The days of passively talking “at” your audience online are well and truly over. To achieve success in today’s highly connected world, requires actively “listening” to your audience’s needs and feedback, and building an engaged social community around your company, products, and brand.
Social media channels create a direct line of communication between your business and your audience and give you immediate access to the latest news about your products or services.
Tracking social media activity allows you to gain insights into what people are saying about your brand, company, or services on social media, identify market opportunities, spy on your competition, measure the impact of campaigns, and avert crises. Additionally, social media monitoring can also provide you with valuable data about emerging trends and what consumers and clients are thinking about specific businesses, brands, products, or topics.
As a tool for business intelligence, social monitoring is invaluable. Using social media monitoring as a form of business intelligence, however, is a complex undertaking, often carried out by various people including online reputation management companies, market researchers, marketing professionals, agencies, professional sales reps, and social engagement and community staff. Typically, many small businesses do not can’t afford to pay media monitoring professionals to track their coverage in the media.
Fortunately different providers have developed affordable tools to facilitate the monitoring of a variety of social media channels, allowing you to identify and even predict consumer behavior around your brand allowing you to respond to conversations and engage with online users in various social media platforms.
In this article, we explore several social media measurement tools and technologies that you may want to check out.
WordPress And Social Media – An Ideal Marketing Platform
WordPress is not only a powerful, scalable and very easy to use 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.
To learn more about why WordPress is the vehicle that can help your business succeed online, go here: How To Grow Your Business Using A WordPress Blog
Using some of the tools listed here and a WordPress site, 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.
Pitch Your Products And Services To A Wider Audience On Social Media With WordPress
WordPress comes with 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 feeds, Facebook feeds, testimonials, surveys, polls … even optimize your content for various social networks.
The WordPress content management system (CMS) is not only ideal for social media as a content marketing tool, it can also be transformed into a full-blown social network site, using WordPress plugins like BuddyPress, WPSymposium, and others.
(Run your own social network with BuddyPress WordPress plugin)
Run your own online social networking community on your website.
BuddyPress is known 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 contribute new plugins that greatly extend the application.
(WPSymposium WordPress social networking plugin)
WP Symposium Pro provides a strong support community and assistance for members who need professional help. Social features of the plugin include:
- Activity Wall
- Private Messages
- User Directory
- Online Forum
- Photo Galleries
- RSS Feeds
WPSymposium lets you work with the theme you have. You can add social features to your pages and posts using shortcodes.
Syndicate Your Content Across Many Channels
Many social media platforms let you get your information out to a wider audience, leverage multiple social channels simultaneously, build your business presence online and manage all of your social marketing strategy from one central location with with ease.
If you want to manage your social marketing strategy from WordPress, you can. WordPress not only lets you publish content on your own domain, it also has a number of plugins that encourage your site visitors to share your content on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. See the article we’ve written about social media sharing plugins for WordPress and our comprehensive article series on how to automatically distribute content across various social media channels using WordPress.
Conduct Market Research
Using social tools and applications allows you to discover what consumers want, identify new trends and business 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, many apps are available that let you conduct surveys and polls of customers online. Many applications will integrate with WordPress.
Build Your Business Brand And Credibility Online And Showcase Your Talent
Building your reputation and brand online, showcasing your special talents, or establishing your expertise online requires commitment, patience and a robust social marketing strategy.
You are trying to engage with real people, and so your interactions must be authentic and meaningful. 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 and how you respond to comments and discussions online is very important, and can make or break your reputation online. Everyday we hear stories of brands that handle a customer situation poorly and end up being the subject of much scorn and derision as soon as their response or behavior gets circulated online.
Social media provides many new channels for gaining wider exposure online. This can make it easier for others to see you as an authority in your niche, but it can also take up a lot of your time.
An expertly configured WordPress-driven blog helps you establish your authority online, share great information with your clients and customers, and drive new visitors to your business.
(Use an expertly configured WordPress-driven blog to automatically distribute content on various social networks.)
Study Authority Sites In Your Niche
Being able to listen to social media conversations allows you to reverse engineer the success strategies of authorities, experts, and influencers 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 can increase your revenue, get your brand seen, and lead to potentially lucrative new ventures.
What About “Going Viral” Online?
Most businesses would love to have a viral content marketing strategy. “Going viral,” however, is quite difficult to achieve, as it relies on many factors that you cannot control. Throwing loads of money at a clever campaign is no guarantee of viral success. Many ridiculous memes have achieved stratospheric viral success while big-budget brands have failed to take off.
In many cases, the best you can do is know your audience well, 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 a free email training course that shows you how to create useful and engaging content. In this course we also explore ways to create content that has the potential to go viral and help your business grow faster. For more details, 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)
Social media monitoring activities can be divided into two main groups:
- Online Reputation Management (ORM)
- Online Trend Monitoring
Online Reputation Management (ORM)
You have probably heard about online reputation management (ORM). 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 the saying that when someone has a bad experience with a product or service they will tell 10 other people about it. Bad news travels fast. People or competing companies could be posting negative material online about you or your brand 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 an issue that now affects many businesses and individuals online.
If you or your brand’s image, good name or reputation is being affected by negative material being posted online, you have to find a way of diluting the negative effects with positive content, or restoring consumer trust and confidence.
Before you can begin to stop negative things being said about you or your brand from spreading further, 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 can help you. 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 person directly, etc.
Businesses around the world are currently ignoring opportunities to attract new customers and grow their business because they are still ignoring their digital reputations.
Actively monitoring online conversations extends beyond large brands, celebrities, and security-related departments. There’s also the reputation of average individuals. For example, consider the scenarios below:
- A former spouse in the middle of an acrimonious divorce or child custody battle 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 help your case.
Even if you are just starting out, you can still create an easy “set and forget” social media alert system, so that if anything does come up online later, you can act proactively and deal with it in a timely manner.
Are you effectively managing your digital reputation?
We’ve written an article about a simple yet effective tool for WordPress users that can help to avoid the escalation of negative reviews about your services through effective customer review management. For more details, go here: Power Online Reviews – Easy User Reviews Management 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 promoted, influential people get mentioned in the news, companies publish useful information, new videos are published containing fantastic tips or ideas, something outdated gets updated, something goes viral on YouTube, yesterday’s must-have new 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 (have you noticed how all 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 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 content that others will write about and mention in their content.
This is the end of Section 1
In part two we explore WordPress and social media and useful tools for measuring social metrics. To read more, click here: Social Media Measurement Tools For WordPress – Part 2
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