The days of passively talking “at” your audience online are well and truly over. It’s not enough to put up a page on your website with static information. To succeed in today’s highly connected digital economy, requires actively “listening” to your audience and building a community around your company, brand, and services.
Social 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.
Monitoring social media activity allows you to find insights into what people are saying about your products, company, or brand on social media, measure the impact of your marketing campaigns, spy on your competition, identify new market opportunities, and help you take preventative measures against the spread of negative comments or feedback by dissatisfied users. It can also provide you with valuable data about emerging trends and what consumers and clients think about specific topics, products, businesses, or brands.
As a tool for business intelligence, being able to monitor volume and sentiments of social conversations and social activity on social media channels like blogs, internet forums, news sites, micro-blogging platforms, discussion groups, video sites, and user-generated content is invaluable. Using social media monitoring as a form of business intelligence, however, is a complex undertaking, often carried out by a cross-section of groups that include market researchers, digital reputation management (ORM) companies, marketing professionals, professional sales reps, social media marketing agencies, and social engagement and community personnel. Typically, smaller businesses don’t can’t afford to pay media monitoring professionals to continually track their coverage in the media.
Fortunately many providers have made available affordable tools and solutions to facilitate the active tracking of a variety of social media channels, enabling you to track consumer behavior around your brand or products so you can react to conversations and interact with consumers in a timely fashion.
In the article below, we explore a number of social media measurement tools and technologies that you may want to check out.
WordPress And Social Media – A Guide For Website Owners
WordPress is not just a powerful, flexible and really easy to use content management 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.
For an overview of why WordPress is the vehicle that can help you achieve your business goals online, go here: Mastering WordPress – The Small Business Owner’s Guide
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 is an ideal platform for marketing your business on social media.
Promote Your Products And Services To An Audience Of Buyers On Your Social 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 cards, Facebook feeds, testimonials, surveys, polls … even optimize your article titles and descriptions for various social networkign sites.
The WordPress content management system (CMS) is not only great for social media as a content publishing and marketing tool, it can also be transformed into a full-featured social network, using WordPress plugins like BuddyPress, WPSymposium, and others.
(Set up your own social networking website with BuddyPress WordPress plugin)
Use the BuddyPress WordPress plugin to set up a 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 boasts an active community of plugin developers who 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 users who require professional help. Social features of the plugin include:
- Activity Wall
- Private Mail
- Notification Bar
- Member Directory
- Online Forum
- Photo Galleries
- RSS Feeds
WPSymposium lets you work with the theme you have. You can add features to your pages and posts using shortcodes.
Syndicate Your Content Across Multiple 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 your social marketing strategy from WordPress, you can. WordPress not only lets you publish content on your own domain, it also has a number of plugins that allow users to easily share your web content on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. See the article we’ve written about WordPress social media sharing plugins and our comprehensive article series on how to automatically syndicate your web content on various social networks using WordPress.
Social media tracking tools and applications allow you to discover what your target audience wants, identify new trends and business 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 those social networks.
Additionally, there are many applications that let you conduct surveys and polls of customers online. Many applications and tools can be integrated with WordPress.
Build And Strengthen Your Reputation And Brand Online
Building your business brand and online reputation, showcasing your talent, or establishing your authority online requires commitment and a robust social marketing strategy.
You are engaging with real people, and so your interactions must be genuine 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 and how you respond to comments and discussions online is very important, and can make or break your reputation online. Everyday we hear stories of brands that handle a situation or customer complaint very poorly and end up paying a heavy price when their response or behavior gets circulated online.
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 site is an ideal platform for building your reputation or brand online. It lets you build your expertise online, showcase your talents, share great information with your clients and customers, and drive new visitors to your business.
(You can automate web content syndication on various social channels with an expertly configured WordPress-driven website.)
Spy On Authorities In Your Niche
Being able to listen to social conversations allows you to observe and and perhaps also reverse engineer what authorities and influencers in your niche are doing.
Explore Joint Venture Opportunities, Find Affiliates, Recruit Talented Staff, etc.
It’s no secret that 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. Connecting with others through social media can grow your revenue, get your business seen, and lead to new lucrative ventures.
“Go Viral” 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 dollars 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 dismally.
In many cases, the best you can do is study and research your audience, 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 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 will show you how to create meaningful and compelling content. In this free course we also discuss 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 – Useful For All Businesses, Big And Small
(Social Media Monitoring – Useful For All Businesses, Big And Small)
Social media monitoring activities can be divided into two main groups:
- Online Reputation Management
- Online Trend Monitoring
Managing Your Digital Reputation
You have probably heard of 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 many 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 tell 10 other people about it. Real or imagined, bad news travels fast. People or competing companies could be posting negative things online about you or your business and if left unchecked, this can seriously damage your reputation.
Originally an aspect of the services of PR companies, reputation management is an issue that now affects many companies and individuals online.
If you or your brand’s image, good name or reputation is being affected by negative material being posted online, you have to find a way of weakening the negative impact with 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 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 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 website or person directly, etc.
Many businesses are missing out on opportunities to create happier customers and retain existing ones because they are not managing their online reputations.
Monitoring online conversations extends beyond well-known brands, celebrities, and security departments. Being able to monitor the online reputation of of individuals is also very important. Consider these situations:
- A former spouse in the middle of an acrimonious 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 enough good, positive things published online either to support your job application.
Even if you are just starting out, it’s good to create an easy “set and forget” alert system, so that if anything does come up online later, you can act proactively and deal with it in a timely manner.
Do you have an effective online reputation management strategy in place?
We’ve written an article about a simple yet effective tool for WordPress users that lets you legally and ethically manage customer feedback. Visit this page to learn more: Power Online Reviews – Customer Feedback Management Plugin For WordPress
Tracking Online Trends
Regardless of which niche or industry you are in, there are always new things happening. New products get released, new services get launched, events get scheduled and announced online, influential people get mentioned in the news, companies publish useful information, new videos are published containing fantastic tips or ideas, something outdated gets updated, something goes viral on Facebook, 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 provides you with an endless source of new content (how many news media agencies 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 could 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 people will write about and mention in their content.
This is the end of Part One
In part two we explore WordPress and social media measurement. To keep reading this article, click on this link: Social Media Tracking Resources For WordPress Users – Part Two
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