The days of passively talking “at” audiences online are well and truly over. To achieve success in today’s highly connected digital economy, you need to build and engage with a community around your brand, products, and company, based around actively ”listening” to what they have to say.
Social media channels create a direct line of communication between your business and your audience and give anyone with an Internet connection immediate access to the latest buzz about your products or services.
Social media monitoring allows you to gain insights into what people are saying about your brand, company, or products on social media, assess competitor activity and market share, spot opportunities for engagement, avert disasters, and measure the impact of campaigns. Additionally, monitoring social media can also provide you with vital information about emerging trends and what consumers and clients think about specific products, topics, brands, or businesses.
As a business intelligence tool, the ability to monitor social media 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 market researchers, online reputation management (ORM) companies, marketing teams, social engagement and community personnel, professional sales reps, and agencies. Typically, smaller businesses don’t can’t afford to pay media monitoring professionals to continually track their coverage in the and actively monitor their digital reputation.
Fortunately various technology providers have developed a range of tools that facilitate the active tracking of a broad range of social media channels, allowing companies to identify consumer behavior around their products or brands so they can respond to conversations and engage with online users in various social media platforms.
In the article below, we explore several social media tracking tools and technologies that will help you identify new trends and opportunities, track competitor activity, see what online conversations are taking place that affect your business,etc.
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, allowing you to easily grow your online presence in the social realm.
To learn more about why the WordPress platform is the vehicle that can help you achieve your online business goals, go here: Learning WordPress – The Small Business Owner’s Guide
Using some of the tools listed in this article and a WordPress site, 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 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, 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 article titles and descriptions for various social networks.
WordPress is not only great for social media as a content marketing tool, it can also be completely transformed into a full-blown social networking, using WordPress plugins like BuddyPress, WPSymposium, and others.
(Run your own social network with BuddyPress plugin for WordPress)
Use the BuddyPress WordPress plugin to set up your own social community on your WordPress site.
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 contribute new plugins that greatly extend the platform.
(WP Symposium WordPress social network plugin)
WP Symposium provides members with a strong support community and assistance for users who require professional help. Social features of the plugin include:
- Activity Wall
- Private Messages
- Notification Bar
- Photo Galleries
- RSS Feeds
WPSymposium lets you work with the theme you have. You can add social features to your pages and posts using shortcodes.
Share Your Content Across Multiple Social Channels
With most social media platforms, sharing and syndicating content is very easy. There are tools that let you compose, schedule and broadcast your content over multiple social channels simultaneously and manage your social media 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 lets you publish content on your own domain, it also makes available a number of great plugins that encourage your site visitors to easily share your web content on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. See the article we’ve written about social media sharing plugins for WordPress and our comprehensive article series on how to automate your web content syndication on various social channels using WordPress.
Using social media tools and services allows you to discover what your market wants, identify new trends and 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 your social networking sites.
Also, many apps and tools are available that let you conduct surveys and polls of customers online. Many of these tools can be easily integrated with WordPress.
Build Your Reputation And Brand Online And Establish Authority In Your Niche Or Area Of Expertise
Building your business brand and online reputation, showcasing your special talents, or establishing your expertise online requires commitment, dedication and a 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 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 stories of brands that handle a customer situation very poorly and end up paying a heavy price when the online community gets hold of the news.
Social media provides many new channels for gaining wider exposure online. 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 take up a lot of your time.
An expertly configured WordPress site lets you build your expertise online, share great information with your clients and customers, and drive new visitors to your business.
(Use an expertly configured WordPress blog to automatically syndicate your web content across various social channels.)
Spy On Your Competition
Being able to monitor social media conversations allows you to observe and learn what thought leaders and influencers in your niche are doing.
Explore Joint Venture Opportunities, 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 grow your revenue, get your brand seen, and lead to new lucrative ventures.
“Go Viral” Online Faster
Most businesses would love to see their content or marketing campaigns go viral. “Going viral,” however, is quite difficult to achieve, as it relies on many factors that are completely out of your control. Throwing loads of dollars at a clever or cute marketing campaign is no guarantee of viral success. Many ridiculous memes have become internet viral hits 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 will find so useful, compelling, entertaining or “spot-on”, 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 provide an email training course that shows you how to create meaningful and compelling content. In this course we also discuss ways to create content with the potential to go viral and help your business grow faster. For more info, go here or subscribe using the form below:
Social Media Monitoring – Not Just For Large Brands
(Social Media Monitoring – Not Just For Big Businesses)
In general, social media monitoring can be divided into two main groups:
- Online Reputation Management (ORM)
- Online Trend Monitoring
Online Reputation Management
You have probably heard about online reputation management (ORM). 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 many individuals and brands to track what others are saying 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 more people about it. People or competitors could be posting negative things 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 public relations companies, 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 impact with positive content, 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 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 and spot a negative comment or bad review, you can then do something about it, e.g. post a response, contact the person directly, etc.
Many businesses are missing out on opportunities to create happier customers and increase their revenues because they are not managing their online reputations effectively.
Monitoring conversations and posts on social media extends beyond well-known brands, celebrities, and security 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 a bitter 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 enough 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 any conversations about you do come up online, you can act proactively and deal with the situation in a timely manner.
Are you effectively managing your digital reputation?
We’ve written an article about a simple yet effective tool for WordPress users that allows you to legally and ethically manage your customer feedback. Go here to learn more: Power Online Reviews – User Reviews Management Plugin For WordPress Users
Tracking Online Trends
Regardless of which niche or industry you operate in, there are always new and exciting things happening. New products get released, new services get launched, events get scheduled and announced online, influential people get mentioned in the news, companies publish 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 can provide you with an endless source of new content (have you noticed how all 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 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 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 others will write about and post in their content.
This is the end of Section 1
In part two we explore social media monitoring resources that can help grow your business online. To read more, click on this link: WordPress And Social Media : Useful Social Monitoring Tools – Part 2
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