At the June Dallas Market  Tech Know Spot , CEO of The Marketing Zen Group  and new media and technology expert Shama Kabani presented “The Top Five Apps Every Retailer Needs,” a session she catered to the lighting industry. Below, Kabani explains what these five must-have apps are and how they can be used to better your brand and your business.
Vine  allows users to share quick six-second videos. This is a great way to showcase how one lighting fixture can change a room, or even show some behind-the-scenes action from your store or warehouse.
Instagram  is a picture-sharing app with more than 130 million monthly active users. It allows businesses to showcase the culture behind their brands and to increase engagement, Kabani explains. Stores or manufacturers can host contests by asking participants to share their pictures and use a given hashtag. To enter, they may have to follow the company on Instagram, take a picture at the store, and share using a required hashtag.
Houzz  is the number-one app in interior decorating and design with 14 million users. Set up a free profile and ask customers to leave you reviews.
Foursquare  is a location-based app that allows people to check in at a store. According to Sabani, people may already be checking in and you may not know. Search for your business name, and claim your profile if it’s already there. “If you think your customers are older and may not use Foursquare, remember that these profiles can be found by all if they Google your business name,” Kabani says. “Just because your clients may not be creating content, doesn’t mean they aren’t influenced by it.”
Pinterest  is an online pinboard and one of the fastest growing apps in social media. It’s a visual business’ paradise. Create boards, share ideas, and pull traffic to your website. For example: Create an “Amazing Chandeliers” board and pin your products to it.