The days of talking “at” audiences online are well and truly over. To achieve success in today’s highly connected global economy, you need to grow, nurture and engage with a social community around your products, company, and brand and “listen”.
Social media channels create a direct line of communication between your business and your target audience and give anyone with an Internet connection instant access to the latest news about your products or services.
Social media monitoring allows you to find insights into your company’s overall visibility on social media, spot opportunities for engagement, spy on your competitors, be alerted to disasters, and measure the impact of your marketing campaigns. It can also provide vital information about emerging trends and what consumers and clients think about specific businesses, brands, products, or topics.
As a tool for business intelligence, social monitoring is invaluable. Using social media monitoring as a form of business intelligence, however, is a complex undertaking, often carried out by various groups that include online reputation specialists, marketing teams, market research, professional sales reps, agencies, and social engagement and community staff. Typically, many small businesses don’t have the budget to pay a media monitoring service to continually track their coverage in the media.
Fortunately various service providers have developed affordable tools and solutions to facilitate the monitoring of a wide spectrum of social media channels, enabling you to track consumer behavior around your brand so you can respond proactively to conversations and engage with consumers in various social media platforms.
In the article below, we explore a number of social media measurement tools that will help you identify new business opportunities, track competitor activity, see what online conversations are taking place that can affect your business,etc.
Why Is WordPress An Ideal Platform For Social Media?
WordPress is not only a powerful, flexible and easy to use CMS platform used by millions of businesses worldwide, it also integrates fully with many social media applications, making it an ideal application for growing your online presence in the social realm.
To learn more about using WordPress please click on links to visit our related posts section.
With a WordPress site and some of the tools listed here, you will be able to tap into the new social business marketing opportunities.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why WordPress provides an ideal platform for marketing your business on social media.
Pitch Your Services And Products To A Wider 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 photos from Instagram, Twitter feeds, Facebook feeds, testimonials, surveys, polls … even optimize your content for various social networkign sites.
WordPress is not only great for social media as a content publishing tool, it can also be transformed into a full-featured social network site, using WordPress plugins like BuddyPress, WPSymposium, and others.
(Set up your own social networking website with BuddyPress plugin for WordPress)
BuddyPress lets you add a suite of social networking components to your website, such as:
- Activity Streams
- Private Messaging
- User Groups
- Friend Connections
- Discussion Forums
- Many Add-On Features
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 a thriving community of plugin developers who regularly contribute new open source plugins that greatly extend the application.
(WPSymposium WordPress social network plugin)
WP Symposium Pro provides a strong support community and assistance for members who need professional help. Social features of the plugin include:
- Activity Wall
- Private Messaging
- User Directory
- Photo Galleries
- RSS Feeds
WPSymposium lets you work with the theme you have. You can add features to your posts and pages using shortcodes.
Syndicate Your Content Across Multiple 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 manage your social marketing strategy from WordPress, you can. WordPress not only lets you publish content on your own domain, it also offers many great plugins that allow users to easily share your web content on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc. For more information, check out the article we’ve written about social media sharing plugins for WordPress and our comprehensive article series on how to automate web content syndication on social media with WordPress.
Conduct Market Research
Using social tracking tools and services allows you to listen to what your audience wants, identify new trends and 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, many tools are available that let you survey customers online. Many of these tools can be easily integrated with WordPress.
Build Your Business Brand And Credibility And Showcase Your Talent
Strengthening your business reputation and brand online, showcasing your special talents, or establishing your authority online requires commitment, dedication and a robust social marketing strategy.
You are trying to engage with real people, and so your interactions must be authentic and meaningful. Focus on the needs of your target audience, 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 comments and discussions is very important. Everyday we hear horror stories of brands that handle a situation poorly and end up paying a heavy price as soon as their response or behavior gets circulated online.
Although social media lets you be seen and known everywhere, it can also be extremely demanding on your time.
An expertly configured WordPress site lets you build your expertise online, share great information with your clients and customers, and drive visitors to your business.
(Use an expertly configured WordPress-driven website to automatically syndicate content on various social media channels.)
Spy On Authorities In Your Niche
Being able to monitor social media conversations can help you reverse engineer what the experts 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 brand seen, and lead to new lucrative ventures.
What About “Going Viral” Online?
Many businesses would love to have a viral hit. “Going viral,” however, is quite difficult to achieve, as it relies on many factors that are completely outside your control. Throwing loads of dollars at a clever advertising is no guarantee of viral success. Many ridiculous memes have succeeded virally while large and well-funded campaigns have failed dismally.
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 have created a free email training course that shows you how to create meaningful and engaging content for your readers. In this free course we also explore many ways to create content that has 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 Global Businesses
(Social Media Monitoring – Not Just For Global Brands)
Social media monitoring can generally be divided into two main groups:
- Online Reputation Management (ORM)
- Monitoring Online Trends
Managing Your Digital Reputation
You have probably heard of online reputation management (ORM). 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 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 other people about it. Bad news travels fast. People or competing companies could be posting negative stuff 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 firms, reputation management is an issue that now affects many businesses and individuals online.
If you or your brand’s image, good name or good standing 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 anything, 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 can help you. If you Google yourself or your business and a negative comment or review comes up, you can then do something about it, e.g. post a response, contact the website or person directly, etc.
Many companies all around the world are currently missing out on opportunities to create happier customers and retain existing ones because they are not effectively managing their online reputations.
Actively monitoring conversations and new posts on social media extends beyond well-known brands, celebrities, movie stars, famous musicians, and security agencies. There’s also the reputation of average individuals. For example, consider the situations below:
- A former spouse in the middle of a bitter divorce or child custody battle 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 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, you can still create a “set and forget” social media alert system, so that if any conversations about you do come up online, you can act proactively and deal with it in a timely manner.
Do you know what visitors are saying about your business online?
We’ve written an article about a simple WordPress plugin that can help you avoid the escalation of negative reviews about your business, products or services through effective user review management. Go here to learn more: Power Online Reviews – Client Reviews Management Plugin For WordPress Users
Analyzing Online Trends
Regardless of which niche or industry you are in, there are always new things happening. New products, new services and new apps get released, events get scheduled and announced online, influential people say something controversial that gets mentioned in the news, companies publish useful information, new videos are published containing fantastic tips or ideas, something outdated gets updated, something becomes the next viral phenomenon on Facebook, 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 can provide 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. Posting regular 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 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 website or business could even end up becoming a topical, or newsworthy source of content that others will write about and mention in their content.
This is the end of Section One
In the next section we explore media tracking tools for business owners. To read more, click here: WordPress And Social Media Monitoring – Part Two
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