The days of passively talking “at” your audience online are well and truly over. It’s no longer enough to just put up a web page with static information. To succeed in today’s highly connected global economy, you need to build and nurture a social community around your company, brand, and products, based around ”listening” to their needs and feedback.
Social channels create a direct line of communication between your brand and your audience and give you immediate access to the latest buzz about your products or services.
Social media monitoring allows you to gain insights into your brand’s overall visibility on social media, measure the impact of your marketing campaigns, avert crises, identify potential opportunities for engagement, and spy on the competition. It can also provide vital data about emerging trends and what clients and consumers think about specific products, topics, businesses, or brands.
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 a cross-section of people including PR companies, market researchers, marketing teams, agencies, social engagement and community personnel, and professional sales reps. Typically, smaller businesses do not can’t afford to pay media monitoring professionals to track their coverage in the and actively monitor their online reputation.
Fortunately various service providers have developed affordable tools that facilitate the active monitoring of a variety of social media channels, enabling companies to identify consumer behavior around their products or brands so they can respond proactively to conversations and interact with consumers in a timely manner.
In this article, we explore a number of social media tracking tools and technologies that you may want to check out.
- WordPress And Social Media Marketing
- Promote Your Products And Services To The Right Audience On Your Social Media Networks With WordPress
- Share Your Content Across Many Channels
- Conduct Market Research
- Build Your Brand And Reputation
- Study The Influencers
- Explore Joint Venture Opportunities, Find Affiliates, Recruit Talented Staff, etc.
- “Going Viral” Online Faster
- Social Media Monitoring – Not Just For Global Businesses
WordPress And Social Media Marketing
WordPress is not just a powerful, flexible and easy to use CMS platform used by millions of businesses worldwide, WordPress also integrates fully with many social media applications, allowing you to easily grow your online presence in the social realm.
To learn more about using the WordPress content management platform please click on links to visit other posts we have published on this site.
With a WordPress site and some of the tools listed in Part Two of this article, 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 is an ideal platform for marketing your business on social media.
Promote Your Products And Services To The Right Audience 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, YouTube 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 networkign sites.
WordPress is not only ideal for social media as a content publishing and marketing tool, it can also be transformed into a full-featured social network site, using plugins like BuddyPress, WPSymposium, and others.
(Set up your own social networking site 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:
- Activity Streams
- Private Messaging
- Extensible User Groups
- Friend Connections
- Online Forums
- Many Add-On Features
BuddyPress is known as “social networking in a box.” You can turn features on and off to suit your needs and the plugin has a thriving community of plugin developers who contribute new plugins that greatly extend the application.
(WP Symposium Pro WordPress social network plugin)
WP Symposium provides a strong support community and assistance for users who require professional help. Social features of the plugin include:
- Activity Wall
- Private Mail
- Notification Bar
- 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.
With most social media tools, syndicating your 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 media campaigns from one central location, saving you a considerable amount of time and money.
If you want to drive 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 easily share your content on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, 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 automate your content syndication on social media using WordPress.
Conduct Market Research
Use social media tools and applications to listen to what your audience wants, identify trends and new business 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 apps are available that let you run surveys online and help you create customer-driven sales funnels. Many applications can be easily integrated with WordPress.
Build Your Brand And Reputation
Building your brand and online reputation, showcasing your special talents, or establishing your authority online requires commitment 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 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 stories of brands that handle a situation very poorly and end up being the subject of much scorn and derision as soon as their response or behavior gets circulated online.
Social media lets you be seen and known on many different channels. This can make it easier for others to see you as a credible authority in your niche, industry, or area of expertise, but it can also be extremely demanding on your time.
An expertly configured WordPress blog is an ideal platform for building your online reputation or brand. It helps you establish your authority online, showcase your talents, share great information with your customers and clients, and drive visitors to your business.
(You can automatically syndicate your web content on social networks using an expertly configured WordPress website.)
Study The Influencers
Being able to listen in to social media conversations can help you reverse engineer what experts and leaders in your niche are doing.
Explore Joint Venture Opportunities, 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 media can grow your revenue, get your business seen, and lead to potentially lucrative new ventures.
“Going Viral” Online Faster
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 completely outside your control. Throwing loads of money at a advertising is no guarantee of viral success. Many ridiculous memes have achieved stratospheric viral success while big-budget and well-funded campaigns have failed to take off.
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, informative 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 create relatively inexpensive marketing campaigns.
We have created a free email training course that will show you how to create meaningful and compelling content. In this free course we also discuss 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 Businesses
(Social Media Monitoring – Not Just For Global Businesses)
Social media monitoring activities can be divided into two main groups:
- Online Reputation Management
- Tracking Online Trends
Managing Your Online Reputation
You have probably heard the term 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 high profile and even general 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 tell 10 other people about it. Real or imagined, bad news travels fast. People or competing companies could be posting negative stuff online about you or your business and if this goes unchecked, this can seriously damage your reputation.
Originally an aspect of the services of public relations firms, reputation management is an issue that now affects many businesses 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 effects with positive material, or restoring consumer trust and confidence.
Before you can do anything, 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 your name or your business/brand and a negative comment or bad review comes up, you can then do something about it, e.g. post a response, contact the person directly, etc.
Companies are currently ignoring opportunities to attract new customers and grow their business because they are not monitoring their digital reputations effectively.
Actively monitoring conversations and interactions on social media extends beyond worldwide brands, celebrities, movie stars, famous musicians, and security-related agencies. There’s also the reputation of an average individual. Consider the following scenarios:
- 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, it’s good to create a “set and forget” social media 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.
How good is your reputation online?
We’ve written an article about a simple plugin for WordPress users that can help to avoid the escalation of problem reviews about your business through effective customer review management. For more information, go here: Power Online Reviews – Easy Client Reviews Management For WordPress
Online Trend Monitoring
Regardless of what 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 research data, new presentations are published containing fantastic tips or ideas, something outdated gets updated and becomes relevant again, something becomes the next viral phenomenon 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 can provide 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. 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 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 post in their content.
This is the end of Section 1
In part two we explore WordPress social media monitoring tools. To continue reading this article, click here: WordPress Tools For Media Monitoring – Part Two
"This is an awesome training series. I have a pretty good understanding of WordPress already, but this is helping me to move somewhere from intermediate to advanced user!" - Kim Lednum
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