The days of passively talking “at” audiences online are well and truly over. It’s not enough to just put up a web page with static information. To achieve business success in today’s highly connected world, you need to build an engaged social community around your products, brand, and company, based around actively ”listening” to what they have to say.
Social media channels create a direct line of communication between your company and your audience and give anyone with an Internet connection immediate access to the latest information around your products or services.
Social media monitoring allows you to gain insights into your company’s online visibility on social media, identify new market opportunities, spy on your competitors, help you take preventative measures against the spread of negative comments or feedback by disgruntled customers, and measure the impact of campaigns. It can also provide valuable data about emerging trends and what consumers and clients are thinking about specific brands, topics, products, or businesses.
As a business intelligence tool, the ability to track social media channels like blogging, internet forums, news sites, micro-blogging platforms like Twitter, Quora, etc., discussion boards, video/photo sharing websites, and user-generated content (UGC) is invaluable. Using social media monitoring as a form of business intelligence, however, is a complex undertaking, often carried out by various people including market research, marketing teams, online reputation specialists, social engagement and community staff, professional sales reps, and social media marketing agencies. Typically, small businesses don’t can’t afford to pay media monitoring professionals to track their coverage in the media.
Fortunately many service providers have made available tools to facilitate the tracking of a broad range of social media channels, enabling companies to identify and even predict consumer behavior around their products or brands so they can react to conversations and interact with online users in a timely manner.
In the article below, we explore several social media tracking tools that are worth knowing about.
- WordPress And Social Media – Social Media Tracking Tools & Applications
- Promote Your Products And Services To An Audience Of Buyers On Social Media With WordPress
- Syndicate Your Content Across Multiple Social Channels
- Social Media – Great For Researching Your Market
- Build Your Business Reputation And Brand And Establish Authority In Your Niche Or Area Of Expertise
- Study Influencers In Your Niche
- Explore Networking Opportunities And Joint Ventures, Find Affiliates, Recruit Talented Staff, etc.
- What About “Going Viral” Online?
- Social Media Monitoring – Useful For All Businesses, Big And Small
WordPress And Social Media – Social Media Tracking Tools & Applications
WordPress is not just a powerful, flexible and easy to use content publishing 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 the benefits of using WordPress please click on links to visit our related posts section.
With a WordPress site and some of the tools listed in this article, 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 is an ideal platform to market your business on social media.
Promote Your Products And Services To An Audience Of Buyers 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, Pinterest 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 social networkign sites.
The WordPress CMS platform is not only ideal for social media as a content marketing tool, it can also be completely transformed into a full-blown social network, using plugins like BuddyPress, WPSymposium, and others.
(Run your own social networking site with BuddyPress plugin for WordPress)
This free plugin allows you to set up your own social networking community on your site.
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.
(WPSymposium Pro WordPress social network plugin)
WP Symposium provides a strong support community and assistance for members who need 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 pages and posts using shortcodes.
Syndicate Your Content Across Multiple Social Channels
With most social media platforms, sharing and syndicating your content has never been easier. There are tools and services 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 considerable time and money.
If you want to drive your social marketing from WordPress, you can. WordPress not only makes it easy to publish content on your own domain, it also offers a number of great plugins that encourage users to share your content online on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc. For more information, read the article we’ve written about WordPress social media sharing plugins and our comprehensive article series on how to automatically syndicate your web content across social media channels using WordPress.
Social Media – Great For Researching Your Market
Using social tools and services allows you to listen to what your market wants, identify trends and new business opportunities and stay one step ahead of many 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 networking sites.
Also, there are apps that let you run surveys online and help you create consumer-driven sales funnels. Many apps can be easily integrated with WordPress.
Build Your Business Reputation And Brand And Establish Authority In Your Niche Or Area Of Expertise
Building and strengthening your business brand and 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, and so your interactions must be authentic and meaningful. 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 online and how you respond to other user’s comments and discussions is very important. Everyday we hear horror stories of brands that handle a situation poorly and end up suffering heavy losses as soon as their response or behavior gets circulated online.
Although social media lets you be seen and known everywhere, it can also take up a lot of your time.
An expertly configured WordPress-driven website helps you establish your your expertise online, share great information with your customers and clients, and drive new visitors to your business.
(You can automate your web content syndication on various social networks using an expertly configured WordPress-driven site.)
Study Influencers In Your Niche
Being able to listen to social conversations allows you to reverse engineer what the experts 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 media channels can grow your revenue, get your name out there, and lead to new lucrative ventures.
What About “Going Viral” Online?
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 outside your control. Throwing loads of money at a clever marketing campaign is no guarantee of viral success. Many ridiculous memes have become internet viral hits while big-budget brands have failed to take off.
In many cases, the best you can do is know your audience well, 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 2 of this article can help your content go viral, or at least help you run relatively inexpensive marketing campaigns.
We have created an email training course that shows you how to create useful and compelling content. In this free course we also discuss 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 – Useful For All Businesses, Big And Small
(Social Media Monitoring – Not Just For Global Brands)
Social media monitoring activities can be divided into two main groups:
- Online Reputation Management (ORM)
- Tracking Online Trends
Managing Your Digital Reputation
You have probably heard the term online reputation management. 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 others are saying about them online – especially negative comments, reviews, etc.. No doubt you’ve heard it said before that when someone has a bad experience with a product or service they tell 10 more people about it. Bad news travels fast. People or competing companies could be posting negative stuff online about you or your business 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 now an issue that 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 diluting the negative with an excess of 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 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 yourself or your business and spot a negative comment or bad review, you can then address the issue, e.g. post a response, contact the person directly, etc.
Many companies all around the world are ignoring opportunities to attract new customers and grow their business because they are not managing their online reputations.
Actively monitoring online conversations extends beyond well-known corporations, celebrities, and security departments. The ability to monitor the online reputation of of an average individual is also very important. For example, consider the situations 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 your job application.
Even if you are just starting out, you can still create a “set and forget” alert system, so that if anything does come up online, you can act proactively and deal with the situation 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. Go here for more information: Power Online Reviews – WordPress Plugin For Easy Client Feedback Management
Online Trend Monitoring
Regardless of what niche or industry you operate in, there are always new things happening. New products get released, new services get launched, events get scheduled and announced online, influential people say something controversial that gets mentioned in the news, companies publish useful research data, new videos are published containing fantastic tips or ideas, something outdated gets updated and becomes relevant again, something goes viral 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 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 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 an authoritative destination or resource for your niche or industry. People may 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 others will write about and post in their content.
This is the end of Part 1
In the next section we explore social media monitoring tools for WordPress users. To keep reading, click on this link: WordPress Resources: Social Media Tracking – Part 2
"If you're new to WordPress, this can stand on its own as a training course and will stay with you as you progress from beginner to advanced and even guru status." - Bruce (Columbus, Ohio)
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