The days of talking “at” your audience online are well and truly over. It’s no longer enough to put up a page on your website with static information. To succeed in today’s highly connected digital economy, you need to grow and nurture an engaged community around your brand, company, and products, based around actively ”listening” to their feedback.
Social channels create a direct line of communication between your business and consumers and give anyone with an Internet connection instant access to the latest buzz about your products or services.
Tracking social media activity allows you to gain insights into your brand’s overall visibility on social media, assess competitor activity and mind share, identify market opportunities, take preventative measures if you detect negative comments or feedback by embittered customers, and measure the impact of your marketing campaigns. Additionally, social media monitoring can also provide vital data about emerging trends and what clients and consumers think about specific topics, businesses, brands, or products.
As a tool for business intelligence, social signal monitoring is invaluable. Using social media monitoring as a form of business intelligence, however, is a complex undertaking, typically carried out by a cross-section of groups that include digital reputation specialists, market research, marketing teams, professional sales reps, social marketing agencies, and social engagement and community staff. Typically, smaller businesses don’t can’t afford to pay media monitoring professionals to continually track their coverage in the media.
Fortunately various technology companies have developed many affordable tools that facilitate the tracking of a variety of social media channels, enabling companies to identify consumer behavior around their products or brands allowing them to react to conversations and engage with online users in a timely fashion.
In this article, we explore a number of social media monitoring tools and technologies that are worth checking out and knowing about.
WordPress And Social Media Marketing – A Guide For Website Owners
WordPress is not only a powerful, flexible and extremely easy to use content management platform used by millions of businesses worldwide, WordPress 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 the benefits of using WordPress please click on links to visit other posts we have published on this site.
With a WordPress site and some of the tools listed in this article, you will be able to market your business effectively on social media and take advantage of new social marketing opportunities.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why WordPress makes an ideal platform for marketing your business on social media.
Pitch Your Products And Services To The Right Audience On Your Social Networks With WordPress
WordPress comes with built-in social features, like 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, YouTube and many others.
For example, there are plugins that can add social sharing buttons, forums, add images from Instagram, Twitter feeds, Facebook feeds, testimonials, surveys, polls … even optimize your article titles and descriptions for social networks.
The WordPress CMS platform is not only ideal for social media as a content publishing tool, it can also be completely transformed into a full-featured social network, using plugins like BuddyPress, WPSymposium, and others.
(Set up your own social networking website with BuddyPress WordPress plugin)
BuddyPress lets you add a suite of social networking components to your website, such as:
- Member Profiles
- Activity Streams
- Private Messages
- Extensible User Groups
- Friend Connections
- Discussion Forums
- Many Add-On Features
BuddyPress is known as “social networking in a box.” You can turn features on and off to suit your needs and the plugin has an active community of plugin developers who contribute new plugins that greatly extend the application.
(WPSymposium WordPress social networking plugin)
WPSymposium offers a strong support community and assistance for members who require professional help. Social features of the plugin include:
- Activity Wall
- Private Messages
- Notification Bar
- 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.
Share 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 manage most of your social marketing from WordPress, you can. WordPress not only lets you publish content on your own domain, it also offers many plugins that encourage your site visitors to share your web content 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 automate content syndication on various social networks with WordPress.
Social Media – Great For Market Research
Social tools and services allow you to discover what consumers want, identify new trends and business opportunities and stay 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 those social networks.
Also, many applications are available that let you conduct surveys and polls online. Many of these apps can be easily integrated with WordPress.
Build Your Business Reputation And Brand Online And Showcase Your Talent
Strengthening your brand and online reputation, showcasing your talent, or establishing your authority online requires commitment, dedication and a social marketing strategy.
You are trying to engage 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 and how you respond to users online is very important. Everyday we hear horror stories of brands that handle a customer situation very poorly and end up suffering heavy losses as soon as the online community gets hold of the news.
Although social media lets you be seen and known everywhere, it can also take up a lot of your time.
An expertly configured WordPress site lets you build your expertise online, share great information with your clients and customers, and drive more visitors to your business.
(Automatically distribute content on social media channels using an expertly configured WordPress blog.)
Spy On Your Competition
Being able to listen to social media conversations allows you to observe and learn what authorities and influencers in your niche are doing right.
Explore Joint Venture Opportunities, Find Affiliates, Recruit Talented Staff, etc.
It’s no secret that 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 increase your revenue, get your name out there, and lead to new lucrative ventures.
“Go Viral” Online Faster
Most businesses would love to have a viral marketing campaign. “Going viral,” however, is a difficult thing to achieve, as it relies on many factors that cannot be controlled. Throwing loads of dollars at a advertising is no guarantee of viral success. Many ridiculous memes have achieved stratospheric viral success while large brands and corporations have failed.
In many cases, the best you can do is study and research your audience, and provide content that users will find so useful, compelling, informative or even funny, that they will be naturally motivated to share with others.
Some of the tools listed in Part Two of this article can help your content go viral, or at least help you set up relatively inexpensive marketing campaigns.
We have created an email training course that shows you how to create meaningful and compelling content for your readers. In this course we also explore ways to create content that has the potential to go viral and help your business grow faster. To learn more, go here or subscribe using the form below:
Social Media Monitoring – Not Just For Big Businesses
(Social Media Monitoring – Not Just For Large Brands)
Social media monitoring activities can be divided into two main groups:
- Online Reputation Management (ORM)
- Tracking Online Trends
Online Reputation Management
You have probably heard the term 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 high profile and even general 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 will tell 10 other people about it. People or competitors 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 now an issue that affects many companies 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 diluting the negative with positive content, or restoring consumer trust and confidence.
Before you can do this, 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 website or person directly, etc.
Companies all around the world are currently missing out on opportunities to create happier customers and retain existing ones because they are not monitoring their digital reputations effectively.
Monitoring what is being said online extends beyond worldwide corporations, celebrities, movie stars, famous musicians, and security departments. There’s also the reputation of individuals. Consider these situations:
- 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 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 an easy “set and forget” alert system, so that if anything about you does come up online later, you can act proactively and deal with things in a timely manner.
Managing digital reputation should not be avoided if you want your business to grow in the online economy.
We’ve written an article about a simple WordPress plugin that allows you to legally and ethically manage your customer reviews. More information: Power Online Reviews – Easy Customer Reviews Management For WordPress
Online Trend Monitoring
Regardless of what niche or industry you operate your business in, there are always new and exciting things happening. New products, new services and new apps get released, events get scheduled and promoted, influential people get mentioned in the news, companies release useful information, new presentations are published containing fantastic tips or ideas, an outdated fact gets updated and becomes relevant again, something goes viral on social media, 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 (have you noticed how all 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 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 information that others will write about and mention in their content.
This is the end of Section 1
In part 2 we explore more than 25 media measurement resources every business owner should become familiar with. To continue reading this article, click here: WordPress Social Media Tracking : Useful Resources – Part 2
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