The days of talking “at” your audience online are well and truly over. Putting up a static web page about your business is not enough. To achieve success in today’s connected global and digital economy, requires actively “listening” to your audience’s needs and feedback, and building an engaged community around your brand, company, and services.
Social media channels create a direct line of communication between your brand and consumers and give anyone with an Internet connection direct access to the latest news around your services or products.
Social media monitoring allows you to find insights into what people are saying about your services, company, or brand on social media, measure the impact of campaigns, spy on the competition, take preventative measures if you detect negative comments or feedback by dissatisfied customers, and identify market opportunities. Additionally, social media monitoring can also provide you with valuable data about emerging trends and what consumers and clients think about specific brands, businesses, products, or topics.
As a business intelligence tool, the ability to monitor activity, trends, and volume and sentiments of social conversations on social media is invaluable. Using social media monitoring as a form of business intelligence, however, is a complex undertaking, typically carried out by various people including online reputation management (ORM) companies, market researchers, marketing professionals, social marketing agencies, social engagement and community staff, and sales teams. Typically, smaller businesses do not have the budget to pay a social media monitoring service to continually track their coverage in the media.
Fortunately many service providers have developed tools to facilitate the active monitoring of a wide spectrum of social media channels, enabling companies to identify and even predict consumer behavior around their products or brands so they can respond to conversations and interact with online users in a timely manner.
In the article below, we explore several social media tracking tools and technologies that will help you manage, measure, and analyze your social media marketing campaigns.
What Makes WordPress An Ideal Platform For Social Media Marketing?
WordPress is not just a powerful, scalable and easy to manage CMS platform used by millions of businesses worldwide, WordPress also integrates fully with many social media applications, making it an ideal platform for growing your online presence in the social realm.
For an overview of why the WordPress platform is the vehicle that can help your business grow and succeed online, go here: How To Grow Your Business With WordPress
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 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.
Pitch Your Products And Services To The Right Audience On Social Media With WordPress
WordPress includes 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 photos from Instagram, Twitter cards, 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 marketing tool, it can also be completely transformed into a full-blown social networking, using plugins like BuddyPress, WPSymposium, and others.
(Set up your own social network with BuddyPress plugin for WordPress)
Use the BuddyPress plugin to set up and manage an online social networking community on your website, with member profiles, user groups, messaging, activity streams, and more.
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 an active community of plugin developers who regularly contribute new open source plugins that greatly extend the application.
(WP Symposium Pro WordPress social network plugin)
WPSymposium 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
- Member Directory
- Online Forum
- 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.
Syndicate Your Content Across Multiple Channels
With most social media platforms, syndicating content is very easy. There are tools that let you compose, schedule and broadcast your content over many social channels simultaneously and manage your social media marketing campaigns from one central location, saving you considerable time and money.
If you want to manage most of your social marketing from WordPress, you can. WordPress not only makes it easy to publish content on your own domain, it also has a number of great plugins that allow users to easily share your content online on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc. See 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 various social media networks using WordPress.
Social media tracking tools and services allow you to listen to what your target audience wants, identify new opportunities and stay ahead of 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 your social network pages.
Also, many applications are available that let you run surveys online. Many of these tools can be integrated with WordPress.
Build Your Reputation And Brand Online
Strengthening your business brand and online reputation, showcasing your talent, 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 have been given 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, and can make or break your reputation online. Everyday we hear horror stories of brands that handle a situation poorly and end up paying a heavy price when the online community finds out about it.
Social media lets you be seen and known everywhere. 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 site helps you establish your your expertise online, share great information with your customers and clients, and drive more visitors to your business.
(You can automatically syndicate your web content across social media using an expertly configured WordPress-driven blog.)
Study Influencers In Your Niche
Being able to listen to social media conversations allows you to reverse engineer the success strategies of authorities, experts, and thought leaders in your niche.
Explore Networking Opportunities And Joint Ventures, 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. Using social media can grow your revenue, get your name out there, and lead to new lucrative ventures.
Could Your Content “Go Viral”?
Many 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 you cannot control. Throwing loads of dollars at a marketing campaign is no guarantee of viral success. Many ridiculous memes have become internet viral hits while big-budget brands and corporations have failed dismally.
In many cases, the best you can do is know your audience well, and provide content that users will find so useful, engaging, entertaining 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 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 compelling content for your readers. In this course we also discuss ways to create content with 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 Large Brands
(Social Media Monitoring – Not Just For Large Brands)
In general, social media monitoring can be divided into two main groups:
- Online Reputation Management (ORM)
- Online Trend Monitoring
Managing Your Online Reputation
You have probably heard the term 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 high profile and even general 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 tell 10 other people about it. Real or imagined, bad news travels fast. People or competing businesses could be posting negative things online about you or your brand and if things go unchecked, this can do some serious damage to your reputation.
Originally an aspect of the work of PR companies, reputation management is an issue that now affects many companies and individuals online.
If you or your image, good name or reputation is being affected by negative material being posted online, you have to find a way of weakening the negative effects with an excess of 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 spot a negative comment or review, you can then address the issue, e.g. post a response, contact the website or person directly, etc.
Companies all around the world are ignoring opportunities to create happier customers and retain existing ones because they are not monitoring their digital reputations.
Monitoring conversations and content on social media extends beyond large corporations, celebrities, and security departments. There’s also the online reputation of average individuals. Consider these situations:
- A former spouse in the middle of an acrimonious divorce or child custody battle 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 support your job application.
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 the situation in a timely manner.
Do you have an effective online reputation management strategy in place for your business?
We’ve written an article about a simple plugin for WordPress users that lets you legally and ethically manage customer reviews. See this page to learn more: Power Online Reviews – Client Reviews Management Plugin For WordPress Users
Online Trend Monitoring
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 announced online, influential people get mentioned in the news, companies publish useful information, new videos are published containing fantastic tips or ideas, an outdated fact gets updated, something becomes the next viral phenomenon on social media, 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 (how many news sites now incorporate a segment on what’s trending on social media?)
Social media content is topical content. Implementing a regular schedule of posting 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 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 Part 1
In part two we explore WordPress social media measurement tools. To continue reading this article, click here: 29 Social Media Tracking Tools That Can Help Grow Your Business Online – Part 2
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