 20 Something Bloggers and blogs at Perks of Being a JAP.

My volunteer social media manager position with 20Something Bloggers has me on Twitter and Facebook basically 24/7. And when I’m not at a desk, I’m constantly updating and checking on the networks with my Android myTouch 4G. I needed something fast. Something that was user friendly, and had a seamless ability to handle updates from multiple accounts on my phone. Also wouldn’t hurt if it was easy on the eyes. And kind of like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, I’ve tried a bunch of different social media networking apps until I found the ones that were just right.

Seesmic

Seesmic was recommended to me by the Co-Chief Admin of 20SB, so I mean, how could I not try it? It’s got a great desktop interface, but unfortunately the Android app left a bit to be desired.

While all the bells and whistles were there, I found myself opening the app and waiting for what seemed like hours (and was probably more like a minute) for everything to load. In the world of social media where something can happen in the blink of an eye, this was precious time to be wasting. It’s a shame, because it really is a great app for managing multiple networks, but it was like trying to check your email off an old AOL disc that came free in the mail (remember those?). And unfortunately, after months it seemed to be a problem that never fixed itself.

Hootsuite

After the Seesmic letdown, I gave HootSuite a trial run. HootSuite is awesome for desktop, because it is a browser-based social media manager. What that means is that the application runs in a browser window with whatever web pages you currently have open, vs. opening an entirely new application like Seesmic or TweetDeck.

I loved HootSuite immediately because of how clean the design is. Also what’s great is the ease of set up. Once you’ve downloaded the app and signed into your HootSuite account, you don’t need to manually add each of your accounts -- they populate automatically. Unfortunately I didn’t get to really give HootSuite a fair shot, since all of the company log-ins had been taken, and HootSuite limits the amount per log-in without a paid account.

TweetDeck

TweetDeck was my next logical choice. At first, I wasn’t crazy about the desktop application, due to its retina-shattering white text on black background, but it’s adjustable in the settings menu, so it wasn’t a deal breaker. TweetDeck is great, and has become my go-to app for managing all my channels.

It’s user friendly, very quick to load, and has the same positive features as HootSuite, without limits on the number of logins per account (win). The two, small downfalls? The app is not as clean looking as HootSuite, and also, once the app is downloaded onto your Android, you have to go in and manually enter your accounts. To be honest, I really didn’t mind that extra step. Unless you’re managing five plus accounts, I can’t imagine it being that bothersome for anyone.

And also, deserving a mention in this even though it’s not a social media channel app is Yammer.

Yammer

Yammer is the “social network for your company.” And it’s true. Basically, as I like to explain it to people who have never heard of it before, is that Yammer is a group instant messenger service. Instead of trying to get your message across to a group of people through email or separate IMs, Yammer allows group communication to occur in one spot.

There’s a desktop app, and also a great Android app. I leave Yammer running in the background of my phone and it alerts me to a new message on my status bar just as if it were an email, or a new Twitter reply. Great for easy and quick communication, and a definite asset to those with a social media team.

Check out Lacey's Appolicious App Library.