Yesterday we joked that there is not an iphone app to help with influencer marketing in the B2B space, so that got us thinking about what iphone applications there are for B2B. While the Blackberry is still the smart phone of choice in larger organizations, the iphone is making inroads into corporate America. The number of available business apps is one major component that will help that growth.
1. The Obvious
Twitter Apps: There are a slew of Twitter apps including Tweetie, Twitterific and even Tweetdeck for the iphone. While I am looking forward to the new version of Tweetie, which should be released any day now, there are small differences between these apps. Each one handles things a bit differently, so you just need to find the one that works for you. Many people stick with their first Twitter app, but you can ask others what they use. Ask them what they like about it.
Social Networking Apps: We have already covered the Facebook app in depth, so what about LinkedIn. This app is mainly focused on your connections, rather than bringing the LinkedIn experience to the iphone. It shows you Network updates, connections and status. You can view your profile, but you don’t have the ability to edit it. The only interactive functions are the ability to update your status, send an invite and a limited search function. The social side of LinkedIn – Groups, Answers, Events – are missing from the app. Hopefully a new version of this app is in development with more functionality.
2. The Enterprise and CRM
The biggest enterprise software companies, Oracle and SAP, both offer iphone apps that feature a small window into the data housed on your corporate network. According to this post, Oracle displays business performance reports, analytics and access to their CRM module, while SAP displays contacts and account information. These are primarily viewers and provide limited interaction with the main system, but that is changing. As the iphone becomes more ingrained in the corporate computing world, mobile employees will have the more ability to update the home office from their smart phones. If your company uses either of these enterprise solutions, explore these mobile platforms with trial versions and start talking up the importance of mobile data.
The leading standalone CRM solution, Salesforce.com has an iphone app that connects to your version of Salesforce.com. Create new leads, convert them, log phone calls, all from a native iphone app that syncs with the cloud version. This free app is a must for all mobile employees using Salesforce to track their business. While “Leads” is featured on the bottom navigation menu, selecting “More” brings up contacts, opportunities, tasks, events, cases, solutions, and dashboards to fully manage all functions from the iphone. A free 30 day trial of Salesforce is available, so you can try out the app and see how it syncs to the web.
3. The Marketplace
Many B2B companies around the world use trading sites, like Alibaba.com, to find products, manufacturers, import and export partners. There is an iphone app called World Trade Center, which calls itself a B2B hub with one-click access to top sites, B2B facilitators, and products. It costs $2.99, so I have not downloaded it to see how it works. It does not look very elegant, and may be not much more than the links shown on the front screen. If your business regularly uses sites of this nature, this mobile app may be of value to you. As more people go mobile, this is sure to be a growing category of apps that interact with online trading partners. If you have used this app, or something like it, please let us know below.
And finally, if you are looking for information and ideas about B2B marketing and social media, Marketing Profs has an iphone app with a B2B marketing section under the More menu item. These articles provide summaries of posts on the Marketing Profs site and other sites. While every post includes an upsell to Marketing Profs membership options, this app provides good content that is easily consumed on the go.
And finally, I used this post as an opportunity to add a Word Press plugin called WPTouch, that optimizes this blog for the iphone, and other touch screen smart phones, so you can more easily read SocialMediaB2B.com on your iphone.
So if there are other iphone apps that you have found indispensable in your B2B world, whether to manage Social Media, Marketing, or Business in general, share those with our readers below.