The days of talking “at” audiences online are well and truly over. To achieve success in today’s interconnected global and digital world, you need to build and engage with a community around your brand, company, and services and “listen”.
Social channels create a direct line of communication between your brand and your audience and give you immediate access to the latest buzz around your products or services.
Social media monitoring allows you to find insights into your brand’s online visibility on social media, help you take preventative measures if you detect negative comments or feedback by online users, identify market opportunities, measure the impact of campaigns, and assess competitor activity. It can also provide you with vital information about emerging trends and what clients and consumers think about specific topics, brands, products, or businesses.
As a tool for business intelligence, 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 various people including marketing teams, PR agencies, market research, sales teams, social engagement and community staff, and social marketing agencies. Typically, many small businesses don’t can’t afford to pay a media monitoring service to continually track their coverage in the and actively monitor their online reputation.
Fortunately many service providers have created a range of tools to facilitate the tracking of a variety of social media channels, allowing you to track what is being said online about your products or brand allowing you to respond proactively to conversations and interact with consumers in a timely fashion.
In the article below, we explore a number of social media monitoring tools and technologies that will help you identify new business opportunities, track competitor activity, see what conversations are taking place online that could affect your business,etc.
WordPress And Social Media – An Ideal Marketing Platform
WordPress is not just a powerful, scalable and 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 WordPress is the vehicle that can help you achieve your online business goals, go here: How To Grow Your Business Using WordPress
With a WordPress site and some of the tools listed in the next section of this article, 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 is an ideal platform for marketing your business on social media.
Pitch Your Products And Services To A Wider Audience On Social Media 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, Pinterest 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 article titles and descriptions for social networks.
WordPress is not only ideal for social media as a content publishing and marketing tool, it can also be transformed into a full-blown social network, using plugins like BuddyPress, WPSymposium, and others.
(Set up your own social network with BuddyPress WordPress plugin)
BuddyPress allows you to set up and run your own social network on your website, with member profiles, activity streams, user groups, messaging, and more.
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 regularly contribute new open source plugins that greatly extend the application.
(WPSymposium Pro WordPress social network plugin)
WP Symposium provides a strong support community and assistance for users who require professional help. Social features of the plugin include:
- Activity Wall
- Private Messaging
- Notification Bar
- Member Directory
- Photo Galleries
- RSS Feeds
WPSymposium lets you work with the theme you have. You can add features to posts and pages using shortcodes.
Share Your Content Across Many Social Channels
Many social media platforms 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 makes it easy to publish content on your own domain, it also offers many plugins that allow users to easily share your web content on Facebook, Twitter, 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 automatically distribute content on various social media channels using WordPress.
Use social monitoring tools and services to discover 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 your social networking sites.
Additionally, there are many tools that let you conduct surveys and polls online. Many apps will integrate with WordPress.
Strengthen Your Brand And Credibility Online
Building and strengthening your reputation and brand, showcasing your talent, or establishing your expertise online requires commitment and a social marketing strategy.
You are engaging with real people online, 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 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 online and how you respond to other user’s comments and discussions is very important. Everyday we hear stories of brands that handle a situation poorly and end up suffering heavy losses as soon as the online community gets hold of the news.
Although social media can make it easier for others to see you as a credible authority in your niche, it can also take up a lot of your time.
An expertly configured WordPress-driven site can help establish your authority online, share great information with your customers and clients, and drive new visitors to your business.
(You can automatically syndicate content across social channels using an expertly configured WordPress-driven website.)
Study Influencers In Your Niche
Being able to monitor social media can help you observe and and maybe also reverse engineer the success strategies of experts, authorities, and influencers in your niche.
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 channels can grow your revenue, get your business seen, and lead to potentially lucrative new ventures.
“Go Viral” Online Faster
Most businesses would love to have a viral hit. “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 or cute advertising is no guarantee of viral success. Many ridiculous memes have succeeded virally while large and well-funded campaigns 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, engaging, entertaining or even funny, that they will be naturally motivated to share with others.
Some of the tools listed in Part 2 of this article could help your content go viral, or at least help you create relatively inexpensive marketing campaigns.
We provide an email training course that will show you how to create meaningful and compelling content. 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)
Social media monitoring activities can be divided into two main groups:
- Online Reputation Management (ORM)
- Online Trend Monitoring
Managing Your Online Reputation
You have probably heard about 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 will tell 10 more people about it. People or competing businesses could be posting negative things 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 services of public relations companies, reputation management is now an issue that affects many businesses 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 content, or restoring consumer trust and confidence.
Before you can do anything, 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 yourself or your business and a negative comment or review comes up, you can then address the issue, e.g. post a response, contact the person directly, etc.
Many businesses are ignoring opportunities to create happier customers and grow their business because they are not monitoring their online reputations effectively.
Monitoring what is being said online extends beyond large corporations, celebrities, movie stars, famous musicians, and security-conscious agencies. It’s also important to be able to monitor the online reputation of an average individual. For example, consider these scenarios:
- 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 a lot of good, positive things published online either to help your case.
Even if you are just starting out, you can still create a “set and forget” social media alert system, so that if anything does come up online later, you can act proactively and deal with the situation in a timely manner.
Do you have an online reputation management strategy in place?
We’ve written an article about a simple WordPress plugin that allows you to legally and ethically manage customer feedback. More information: Power Online Reviews – Easy Client Feedback Management For WordPress
Tracking Online Trends
Regardless of which niche or industry you are in, there are always new things happening. New apps get released, new services get launched, events get scheduled and announced online, influential people get 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 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 (how many news sites 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 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 brand could even end up becoming a topical, or newsworthy source of content that other online users will write about and mention in their content.
This is the end of Section 1
In the next section we explore 29 social media monitoring resources every WordPress user should become familiar with. To continue reading this article, click here: 29 Media Monitoring Resources For WordPress Users – 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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