The days of passively talking “at” your audience online are well and truly over. To succeed in today’s highly connected global economy, you need to grow and nurture an engaged community around your company, products, and brand, based around actively ”listening” to their feedback.
Social channels create a direct line of communication between your company and your target audience and give you instant access to the latest information about your services or products.
Tracking social media activity allows you to find insights into what people are saying about your services, company, or brand on social media, measure the impact of campaigns, spot potential market opportunities, assess competitor activity, and be alerted to impending crises. Additionally, monitoring social media can also provide valuable information about emerging trends and what consumers and clients are thinking about specific brands, products, businesses, or topics.
As a tool for business intelligence, being able to track social media is invaluable. Using social media monitoring as a form of business intelligence, however, is a complex undertaking, typically carried out by various groups that include digital reputation management (ORM) specialists, marketing professionals, market research, professional sales reps, social engagement and community staff, and social marketing agencies. Typically, many small businesses don’t have the budget to pay a media monitoring service to track their coverage in the and actively monitor their digital reputation.
Fortunately various technology companies have developed affordable tools to facilitate the active monitoring of a wide spectrum of social media channels, allowing companies to track what is being said online about their products or brands so they can respond proactively to conversations and engage with online users in various social media platforms.
In this article, we explore a number of social media monitoring tools that you may want to check out.
Table of Contents
- WordPress And Social Media
- Promote Your Services And Products To A Wider Audience On Your Social Media Networks With WordPress
- Syndicate Your Content Across Multiple Channels
- Conduct Market Research
- Build Your Business Brand And Reputation And Establish Authority In Your Niche
- Study Niche Authorities
- Explore Joint Venture Opportunities, Find Affiliates, Recruit Talented Staff, etc.
- What About “Going Viral”?
- Social Media Monitoring – Useful For All Businesses, Big And Small
WordPress And Social Media
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 the benefits of using the WordPress CMS platform 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 Part Two of 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 provides an ideal platform for marketing your business on social media.
Promote 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, 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 various social networkign sites.
(Run your own social network with BuddyPress WordPress plugin)
BuddyPress lets you add a suite of social networking components to your website, such as:
- Extended Member Profiles
- Activity Streams
- Private Messaging
- Extensible 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 has an active community of plugin developers who regularly contribute new open source plugins that greatly extend the application.
(WPSymposium Pro WordPress social networking plugin)
WPSymposium Pro provides members with a strong support community and assistance for users who require professional help. Social features of the plugin include:
- Activity Wall
- Private Mail
- User 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 Multiple Channels
Many social media tools let you get your information out to a wider audience, leverage multiple social channels simultaneously, build your online presence 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 strategy from WordPress, you can. WordPress not only lets you publish content on your own domain, it also has many plugins that allow users to share your content online 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 automate your content syndication across various social media channels with WordPress.
Conduct Market Research
Using social tools allows you to listen to what consumers want, identify new 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 apps that let you conduct surveys and polls online. Many of these tools will integrate with WordPress.
Build Your Business Brand And Reputation And Establish Authority In Your Niche
Strengthening your brand and online reputation, showcasing your talent, or establishing your expertise online requires commitment and a solid social marketing strategy.
You are engaging with real people, and so your interactions must be meaningful and authentic. 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 poorly and end up paying a heavy price when 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-driven blog helps you establish your authority online, share great information with your clients and customers, and drive visitors to your business.
(An expertly configured WordPress website can automatically syndicate your content across social media.)
Study Niche Authorities
Being able to listen in to social conversations can help you observe and learn the success strategies of experts, authorities, and thought leaders in your niche.
Explore Joint Venture Opportunities, 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.
What About “Going Viral”?
Most businesses would love to see their content or marketing campaigns go viral. “Going viral,” however, is a difficult thing to achieve, as it relies on many factors that you cannot control. Throwing loads of dollars at a campaign 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 even funny, 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 useful and engaging content. In this free course we also discuss 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 – Useful For All Businesses, Big And Small
(Social Media Monitoring – Not Just For Big Brands)
In general, social media monitoring can be divided into two main groups:
- Online Reputation Management
- Monitoring Online Trends
Managing Your Digital Reputation
You have probably heard about 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 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 will tell 10 other people about it. People or competitors could be posting negative material online about you or your brand and if things go unchecked, this can seriously damage your reputation.
Originally an aspect of the services of public relations firms, reputation management is now an issue that affects many companies 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 diminishing the negative impact with an excess of positive content, 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 come in. 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 businesses are currently ignoring opportunities to attract new customers and grow their business because they are not managing their digital reputations.
Monitoring what is being said online extends beyond large corporations, celebrities, and security-conscious departments. There’s also the reputation of average individuals. Consider the situations below:
- A former spouse in the middle of a bitter 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” social media alert system, so that if anything about you does come up online later, you can act proactively and respond in a timely manner.
Do you have an online reputation management strategy in place for your business?
We’ve written an article about a WordPress plugin that can help to avoid the escalation of negative reviews about your products through effective customer review management. To learn more, go here: Power Online Reviews – Easy Customer Reviews Management Plugin For WordPress
Online Trend Monitoring
Regardless of what niche or industry you operate in, there are always new things happening. New apps get released, new services get launched, events get scheduled and announced online, influential people say something controversial that gets mentioned in the news, companies publish useful research data, new videos are published containing fantastic tips or ideas, something outdated gets updated and becomes relevant again, 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 (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. Posting regular topical content with your 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 site or business could even end up becoming a topical, or newsworthy source of information 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 more than 27 media tools for business owners. To continue reading this article, click here: WordPress And Social Media Measurement – Part 2
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