The days of talking “at” your audience online are well and truly over. Putting up a page on your website with static information about your business is not enough. To achieve success in today’s highly connected world, requires actively “listening” to your audience and building an engaged community around your company, products, and brand.
Social channels create a direct line of communication between your brand and consumers and give anyone with an Internet connection instant access to the latest buzz about your products or services.
Social media monitoring allows you to find insights into what people are saying about your brand, products, or company on social media, measure the impact of campaigns, avert disasters, spot opportunities for engagement, and spy on your competitors. Additionally, social media monitoring can also provide vital data about emerging trends and what clients and consumers are thinking about specific brands, businesses, topics, or products.
As a business intelligence tool, social monitoring is invaluable. Using social media monitoring as a form of business intelligence, however, is a complex undertaking, often carried out by various groups that include online reputation managers, market research, marketing teams, professional sales reps, agencies, and social engagement and community staff. Typically, smaller businesses don’t can’t afford to pay social media monitoring professionals to track their coverage in the media.
Fortunately a number of providers have developed tools and solutions that facilitate the tracking of a variety of social media channels, enabling you to track what is being said online about your brand or products allowing you to react to conversations and engage with online users in a timely fashion.
In the article below, we explore a number of social media tracking tools and technologies that you may want to check out.
WordPress And Social Media Marketing – A Guide For Website Owners
WordPress is not only a powerful, flexible and easy to manage content management platform used by millions of businesses worldwide, WordPress also integrates fully with many social media applications, making it an ideal platform for growing your online presence in the social realm.
To learn more about using WordPress please see our related posts section.
Using some of the tools listed here and a WordPress site, you will be able to explore the full power social media marketing opportunities.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why WordPress makes an ideal platform for marketing your business on social media.
Promote Your Products And Services To An Audience Of Buyers On Your Social Media Networks With WordPress
WordPress comes with built-in social features, like commenting and discussions. A range of WordPress plugins can add additional social features to your site that let you reach a wider audience on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and many others.
For example, there are plugins that can add social sharing buttons, forums, add photos from Instagram, Twitter cards, Facebook feeds, testimonials, surveys, polls … even optimize your article titles and descriptions for social networks.
The WordPress CMS platform is not only great for social media as a content marketing tool, it can also be transformed into a full-featured social networking, using plugins like BuddyPress, WPSymposium, and others.
(Run your own social networking site with BuddyPress WordPress plugin)
This free plugin can be used to set up a social community on your WordPress website, with member profiles, user groups, messaging, activity streams, and more.
BuddyPress is often referred to as “social networking in a box.” You can turn features on and off to suit your needs and the plugin boasts a thriving community of plugin developers who regularly contribute new plugins that greatly extend the application.
(WP Symposium WordPress social networking plugin)
WPSymposium Pro offers a strong support community and assistance for members who need professional help. Social features of the plugin include:
- Activity Wall
- Private Mail
- Online Forum
- Photo Galleries
- RSS Feeds
WPSymposium lets you work with the theme you have. You can add features to your pages and posts using shortcodes.
Share Your Content Across Many Channels
With most social media platforms, sharing and syndicating your content has never been easier. There are services and tools that let you compose, schedule and broadcast your content over multiple social channels simultaneously and manage your social marketing campaigns from one central location, saving you a considerable amount of time and money.
If you want to drive most of your social marketing strategy from WordPress, you can. WordPress not only makes it easy to publish content on your own domain, it also makes available many great plugins that allow users to share your content online on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc. For more information, read the article we’ve written about social media sharing plugins for WordPress and our comprehensive article series on how to automatically distribute your content across various social networks using WordPress.
Social measuring tools and services allow you to listen to what your audience wants, identify new opportunities and stay ahead of competitors.
Once you have identified new content opportunities, you can post messages individually on each of the social networks you’d like to reach, or publish these on a WordPress site that’s been configured to automatically notify those social networks.
Additionally, there are applications that let you conduct surveys and polls of customers online and help you create customer-driven sales funnels. Many applications can be integrated with WordPress.
Strengthen Your Business Brand And Credibility
Building and strengthening your business brand and online reputation, showcasing your talent, or establishing your expertise online requires commitment, patience and a social marketing strategy.
You are engaging with real people, and so your interactions must be meaningful and authentic. Put the needs of your audience first, and listen to their conversations for valuable insights.
Remember, we have been given two ears and one mouth as a reminder that we are meant to do twice as much listening as talking. What you post online and how you respond to other user’s comments and discussions is very important, and can make or break your reputation online. Everyday we hear stories of brands that handle a situation or customer complaint very poorly and end up paying a heavy price when the online community gets hold of the news.
Although social media provides many new channels for gaining wider exposure online, it can also take up a lot of your time.
An expertly configured WordPress website lets you build authority online, share great information with your clients and customers, and drive visitors to your business.
(Use an expertly configured WordPress-driven site to automatically syndicate your web content on various social media channels.)
Study Authority Sites In Your Niche
Being able to listen in to social media conversations can help you reverse engineer the success strategies of experts, authorities, and thought leaders in your niche.
Explore Joint Venture Opportunities, Find Affiliates, Recruit Talented Staff, etc.
Recruitment companies spend a lot of time nowadays researching social media and studying the profiles of individuals when looking for potential candidates to fill specific positions. As a business owner, you can do the same, and look for staff, network with other business owners, and connect with like-minded marketers and potential JV partners. Using social media to explore new opportunities can grow your revenue, get your brand seen, and lead to new lucrative ventures.
Could Your Web Content Be The Next Online Viral Sensation?
Most businesses would love to see their content or marketing campaigns go viral. “Going viral,” however, is a difficult thing to achieve, as it relies on many factors that are outside your control. Throwing loads of money at a advertising is no guarantee of viral success. Many ridiculous memes have become internet viral hits while large brands have failed dismally.
In many cases, the best you can do is know your audience well, and provide content that users will find so useful, compelling, informative or “spot-on”, that they will be naturally motivated to share with others.
Some of the tools listed in the next section of this article can help your content go viral, or at least help you set up relatively inexpensive marketing campaigns.
We have created an email training course that will show you how to create useful and engaging content for your readers. In this course we also explore many ways to create content with the potential to go viral and help your business grow faster. For more info, go here or subscribe using the form below:
Social Media Monitoring – Useful For All Businesses, Big And Small
(Social Media Monitoring – Not Just For Big Businesses)
Social media monitoring activities can be divided into two main groups:
- Online Reputation Management (ORM)
- Monitoring Online Trends
Online Reputation Management (ORM)
You have probably heard about online reputation management (ORM). If you haven’t, you will be hearing about it more and more as time goes on, because it is becoming increasingly more important for many individuals and brands to track what is being said about them online – especially negative comments, reviews, etc.. No doubt you’ve heard the saying that when someone has a bad experience with a product or service they will tell 10 more people about it. Real or imagined, bad news travels fast. People or competing companies could be posting negative stuff online about you or your brand and if this goes unchecked, this can seriously damage your reputation.
Originally an aspect of the work of PR firms, reputation management is now an issue that affects many companies and individuals online.
If you or your brand’s image, name or reputation is being affected by negative material being posted online, you have to find a way of weakening the negative with positive content, or restoring consumer trust and confidence.
Before you can begin to repair any damage, however, you first have to find out about it. The sooner you can spot a negative comment, bad review, or misinformed opinion, the sooner you can begin to do something about it.
That’s where social media monitoring tools come in. If you Google yourself or your business/brand and find that a competitor has published fake reviews or customer complaints designed to discredit your business, you can then do something about it, e.g. post a response, contact the person directly, etc.
Many companies all over the world are currently missing out on opportunities to create happier customers and grow their business because they are not monitoring their online reputations effectively.
Actively monitoring conversations and new posts on social media extends beyond multinational corporations, celebrities, movie stars, famous musicians, and security-conscious departments. It’s also important to be able to monitor the reputation of average individuals. Consider the following situations:
- A former spouse in the middle of a bitter divorce or child custody proceedings feels hard done by.
- A former employee feels disgruntled after being fired.
- A potential employer searches online for information about you. They may not find anything bad, but there may not be enough good, positive things published online either to support your job application.
Even if you are just starting out, it’s good to create an easy “set and forget” alert system, so that if any conversations about you do come up online, you can act proactively and deal with it in a timely manner.
How well do you manage your online reputation in the digital economy?
We’ve written an article about a WordPress plugin that lets you legally and ethically manage user reviews. More information: Power Online Reviews – Client Feedback Management Plugin For WordPress Users
Analyzing Online Trends
Regardless of what niche or industry you operate in, there are always new things happening. New products get released, new services get launched, events get scheduled and announced online, influential people say something controversial that gets mentioned in the news, companies publish useful research data, new videos are published containing fantastic tips or ideas, an outdated fact gets updated and becomes relevant again, something becomes the next viral phenomenon on Twitter, yesterday’s next big thing suddenly stops trending and gets replaced with the new “new” thing, services get discontinued, people retire, and so on.
All of this provides you with an endless source of new content and new content ideas (how many news media outlets now incorporate a segment on what’s trending on social media?)
Social media content is topical content. Implementing a regular schedule of posting topical content with your useful comments or insightful opinions to your site not only can help drive more traffic to your business, but your blog or website could end up becoming a “go to” destination or resource for your niche or industry. People may end up referring you to others on social media, and who knows … your website or brand could even end up becoming a topical, or newsworthy source of content that other people will write about and mention in their content.
This is the end of Section 1
In part 2 we explore essential social media measurement resources for WordPress. To read more, click on this link: WordPress And Media Measurement – Part Two
"Wow! I never knew there's so much to learn about WordPress! I bought one of the WordPress for Dummies three years ago, such authors need to be on this course!" - Rich Law, Create A Blog Now