The days of talking “at” your audience online are well and truly over. To succeed in today’s connected world, you need to build and nurture a social community around your brand, company, and services, based around actively ”listening” to what they have to say.
Social channels create a direct line of communication between your brand and your target audience and give anyone with an Internet connection immediate access to the latest information about your services or products.
Tracking social media activity allows you to gain insights into what people are saying about your brand, company, or services on social media, spy on the competition, measure the impact of your marketing campaigns, avert impending crises, and identify opportunities for engagement. It can also provide you with vital information about emerging trends and what clients and consumers are thinking about specific products, businesses, brands, or topics.
As a business intelligence tool, being able to track volume and sentiments of social conversations, trends, and social activity on social media 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 groups that include digital reputation management companies, marketing teams, market researchers, agencies, professional sales reps, and social engagement and community staff. Typically, many small businesses do not can’t afford to pay a social media monitoring service to track their coverage in the and actively monitor their online reputation.
Fortunately a number of technology providers have developed affordable tools and solutions to facilitate the active tracking of a broad spectrum of social media channels, enabling companies to track consumer behavior around their brands or products allowing them to react to conversations and interact with consumers in a timely fashion.
In this article, we explore several social media measurement tools and technologies that are worth knowing about.
Why Is WordPress An Ideal Platform For Social Media Marketing?
WordPress is not just a powerful, flexible and very easy to use content management 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 for a business website please click on links to visit our related posts section.
With a WordPress site and some of the tools listed here, 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 makes an ideal platform to market your business on social media.
Pitch Your Services And Products To The Right Audience On Your Social Media Networks 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 networkign sites.
The WordPress CMS platform is not only great for social media as a content publishing and marketing tool, it can also be completely transformed into a full-featured social network site, using plugins like BuddyPress, WPSymposium, and others.
(Set up your own social network 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 Messages
- User Groups
- Friendship 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 an active community of plugin developers who regularly contribute new plugins that greatly extend the platform.
(WP Symposium WordPress social network plugin)
WP Symposium Pro provides a strong support community and assistance for users who need professional help. Social features of the plugin include:
- Activity Wall
- Private Messages
- Member Directory
- Online Forum
- Photo Galleries
- RSS Feeds
WPSymposium lets you work with the theme you have. You can add features to your posts and pages using shortcodes.
Share Your Content Across Many Social Channels
With most social media platforms, syndicating content has never been easier. There are tools and services that let you compose, schedule and broadcast your content over many social channels and manage your social marketing campaigns from one central location, saving you time and money.
If you want to manage most of your social marketing strategy from WordPress, you can. WordPress not only makes it easy to publish content on your own domain, it also makes available a number of great plugins that allow your site visitors to share your content online 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 automatically distribute your web content on social media channels with WordPress.
Social Media – Great For Researching Your Market
Using social media marketing tools and services allows you to discover what consumers want, identify trends and new 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 those social networks.
Also, many applications are available that let you conduct surveys and polls of customers online. Many of these apps will easily integrate with WordPress.
Build Your Business Reputation And Brand And Showcase Your Talent
Building your business reputation and brand online, showcasing your special talents, or establishing your authority online requires commitment and a solid social marketing strategy.
You are trying to engage with real people online, and so your interactions must be meaningful and authentic. Focus on the needs of 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 online is very important, and can make or break your reputation online. Everyday we hear horror stories of brands that handle a customer situation very poorly and end up paying a heavy price as soon as the online community finds out about it.
Although social media can make it easier for others to see you as a credible authority in your niche, it can also be extremely demanding on your time.
An expertly configured WordPress-driven site 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 clients and customers, and drive visitors to your business.
(Automatically syndicate your web content on social media networks using an expertly configured WordPress website.)
Study Influencers In Your Niche
Being able to listen to social media conversations can help you observe and discover what experts and thought leaders in your niche are doing right.
Explore Networking Opportunities And Joint Ventures, 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. Connecting with others through social channels can increase your revenue, get your brand seen, and lead to new lucrative ventures.
Could Your Web Content Be The Next Online Viral “Hit”?
Many 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 cannot be controlled. Throwing loads of dollars at a clever advertising is no guarantee of viral success. Many ridiculous memes have succeeded virally while big-budget brands and corporations 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 could help your content go viral, or at least help you set up relatively inexpensive marketing campaigns.
We have created an email training course that will show you how to create useful and compelling content. 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 details, go here or subscribe using the form below:
Social Media Monitoring – Not Just For Big Businesses
(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)
- Monitoring Online Trends
Managing Your Online Reputation
You have probably heard of 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 tell 10 more people about it. People or competing companies could be posting negative material online about you or your business and if things go unchecked, this can do some serious damage to your reputation.
Originally an aspect of the work of PR firms, reputation management is an issue that now affects many businesses and individuals online.
If you or your image, name or reputation 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 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 and spot a negative comment or review, you can then address the issue, e.g. post a response, contact the website or person directly, etc.
Many companies are currently ignoring opportunities to create happier customers and retain existing ones because they are not effectively managing their online reputations.
Monitoring what is being said online extends beyond well-known brands, celebrities, movie stars, famous musicians, and security departments. There’s also the reputation of an average individual. For example, consider the following situations:
- 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 support the things you have listed in your job application.
Even if you are just starting out, you can still create an easy “set and forget” alert system, so that if any conversations about you do come up online, you can act proactively and deal with it in a timely manner.
How good is your reputation online?
We’ve written an article about a simple WordPress plugin that allows you to legally and ethically manage customer feedback. More information: Power Online Reviews – Client Reviews Management Plugin For WordPress
Predicting Online Trends
Regardless of what niche or industry you operate in, there are always new things happening. New products, new services and new apps get released, events get scheduled and announced online, influential people say something controversial that gets mentioned in the news, companies release useful research data, new videos are published containing fantastic tips or ideas, something outdated gets updated, something becomes the next viral phenomenon on Twitter, 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 (how many news media outlets 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 additional 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 people will write about and mention in their content.
This is the end of Part 1
In the next section we explore WordPress social media monitoring and tools. To continue reading, click on this link: WordPress Tools: Media Monitoring – Part Two
"I am beyond impressed with what you have put together. I can tell that you put a ton of hard work into building what you have. You have the absolute best content on WordPress I have ever seen!" - Robert T. Jillie