The days of passively talking “at” audiences online are well and truly over. To achieve success in today’s connected global economy, you need to build and nurture a community around your brand, products, and company, based around actively ”listening” to their feedback.
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 news around your products or services.
Tracking social media activity allows you to find insights into your brand’s overall visibility on social media, be alerted to impending crises, measure the impact of your marketing campaigns, identify market opportunities, and spy on your competitors. It can also provide valuable data about emerging trends and what clients and consumers are thinking about specific businesses, products, topics, or brands.
As a tool for business intelligence, the ability to track social media channels like blogs, forums, wikis, micro-blogging platforms, discussion boards, video/photo sharing sites, and user-generated content (UGC) 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 people including online reputation management (ORM) companies, marketing teams, market researchers, sales teams, social engagement and community personnel, and agencies. Typically, many small businesses don’t have the budget to pay a social media monitoring service to continually track their coverage in the and actively monitor their online reputation.
Fortunately a number of providers have made available tools that facilitate the active monitoring of a broad spectrum of social media channels, allowing you to identify what is being said online about your brand so you can respond to conversations and interact with consumers in a timely fashion.
In the article below, we explore a number of social media tracking tools that will help you manage, measure, and analyze your social media marketing initiatives.
WordPress And Social Media Marketing – Social Media Management Tools & Applications
WordPress is not just a powerful, flexible and easy to use content publishing platform used by millions of businesses worldwide, it 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 the benefits of using the WP web content management platform please see other posts we have published on this site.
With a WordPress site and some of the tools listed in this article, you will be able to market your business effectively on social media and take advantage of new social marketing opportunities.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why WordPress is an ideal platform for marketing your business on social media.
Promote Your Products And Services To The Right Audience On Your Social 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, YouTube and many others.
For example, there are plugins that can add social sharing buttons, forums, add images from Instagram, Twitter cards, Facebook feeds, testimonials, surveys, polls … even optimize your content for various social networks.
The WordPress content management system (CMS) is not only great for social media as a content publishing tool, it can also be completely transformed into a full-featured social network, using WordPress plugins like BuddyPress, WPSymposium, and others.
(Run your own social networking site with BuddyPress plugin for WordPress)
BuddyPress lets you add a suite of social networking components to your website, such as:
- Extended Member Profiles
- Activity Streams
- Private Messaging
- Extensible User Groups
- Friend Connections
- Online 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 boasts a thriving community of plugin developers who regularly contribute new open source plugins that greatly extend the platform.
(WP Symposium WordPress social networking plugin)
WP Symposium provides members with a strong support community and assistance for members who need professional help. Social features of the plugin include:
- Activity Wall
- Private Messaging
- Notification Bar
- Member Directory
- Photo Galleries
- RSS Feeds
WPSymposium lets you work with the theme you have. You can add social features to 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 most of your social marketing strategy from WordPress, you can. WordPress not only lets you publish content on your own domain, it also offers a number of great plugins that encourage users to share your web content on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. See the article we’ve written about WordPress social media sharing plugins and our comprehensive article series on how to automate your web content syndication on various social channels using WordPress.
Social Media – Great For Market Research
Using social tools allows you to listen to what consumers want, identify new trends and opportunities and stay ahead of many 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, many applications and tools are available that let you run surveys online. Many tools can be integrated with WordPress.
Build Your Business Brand And Reputation
Building and strengthening your brand and reputation, showcasing your special talents, or establishing your expertise online requires commitment and a robust social marketing strategy.
You are trying to engage with real people online, 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 and how you respond to users online is very important. Everyday we hear horror stories of brands that handle a situation or customer complaint poorly and end up paying a heavy price when the online community finds out about it.
Although social media can make it easier for others to see you as an authority in your niche, it can also take up a lot of your time.
An expertly configured WordPress-driven blog lets you build your expertise online, share great information with your clients and customers, and drive new visitors to your business.
(An expertly configured WordPress-driven website lets you automate your content syndication on social media.)
Know What Your Competition Is Doing
Being able to monitor social media conversations can help you discover and even be inspired by the success strategies of experts and influencers in your niche.
Explore Networking Opportunities And Joint Ventures, Find Affiliates, Recruit Talented Staff, etc.
Recruitment companies research 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. Connecting with others through social channels can grow your revenue, get your name out there, and lead to potentially lucrative new ventures.
What About “Going Viral”?
Most businesses would love to see their content or marketing campaigns go viral. “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 marketing campaign is no guarantee of viral success. Many ridiculous memes have succeeded virally while big-budget and well-funded campaigns have failed.
In many cases, the best you can do is know your audience well, and provide content that users in your audience will find so useful, compelling, informative or even funny, that they will be naturally motivated to share with others.
Some of the tools listed in Part Two of this article could help your content go viral, or at least help you create relatively inexpensive marketing campaigns.
We have created an email training course that shows you how to create meaningful and engaging content. In this free course we also discuss ways to create content that has 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)
Social media monitoring can generally be divided into two main groups:
- Online Reputation Management (ORM)
- Online Trend Monitoring
Managing Your Digital Reputation
You have probably heard about online reputation management. 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 high profile and even general individuals and brands to track what others are saying about them online – especially negative comments, reviews, etc.. No doubt you’ve heard it said before that when someone has a bad experience with a product or service they tell 10 other people about it. People or competitors 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 services of PR firms, reputation management is an issue that now affects many companies and individuals online.
If you or your image, name or good standing is being affected by negative material being posted online, you have to find a way of defeating the negative effects with 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 can help you. If you Google yourself or your business/brand name and find that a competitor has published fake reviews or customer complaints designed to discredit your business, you can then address the issue, e.g. post a response, contact the website or person directly, etc.
Many businesses are currently missing out on opportunities to create happier customers and grow their business because they are not monitoring their online reputations.
Monitoring conversations and content on social media extends beyond multinational corporations, celebrities, movie stars, famous musicians, and security-conscious agencies. It’s also important to be able to monitor the reputation of an average individual. Consider the situations below:
- A former spouse in the middle of an acrimonious 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 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.
Do you know what users are saying about your business online?
We’ve written an article about a simple yet effective WordPress plugin that can help you avoid the escalation of negative reviews about your business, products or services through effective customer review management. More information: Power Online Reviews – Easy Client Feedback Management Plugin For WordPress
Online Trend Monitoring
Regardless of which niche or industry you operate your business 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 release useful research data, new presentations are published containing fantastic tips or ideas, an outdated fact gets updated and becomes relevant again, something becomes the next viral phenomenon on Facebook, 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 (how many news media broadcasters 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 could 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 other people will write about and mention in their content.
This is the end of Part One
In part 2 we explore media tracking tools for business owners. To continue reading this article, click here: WordPress And Social Media : Useful Tools For Monitoring Social Performance – 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