The days of talking “at” audiences online are well and truly over. To achieve business success in today’s interconnected world, you need to build and nurture an engaged community around your products, company, and brand, all based around “listening”.
Social media channels create a direct line of communication between your brand and consumers and give anyone with an Internet connection instant access to the latest information about your products or services.
Monitoring social media activity allows you to gain insights into your company’s overall visibility on social media, assess competitor activity and mind share, measure the impact of your marketing campaigns, identify opportunities for engagement, and take preventative measures against the spread of negative comments or feedback by dissatisfied users. Additionally, social media monitoring can also provide vital information about emerging trends and what clients and consumers think about specific topics, brands, products, or businesses.
As a business intelligence tool, the ability to track social media channels like blogs, internet forums, news sites, micro-blogging platforms, discussion groups, 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, typically carried out by various people including online reputation management companies, market researchers, marketing teams, social media marketing agencies, social engagement and community staff, and sales teams. Typically, many small businesses do not have the budget to pay a media monitoring service to track their coverage in the and actively monitor their online reputation.
Fortunately various technology companies have developed tools and solutions to facilitate the tracking of a variety of social media channels, enabling you to track consumer behavior around your brand so you can respond to conversations and engage with online users in a timely manner.
In the article below, we explore a number of social media measurement tools that are worth checking out and knowing about.
Table of Contents
- What Makes WordPress An Ideal Platform For Social Media Marketing?
- Promote Your Products And Services To The Right Audience On Your Social Media Networks With WordPress
- Syndicate Your Content Across Many Social Channels
- Social Media – Great For Researching Your Market
- Build Your Credibility And Brand And Establish Authority In Your Niche
- Study Influencers In Your Niche
- Explore Networking Opportunities And Joint Ventures, Find Affiliates, Recruit Talented Staff, etc.
- “Going Viral” Online Faster
- Social Media Monitoring – Not Just For Big Businesses
What Makes WordPress An Ideal Platform For Social Media Marketing?
WordPress is not only a powerful, scalable and extremely easy to use content publishing platform used by millions of businesses worldwide, WordPress 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 WordPress is the vehicle that can help you achieve your online business goals, go here: Learn How To Grow Your Small Business With A WordPress Blog
With a WordPress site and some of the tools listed here, you will be able to tap into 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 for marketing your business on social media.
Promote Your Products And Services To The Right Audience On Your Social Media Networks 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 content for various social networkign sites.
WordPress is not only ideal for social media as a content marketing tool, it can also be completely transformed into a full-blown social network site, using plugins like BuddyPress, WPSymposium, and others.
(Run your own social networking website with BuddyPress WordPress plugin)
Use this WordPress plugin to set up your own online social networking community on your WordPress 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 boasts an active community of plugin developers who regularly contribute new plugins that greatly extend the application.
(WPSymposium WordPress social networking plugin)
WPSymposium provides members with a strong support community and assistance for users who need professional help. Social features of the plugin include:
- Activity Wall
- Private Messages
- Notification Bar
- Member Directory
- 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.
Syndicate Your Content Across Many Social Channels
Many social media tools let you get your information out to a wider audience, leverage multiple social channels simultaneously, build your business presence online and manage all of your social marketing strategy from one central location with with ease.
If you want to drive 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 many great plugins that allow users to share your content online on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. For more information, read the article we’ve written about WordPress social media sharing plugins and our comprehensive article series on how to automate your content syndication across social media using WordPress.
Social Media – Great For Researching Your Market
Social tools and services allow you to listen to what consumers want, identify new trends and 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, there are many tools that let you run surveys online and help you create consumer-driven sales campaigns. Many tools can be integrated with WordPress.
Build Your Credibility And Brand And Establish Authority In Your Niche
Building your brand and online reputation, showcasing your talent, or establishing your expertise online requires commitment and a solid social marketing strategy.
You are trying to engage with real people, 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 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 being the subject of much scorn and derision as soon as the online community gets hold of the news.
Although social media can make it easier for others to see you as an authority in your niche, industry, or area of expertise, 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 your expertise online, showcase your talents, share great information with your clients and customers, and drive new visitors to your business.
(You can automate your content syndication on social media channels with an expertly configured WordPress site.)
Study Influencers In Your Niche
Being able to listen to social conversations can help you observe and and perhaps also be inspired by what the experts are doing right.
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 to explore new opportunities can grow your revenue, get your brand seen, and lead to new lucrative ventures.
“Going Viral” Online Faster
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 are out of your control. Throwing loads of money at a clever or cute advertising 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 in your audience 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 the next section of this article can help your content go viral, or at least help you create relatively inexpensive marketing campaigns.
We provide a free email training course that shows you how to create useful and compelling 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 info, 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 can generally be divided into two main groups:
- Online Reputation Management
- Online Trend Monitoring
Online Reputation Management
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 if what is being posted is negative. 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 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 businesses and individuals online.
If you or your image, good name or good standing is being affected by negative material being posted online, you have to find a way of weakening the negative with an excess of positive material, 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 your name or your business/brand and find that a competitor has published fake reviews or customer complaints designed to discredit your business, you can then address the issue, e.g. post a response, contact the person directly, etc.
Many companies are currently missing out on opportunities to create happier customers and boost their revenues because they are still ignoring their online reputations.
Monitoring what is being said online extends beyond worldwide corporations, celebrities, movie stars, famous musicians, and security-related departments. There’s also the online reputation of average individuals. For example, consider these scenarios:
- 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 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 any conversations, comments or reviews about you do come up online later, you can act proactively and deal with the situation in a timely manner.
Do you have an effective digital reputation management strategy?
We’ve written an article about a tool for WordPress users that can help to avoid the escalation of problem reviews about your products through effective user review management. To learn more, visit this page: Power Online Reviews – Client Reviews Management Plugin For WordPress
Online Trend Monitoring
Regardless of which niche or industry you operate in, there are always new and exciting things happening. New apps get released, new services get launched, events get scheduled and announced online, influential people get mentioned in the news, companies publish useful information, new presentations are published containing fantastic tips or ideas, an outdated fact 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 (have you noticed how all news media broadcasters 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 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 may end up referring you to others on social media, and who knows … your site or business could even end up becoming a topical, or newsworthy source of content that other online users will write about and post in their content.
This is the end of Part One
In the next section we explore dozens of media monitoring tools every business owner should become familiar with. To continue reading this article, click here: 29 Social Media Tracking Resources For WordPress – Part Two
"I have used the tutorials to teach all of my clients and it has probably never been so easy for everyone to learn WordPress ... Now I don't need to buy all these very expensive video courses that often don't deliver what they promise." - Stefan Wendt, Internet Marketing Success Group
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