The days of passively talking “at” your audience online are well and truly over. It’s not enough to just put up a web page with static information. To achieve success in today’s highly connected digital economy, you need to build and nurture a community around your products, company, and brand and ”listen” to their needs and feedback.
Social channels create a direct line of communication between your business and your target audience and give anyone with an Internet connection direct access to the latest news around your products or services.
Monitoring social media activity allows you to find insights into what people are saying about your brand, company, or services on social media, identify market opportunities, spy on your competitors, take preventative measures against the spread of negative comments or feedback by dissatisfied customers, and measure the impact of your marketing campaigns. Additionally, monitoring social media can also provide vital information about emerging trends and what consumers and clients think about specific businesses, brands, topics, or products.
As a business intelligence tool, social media signal 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 digital reputation managers, marketing teams, market research, social engagement and community staff, professional sales reps, and social media marketing agencies. Typically, small businesses don’t can’t afford to pay media monitoring professionals to track their coverage in the and actively monitor their online reputation.
Fortunately various providers have created a range of affordable and even free tools to facilitate the monitoring of a variety of social media channels, enabling you to identify consumer behavior around your products or brand allowing you to react to conversations and interact with online users in various social media platforms.
In the article below, we explore several social media tracking tools and technologies that you may want to check out.
- Why WordPress Is An Ideal Platform For Social Media Marketing
- Pitch Your Services And Products To The Right Audience On Social Media With WordPress
- Share Your Content Across Multiple Social Channels
- Social Media – Great For Researching Your Market
- Build Your Reputation And Brand Online
- Spy On Your Competition
- Explore Networking Opportunities And Joint Ventures, Find Affiliates, Recruit Talented Staff, etc.
- Could Your Web Content “Go Viral”?
- Social Media Monitoring – Not Just For Global Brands
Why WordPress Is An Ideal Platform For Social Media Marketing
WordPress is not only a powerful, flexible and really 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 using WordPress please see our related posts section.
Using some of the tools listed in Part Two of this article and a WordPress site, you will be able to explore full range of benefits offered by social media marketing.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why WordPress makes an ideal platform for marketing your business on social media.
Pitch Your Services And Products To The Right 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 images from Instagram, Twitter feeds, Facebook feeds, testimonials, surveys, polls … even optimize your article titles and descriptions for social networks.
The WordPress CMS platform is not only ideal for social media as a content publishing tool, it can also be completely transformed into a full-featured social networking, using plugins like BuddyPress, WPSymposium, and others.
(Set up your own social network with BuddyPress WordPress plugin)
BuddyPress is a free plugin for WordPress that lets you add a suite of social networking components to your website, such as:
- Extended Member Profiles
- Activity Streams
- Private Messaging
- Extensible User Groups
- Friendship 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 contribute new open source plugins that greatly extend the application.
(WP Symposium WordPress social networking plugin)
WP Symposium provides members with a strong support community and assistance for members who require 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.
With most social media platforms, sharing and syndicating content has never been easier. There are tools and services that let you compose, schedule and broadcast your content over multiple social channels and manage your social marketing campaigns from one central location, saving you considerable time and money.
If you want to run your social marketing from WordPress, you can. WordPress not only lets you publish content on your own domain, it also has a number of plugins that allow users to share your content on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc. See the article we’ve written about WordPress social media sharing plugins and our comprehensive article series on how to automatically distribute content on social media networks with WordPress.
Social Media – Great For Researching Your Market
Use social tools and applications to discover what your market wants, identify trends and new opportunities and stay 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 those social networks.
Additionally, there are many apps that let you run surveys online and help you create consumer-driven sales funnels. Many of these apps and tools will easily integrate with WordPress.
Build Your Reputation And Brand Online
Strengthening your business reputation and brand online, showcasing your special talents, or establishing your expertise online requires commitment, patience and a social marketing strategy.
You are trying to engage with real people, and so your interactions must be meaningful and authentic. Focus on your target audience, and listen to their conversations for valuable insights.
Remember, we are born with 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 suffering heavy losses as soon as their response or behavior gets circulated online.
Although social media provides many new channels for gaining wider exposure online, it can also be very demanding on your time.
An expertly configured WordPress site is an ideal platform for building your reputation or brand online. It lets you build your expertise online, showcase your talents, share valuable information with your customers and clients, and drive more visitors to your business.
(An expertly configured WordPress-driven site can automatically syndicate content across various social media channels.)
Spy On Your Competition
Being able to monitor social media conversations can help you observe and even reverse engineer what experts and thought leaders in your niche are doing right.
Explore Networking Opportunities And Joint Ventures, Find Affiliates, Recruit Talented Staff, etc.
It’s no secret that 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 media channels can grow your revenue, get your name out there, and lead to potentially lucrative new ventures.
Could Your Web Content “Go Viral”?
Many 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 you cannot control. Throwing loads of dollars at a clever or cute advertising is no guarantee of viral success. Many ridiculous memes have achieved stratospheric viral success while large brands have failed.
In many cases, the best you can do is study and research your audience, and provide content that users in your audience 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 Part Two of this article can help your content go viral, or at least help you set up relatively inexpensive marketing campaigns.
We provide a free email training course that shows you how to create meaningful and compelling content for your readers. In this course we also explore many 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 – Not Just For Global Brands
(Social Media Monitoring – Useful For All Businesses, Big And Small)
Social media monitoring can generally be divided into two main groups:
- Online Reputation Management
- Online Trend Monitoring
Managing Your Digital Reputation
You have probably heard of 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 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 will tell 10 other people about it. Bad news travels fast. People or competing companies could be posting negative things online about you or your business and if this goes unchecked, this can seriously damage 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 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 stop negative things being said about you 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 yourself or your business/brand and a negative comment or review comes up, you can then address the issue, e.g. post a response, contact the website or person directly, etc.
Companies everywhere are currently ignoring opportunities to attract new customers and grow their business because they are not managing their digital reputations effectively.
Actively monitoring what is being said online extends beyond large corporations, celebrities, movie stars, famous musicians, and security departments. There’s also the reputation of individuals. For example, consider these situations:
- A former spouse in the middle of an acrimonious divorce or child custody dispute is feeling 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” alert system, so that if anything does come up online later, you can act proactively and deal with things in a timely manner.
Do you have a system to manage your online reputation in the digital economy?
We’ve written an article about a simple WordPress plugin that allows you to legally and ethically manage customer reviews. Go here to learn more: Power Online Reviews – WordPress Plugin For Managing User Feedback
Monitoring Online Trends
Regardless of which niche or industry you are in, there are always new and exciting things happening. New products get released, new services get launched, events get scheduled and promoted, influential people get mentioned in the news, companies publish useful information, new presentations are published containing fantastic tips or ideas, an outdated fact gets updated and becomes relevant again, 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 (how many news media channels now incorporate a segment on what’s trending on social media?)
Social media content is topical content. Posting regular 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 could end up referring you to others on social media, and who knows … your website or business could even end up becoming a topical, or newsworthy source of information that other online users will write about and post in their content.
This is the end of Part 1
In the next section we explore social media tools that can help grow your business online. To read the rest of this article, click here: WordPress Social Media Measurement : Resources – Part 2
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