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 business success in today’s highly connected global economy, you need to build, nurture and engage with a social community around your company, brand, and products and “listen”.
Social channels create a direct line of communication between your company and consumers and give you immediate access to the latest news about your products or services.
Social media monitoring allows you to find insights into what people are saying about your services, brand, or company on social media, identify new market opportunities, spy on your competitors, measure the impact of campaigns, and avert crises. Additionally, monitoring social media can also provide you with vital data about emerging trends and what consumers and clients think about specific topics, brands, businesses, or products.
As a tool for business intelligence, the ability to track social activity on social media channels like blogs, internet forums, social networking platforms, micro-blogging platforms, discussion groups, 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 various groups that include market researchers, online reputation management companies, marketing teams, social engagement and community staff, sales teams, and social media marketing agencies. Typically, small businesses don’t have the budget to pay media monitoring professionals to continually track their coverage in the and actively monitor their online reputation.
Fortunately different service providers have created a range of affordable and even free tools that facilitate the monitoring of a variety of social media channels, enabling companies to identify and even predict what consumers are saying about their brands so they can 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 will help you manage, measure, and analyze your social media marketing campaigns.
- Why WordPress Is An Ideal Platform For Social Media Marketing
- Pitch Your Products And Services To An Audience Of Buyers On Social Media With WordPress
- Share Your Content Across Multiple Social Channels
- Market Research
- Build Your Reputation And Brand And Showcase Your Talent
- Know What Your Competition Is Doing
- Explore Joint Venture Opportunities, Find Affiliates, Recruit Talented Staff, etc.
- “Going Viral” Faster
- Social Media Monitoring – Not Just For Big Businesses
Why WordPress Is An Ideal Platform For Social Media Marketing
WordPress is not just a powerful, flexible and very easy to use CMS platform used by millions of businesses worldwide, it also integrates fully with many social media applications, making it an ideal application for growing your online presence in the social realm.
To learn more about using WordPress please see other posts we have published on this site.
Using some of the tools listed in the next section of this article and a WordPress site, 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 makes an ideal platform to market your business on social media.
Pitch Your Products And Services To An Audience Of Buyers On Social Media 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, 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 social networks.
The WordPress content management system (CMS) is not only ideal for social media as a content publishing and marketing tool, it can also be transformed into a full-blown social network, using plugins like BuddyPress, WPSymposium, and others.
(Run your own social networking website with BuddyPress plugin for WordPress)
BuddyPress is a free WordPress plugin that lets you add a suite of social networking components to your website, such as:
- Activity Streams
- Private Messages
- 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 has a thriving community of plugin developers who contribute new plugins that greatly extend the application.
(WP Symposium WordPress social network plugin)
WPSymposium provides members with a strong support community and assistance for members who require professional help. Social features of the plugin include:
- Activity Wall
- Private Messaging
- Notification Bar
- Online Forum
- Photo Galleries
- RSS Feeds
WPSymposium lets you work with the theme you have. You can add social features to pages and posts using shortcodes.
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 run your social marketing strategy from WordPress, you can. WordPress not only makes it easy to publish content on your own domain, it also offers a number of plugins that encourage users to easily share your content on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc. For more information, see the article we’ve written about WordPress social media sharing plugins and our comprehensive article series on how to automate web content syndication on various social networks using WordPress.
Social tools and applications allow you to listen to what consumers want, identify trends and new business 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 applications that let you conduct surveys and polls online and help you create customer-driven sales campaigns. Many applications can be integrated with WordPress.
Build Your Reputation And Brand And Showcase Your Talent
Strengthening your business brand and reputation, showcasing your talent, or establishing your expertise online requires commitment, patience and a solid social marketing strategy.
You are engaging with real people, and so your interactions must be genuine and meaningful. 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 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 stories of brands that handle a situation or customer complaint poorly and end up being the subject of much scorn and derision when their response or behavior gets exposed online.
Social media lets you be seen and known on many different channels. This can make it easier for others to see you as an authority in your niche, industry, or area of expertise, but it can also be very demanding on your time.
An expertly configured WordPress-driven blog is an ideal platform for building your reputation or brand online. It can help establish your your expertise online, showcase your talents, share valuable information with your clients and customers, and drive more visitors to your business.
(An expertly configured WordPress-driven site lets you automatically syndicate your web content across various social networks.)
Know What Your Competition Is Doing
Being able to monitor social media conversations can help you observe and discover the success strategies of experts, authorities, and influencers in your niche.
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 increase your revenue, get your name out there, and lead to new lucrative ventures.
“Going Viral” Faster
Most businesses would love to have a viral hit. “Going viral,” however, is a difficult thing to achieve, as it relies on many factors that cannot be controlled. Throwing loads of dollars at a advertising is no guarantee of viral success. Many ridiculous memes have become internet viral hits 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 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 2 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 useful and engaging content for your readers. In this 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 Big Businesses
(Social Media Monitoring – Not Just For Global Brands)
Social media monitoring can generally be divided into two main groups:
- Online Reputation Management (ORM)
- Online Trend Monitoring
Managing Your Online Reputation
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 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 will tell 10 other people about it. Real or imagined, bad news travels fast. People or competitors could be posting negative material online about you or your brand and if this goes 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 image, name or good standing is being affected by negative material being posted online, you have to find a way of defeating the negative impact 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 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/brand name 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.
Many businesses are missing out on opportunities to attract new customers and grow their business because they are not monitoring their online reputations.
Actively monitoring conversations and new conversations on social media extends beyond large corporations, celebrities, and security-conscious departments. Being able to monitor the online reputation of of average individuals is also very important. For example, consider the scenarios below:
- A former spouse in the middle of a bitter 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 enough good, positive things published online either to support the things you have listed in your job application.
Even if you are just starting out, you can still create a “set and forget” alert system, so that if any conversations about you do come up online, you can act proactively and respond in a timely manner.
Do you have an effective digital reputation management strategy?
We’ve written an article about a simple WordPress plugin that can help to avoid the escalation of negative reviews about your business, products or services through effective user review management. See this page to learn more: Power Online Reviews – Client Reviews 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 announced online, influential people get mentioned in the news, companies release useful information, new videos are published containing fantastic tips or ideas, something outdated gets updated, something becomes the next viral phenomenon 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 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. Posting regular content with added 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 may end up referring you to others on social media, and who knows … your site or brand could even end up becoming a topical, or newsworthy source of information that other online users will write about and mention in their content.
This is the end of Part 1
In part two we explore essential social media measurement resources for WordPress. To read more, click here: Media Monitoring Tools For Business Owners – Part 2
"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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