The days of talking “at” audiences online are well and truly over. It’s no longer enough to put up a web page with static information. To achieve success in today’s highly connected global economy, requires actively “listening” to your audience’s needs and feedback, and building an engaged social community around your brand, company, and products.
Social channels create a direct line of communication between your company and your audience and give anyone with an Internet connection instant access to the latest news about your products or services.
Social media monitoring allows you to gain insights into your brand’s overall visibility on social media, identify new opportunities for engagement, spy on your competition, avert crises, and measure the impact of your marketing campaigns. It can also provide vital information about emerging trends and what clients and consumers think about specific brands, products, topics, or businesses.
As a tool for business intelligence, being able to track social media channels like blogging, internet forums, social networking sites, micro-blogging platforms like Twitter, Quora, etc., discussion boards, video/photo sharing sites, and user-generated content is invaluable. Using social media monitoring as a form of business intelligence, however, is a complex undertaking, typically carried out by a cross-section of groups that include market research, digital reputation managers, marketing professionals, professional sales reps, social engagement and community staff, and social media marketing agencies. Typically, small businesses don’t have the budget to pay a media monitoring service to continually track their coverage in the and actively monitor their digital reputation.
Fortunately various technology providers have developed affordable tools that facilitate the active tracking of a variety of social media channels, enabling companies to identify and even predict what consumers are saying about their brands or products allowing them to respond proactively to conversations and interact with consumers in various social media platforms.
In the article below, we explore several social media monitoring tools that are worth checking out and knowing about.
WordPress And Social Media Marketing
WordPress is not just a powerful, flexible and easy to manage CMS platform used by millions of businesses worldwide, it also integrates fully with many social media applications, allowing you to easily grow your online presence in the social realm.
For an overview of why WordPress is the vehicle that can help your small business grow and succeed online, go here: The Complete Guide To Building A Successful Business Using WordPress
With a WordPress site and some of the tools listed here, you will be able to market your business effectively on social media and take advantage of new social business marketing opportunities.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why WordPress is an ideal platform to market your business on social media.
Promote Your Services And Products To An Audience Of Buyers On Social Media With WordPress
WordPress includes built-in social features, like interactive 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 content for various social networkign sites.
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.
(Set up your own social network with BuddyPress plugin for WordPress)
BuddyPress lets you add a suite of social networking components to your website, such as:
- Activity Streams
- Private Messages
- Extensible User Groups
- Friend Connections
- Discussion Forums
- Many Add-On Features
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 has an active community of plugin developers who regularly contribute new plugins that greatly extend the application.
(WP Symposium Pro WordPress social network plugin)
WPSymposium offers a strong support community and assistance for members who require professional help. Social features of the plugin include:
- Activity Wall
- Private Messages
- Member Directory
- Online Forum
- Photo Galleries
- RSS Feeds
WPSymposium lets you work with the theme you have. You can add social features to posts and pages using shortcodes.
Syndicate Your Content Across Multiple Channels
With most social media platforms, syndicating content is very easy. There are tools that let you compose, schedule and broadcast your content over multiple social channels simultaneously and manage your social media marketing campaigns from one central location, saving you time and money.
If you want to manage most of your social marketing from WordPress, you can. WordPress not only lets you publish content on your own domain, it also makes available many great plugins that encourage your site visitors to easily share your content online on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc. See the article we’ve written about social media sharing plugins for WordPress and our comprehensive article series on how to automate your web content syndication across various social media networks using WordPress.
Social Media – Great For Researching Your Market
Use social media tools and services to discover what consumers want, identify trends and new opportunities and stay one step ahead of your competition.
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 your social networking sites.
Additionally, there are many applications and tools that let you conduct surveys and polls of customers online and help you create consumer-driven sales campaigns. Many applications can be easily integrated with WordPress.
Build Your Credibility And Brand And Establish Authority In Your Niche
Strengthening your reputation and brand online, showcasing your talent, or establishing your authority online requires commitment, dedication and a social marketing strategy.
You are trying to engage 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 horror stories of brands that handle a situation or customer complaint very poorly and end up paying a heavy price as soon as their response or behavior gets circulated online.
Although social media lets you be seen and known on many different channels, it can also take up a lot of your time.
An expertly configured WordPress-driven website helps you establish your authority online, share great information with your clients and customers, and drive visitors to your business.
(You can automatically distribute your web content across various social networks with an expertly configured WordPress blog.)
Spy On Your Competition
Being able to monitor social media can help you reverse engineer the success strategies of authorities, experts, and thought leaders in your niche.
Explore Joint Venture Opportunities, Find Affiliates, Recruit Talented Staff, etc.
Recruitment companies research social media 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 and joint ventures can increase your revenue, get your brand seen, and lead to potentially lucrative new ventures.
“Going Viral” Online Faster
Most businesses would love to have a viral hit. “Going viral,” however, is a difficult outcome to achieve, as it relies on many factors that cannot be controlled. Throwing loads of money at a clever or cute marketing campaign is no guarantee of viral success. Many ridiculous memes have achieved stratospheric viral success while big-budget brands and corporations have failed to take off.
In many cases, the best you can do is study and research your audience, and provide content that users will find so useful, compelling, entertaining or even funny, 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 run 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 free course we also explore many ways to create content with the potential to go viral and help your business grow faster. For more information, go here or subscribe using the form below:
Social Media Monitoring – Useful For All Businesses, Big And Small
(Social Media Monitoring – Useful For All Businesses, Big And Small)
In general, social media monitoring can be divided into two main groups:
- Online Reputation Management (ORM)
- Monitoring Online Trends
Online Reputation Management
You have probably heard about online reputation management. If you haven’t, you will be hearing it more and more as time goes on, because it is becoming increasingly more important for many individuals and brands to track what others are saying about them online – especially if what is being posted is negative. No doubt you’ve heard it said before that when someone has a bad experience with a product or service they will tell 10 more people about it. Bad news travels fast. People or competing businesses could be posting negative material online about you or your business and if things go unchecked, this can do some serious damage to your reputation.
Originally an aspect of the work of PR companies, reputation management is now an issue that affects many businesses and individuals online.
If you or your brand’s image, good name or good standing is being affected by negative material being posted online, you have to find a way of weakening the negative impact with an excess of positive material, 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 discover 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 your name or your business 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 website or person directly, etc.
Companies all over the world are ignoring opportunities to attract new customers and retain existing ones because they are not monitoring their online reputations effectively.
Monitoring what is being said online extends beyond global brands, celebrities, movie stars, famous musicians, and security-conscious departments. It’s also important to be able to monitor the online reputation of an average individual. For example, consider the scenarios below:
- 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 a lot of good, positive things published online either to support your job application.
Even if you are just starting out, it’s good to create a “set and forget” alert system, so that if anything about you does come up online later, you can act proactively and deal with things in a timely manner.
Are you effectively managing your digital reputation?
We’ve written an article about a tool for WordPress users that lets you legally and ethically manage your customer feedback. More information: Power Online Reviews – Customer Reviews Management Plugin For WordPress
Online Trend Monitoring
Regardless of what niche or industry you are in, there are always new things happening. New products, new services and new apps get released, events get scheduled and announced online, influential people get mentioned in the news, companies release useful information, new videos are published containing fantastic tips or ideas, an outdated fact gets updated, something goes viral on YouTube, 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 can provide you with an endless source of new content (how many news sites 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 an authoritative 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 information that others will write about and post in their content.
This is the end of Section 1
In part two we explore WordPress social media tracking and useful tools. To continue reading this article, click here: Social Media Measurement Resources That Can Help Grow Your Business Online – Part Two
"This is AMAZING! I had learnt about how to use WordPress previously, but this covers absolutely everything and more!! Incredible value! Thank you!" - Monique, Warrior Forum