The days of talking “at” your audience online are well and truly over. To achieve success in today’s interconnected world, you need to build an engaged social community around your company, services, and brand, based around “listening”.
Social channels create a direct line of communication between your company and your target audience and give anyone with an Internet connection direct access to the latest information around your services or products.
Social media monitoring allows you to gain insights into what people are saying about your brand, company, or products on social media, take preventative measures if you detect negative comments or feedback by disgruntled customers, measure the impact of your marketing campaigns, identify potential opportunities for engagement, and spy on your competitors. Additionally, monitoring social media can also provide vital information about emerging trends and what consumers and clients are thinking about specific products, businesses, topics, or brands.
As a tool for business intelligence, social media monitoring 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 marketing teams, market researchers, digital reputation specialists, social marketing agencies, sales teams, and social engagement and community staff. Typically, many small businesses don’t can’t afford to pay social media monitoring professionals to track their coverage in the media.
Fortunately various technology companies have developed affordable tools to facilitate the active monitoring of a variety of social media channels, allowing companies to identify consumer behavior around their brands or products so they can respond proactively to conversations and interact with online users in a timely fashion.
In this article, we explore a number of social media monitoring tools that will help you manage, measure, and analyze your social media marketing campaigns.
Table of Contents
- Why Is WordPress An Ideal Platform For Social Media?
- Pitch Your Products And Services To An Audience Of Buyers On Your Social Networks With WordPress
- Share Your Content Across Many Social Channels
- Conduct Market Research
- Strengthen Your Credibility And Brand
- Know What Your Competition Is Doing
- Explore Joint Venture Opportunities, Find Affiliates, Recruit Talented Staff, etc.
- Could Your Web Content Be The Next Online Viral “Hit”?
- Social Media Monitoring – Not Just For Big Brands
Why Is WordPress An Ideal Platform For Social Media?
WordPress is not just a powerful, scalable and easy to use content publishing platform used by millions of businesses worldwide, WordPress also integrates fully with many social media applications, making it an ideal too for growing your online presence in the social realm.
To learn more about using WordPress for a business website or blog please see other posts we have published on this site.
Using some of the tools listed here and a WordPress site, you will be able to explore full range of benefits offered by social media marketing.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why WordPress makes an ideal platform for marketing your business on social media.
Pitch Your Products And Services To An Audience Of Buyers 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 photos from Instagram, Twitter feeds, Facebook feeds, testimonials, surveys, polls … even optimize your content for various 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-featured social network, using plugins like BuddyPress, WPSymposium, and others.
(Set up your own social networking website with BuddyPress WordPress plugin)
BuddyPress lets you add a suite of social networking components to your website, such as:
- Extended Member Profiles
- Activity Streams
- Private Messages
- User Groups
- Friend Connections
- Discussion 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 boasts an active community of plugin developers who contribute new plugins that greatly extend the application.
(WPSymposium Pro WordPress social network plugin)
WPSymposium provides a strong support community and assistance for members who require professional help. Social features of the plugin include:
- Activity Wall
- Private Mail
- Photo Galleries
- RSS Feeds
WPSymposium lets you work with the theme you have. You can add social features to your posts and pages using shortcodes.
With most social media tools, syndicating your content has never been easier. There are tools that let you compose, schedule and broadcast your content over many social channels simultaneously and manage your social marketing campaigns from one central location, saving you considerable time and money.
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 has a number of 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 content syndication across social channels with WordPress.
Conduct Market Research
Using social media measuring tools and applications allows you to listen to what consumers want, identify new trends and 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 accounts.
Additionally, many apps and tools are available that let you conduct surveys and polls online and help you create consumer-driven sales campaigns. Many applications can be easily integrated with WordPress.
Strengthen Your Credibility And Brand
Building your brand and reputation, showcasing your special talents, or establishing your authority online requires commitment, patience and a robust 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 to gain 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 online is very important, and can make or break your reputation online. Everyday we hear horror stories of brands that handle a situation very poorly and end up suffering heavy losses when the online community gets hold of the news.
Although social media provides many new channels for gaining wider exposure online, it can also be extremely demanding on your time.
An expertly configured WordPress blog is an ideal platform for building your reputation or brand online. It helps you establish your authority online, showcase your talents, share valuable information with your customers and clients, and drive more visitors to your business.
(Use an expertly configured WordPress website to automatically syndicate your web content across social networks.)
Know What Your Competition Is Doing
Being able to listen in to social conversations can help you observe and and perhaps also be inspired by what thought leaders and influencers in your niche are doing.
Explore Joint Venture Opportunities, Find Affiliates, Recruit Talented Staff, etc.
It’s no secret that recruitment companies spend a lot of time nowadays researching social media and studying the 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 business seen, and lead to new lucrative ventures.
Could Your Web Content Be The Next Online Viral “Hit”?
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 you cannot control. Throwing loads of dollars at a clever campaign is no guarantee of viral success. Many ridiculous memes have become internet viral hits while large brands have failed dismally.
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, engaging, 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 can 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 free course we also explore many 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 Big Brands
(Social Media Monitoring – Useful For All Businesses, Big And Small)
In general, social media monitoring can be divided into two main groups:
- Online Reputation Management
- Tracking Online Trends
Online Reputation Management (ORM)
You have probably heard the term online reputation management. 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 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 will tell 10 more people about it. Bad news travels fast. People or competing businesses could be posting negative stuff online about you or your brand and if this goes unchecked, this can seriously damage 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 brand’s image, name or reputation is being affected by negative material being posted online, you have to find a way of reducing the negative impact with an excess of positive material, or restoring consumer trust and confidence.
Before you can do this, 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 and find that a competitor has published fake reviews or customer complaints designed to discredit your business, you can then do something about it, e.g. post a response, contact the person directly, etc.
Companies everywhere are ignoring opportunities to attract new customers and grow their business because they are still ignoring their digital reputations.
Monitoring what is being said online extends beyond worldwide brands, celebrities, movie stars, famous musicians, and security-related agencies. There’s also the reputation of an average individual. Consider the scenarios below:
- A former spouse in the middle of a bitter divorce or child custody proceedings 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, it’s good to create a “set and forget” alert system, so that if anything about you does come up online later, you can act proactively and respond in a timely manner.
Managing online reputation should not be avoided if you want your business to grow.
We’ve written an article about a simple tool for WordPress users that can help you avoid the escalation of problem reviews about your business, products or services through effective user review management. More information: Power Online Reviews – WordPress Plugin For Managing Client Feedback
Online Trend Monitoring
Regardless of which niche or industry you operate your business in, there are always new and exciting things happening. New products, new services and new apps get released, events get scheduled and promoted, influential people say something controversial that gets mentioned in the news, companies release useful research data, new presentations are published containing fantastic tips or ideas, something outdated gets updated, something goes viral 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 (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 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 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 other people will write about and mention in their content.
This is the end of Part One
In part 2 we explore social media measurement tools for WordPress users. To read the rest of this article, click on this link: Media Tracking Resources For WordPress Users – Part 2
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