Last week we told you about some of the useful mobile apps for monitoring your business online.  This week we’re talking about some of our favorite apps for internal communications within your business.

In recent years, we know that many people have opted to use their cell phones instead of a landline for their homes.  A recent survey indicates that small businesses are following the same path by moving towards smart phones and away from landlines.

Though the basic methods of communication using a phone would work for many businesses, apps on a smart phone could significantly improve internal communications for a number of reasons:

  • Apps offer group chatting allowing for easy communication with multiple people at the same time
  • Apps offer alternatives to voice and text plans by utilizing unlimited data plans
  • Apps offer streamlined services that focus on a specific aspect of communication

Here are some of our favorites:

  • Skype (Android & iPhone): Skype’s main feature is free and unlimited Skype to Skype calling. These calls can be through both voice and video chat while also crossing platforms, allowing for someone using an iPhone 4 to video chat with someone using a PC. Voice to voice Skype calls can be used in place of regular phone calls provided everyone is using the application. Skype also offers some basic text chat functionality to its users.
  • WhatsApp (Android & iPhone): WhatsApp is a text based messaging application that uses a data plan instead of a texting plan. One of the key differences between WhasApp and regular texting is the ease of use for group texting. Group texting lets you talk to multiple people through text at one time. The application lets users attach pictures and videos to their message while also broadcasting a location. An extra perk is the ability to email the conversation so you can reference it later.
  • HeyTell (Android & iPhone): HeyTell on the other hand is a voice based instant messaging application. Users can send voice messages to one another without the need to dial a number just to leave a voicemail. It offers the speed of sending an instant message without the need to type one out. Users can attach a location to their messages so the recipient can know where they are. For an extra fee group voice messaging can be accessed through the app.
  • Yammer (Android & iPhone): Yammer is a business based social networking site where employees of a business can communicate. The Yammer app allows users to access the Yammer social network from their smart phone. From the interface app users can access their different networks and the feeds within those networks. From their users can post to their company feed and send direct messages to other employees.
  • Facebook Messenger (Android & iPhone): The app for Facebook Messenger uses the Facebook messaging system to allow Facebook users to send messages to one another. The Facebook Messenger application is separate from the main Facebook app as its only purpose is for messaging. Users can access any ongoing message threads and create new ones, plus they can tag their location in the post. The one downside for business purposes is that to message someone you have to be Facebook “friends” with them.

These are the mobile applications we like to use to communicate. What’s your favorite app for internal communications?

[CC photo courtesy of Supafly and Lars Plougmann]