The days of passively talking “at” audiences online are well and truly over. To achieve success in today’s interconnected global economy, you need to build an engaged community around your company, brand, and services, based around “listening”.
Social channels create a direct line of communication between your brand and your audience and give you instant access to the latest news about your products or services.
Tracking social media activity allows you to gain insights into your company’s overall visibility on social media, measure the impact of campaigns, spy on your competitors, identify new opportunities for engagement, and help you take preventative measures if you detect negative comments or feedback by dissatisfied users. Additionally, social media monitoring can also provide vital data about emerging trends and what consumers and clients think about specific businesses, brands, products, or topics.
As a business intelligence tool, social media monitoring 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, market researchers, online reputation specialists, social engagement and community staff, sales teams, and agencies. Typically, small businesses do not have the budget to pay social media monitoring professionals to continually track their coverage in the and actively monitor their online reputation.
Fortunately a number of service providers have created a range of tools to facilitate the active monitoring of a variety of social media channels, enabling you to identify what consumers are saying about your brand allowing you to respond proactively to conversations and interact with consumers in various social media platforms.
In the article below, we explore a number of social media monitoring tools and technologies that will help you keep track of online trends, monitor competitor activity, see what online conversations are taking place that affect your business, etc, see what conversations are taking place online that affect your business,etc.
WordPress – An Ideal Platform For Social Media Marketing
WordPress is not just a powerful, flexible and easy to manage content management 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 your small business succeed online, see this article: Everything You Need To Know To Grow Your Small Business With A WordPress Site
Using some of the tools listed in Part Two of this article and a WordPress site, 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 is an ideal platform for marketing your business on social media.
Pitch Your Products And Services To An Audience Of Buyers On Social Media 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 article titles and descriptions for social networks.
WordPress is not only ideal for social media as a content marketing tool, it can also be completely transformed into a full-featured social network, using WordPress plugins like BuddyPress, WPSymposium, and others.
(Run your own social networking site with BuddyPress WordPress plugin)
Use the BuddyPress plugin to run your own social networking community on your website.
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 plugins that greatly extend the platform.
(WP Symposium Pro WordPress social network plugin)
WPSymposium offers a strong support community and assistance for users who need professional help. Social features of the plugin include:
- Activity Wall
- Private Messaging
- Notification Bar
- User Directory
- Photo Galleries
- RSS Feeds
WPSymposium lets you work with the theme you have. You can add social features to your pages and posts using shortcodes.
Syndicate Your Content Across Multiple Channels
With most social media tools, sharing and syndicating your content is very easy. There are tools and services that let you compose, schedule and broadcast your content over many social channels and manage your social media marketing campaigns from one central location, saving you considerable time and money.
If you want to manage your social marketing strategy from WordPress, you can. WordPress not only makes it easy to publish content on your own domain, it also has a number of great plugins that encourage users to share your web content on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. See the article we’ve written about social media sharing plugins for WordPress and our comprehensive article series on how to automatically syndicate content on social networks using WordPress.
Conduct Market Research
Use social media tools to discover what your audience wants, identify new opportunities and stay ahead of 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 your social networking sites.
Additionally, there are applications and tools that let you survey customers online and help you create customer-driven sales campaigns. Many tools will integrate with WordPress.
Build Your Brand And Credibility And Showcase Your Talent
Building your business reputation and brand, showcasing your talent, or establishing your authority online requires commitment, patience 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 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 and how you respond online is very important, and can make or break your reputation online. Everyday we hear horror stories of brands that handle a customer situation very poorly and end up being the subject of much scorn and derision as soon as the online community finds out about it.
Social media provides many new channels for gaining wider exposure online. This can make it easier for others to see you as a credible authority in your niche, but it can also take up a lot of your time.
An expertly configured WordPress-driven site is an ideal platform for building your reputation or brand online. It helps you establish your authority online, showcase your talents, share valuable information with your customers and clients, and drive more visitors to your business.
(Automatically syndicate content on social channels with an expertly configured WordPress-driven blog.)
Study Authority Sites In Your Niche
Being able to monitor social media conversations allows you to discover and and perhaps even be inspired by what experts in your niche are doing.
Explore Joint Venture Opportunities, 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 media can increase your revenue, get your name out there, and lead to new lucrative ventures.
What About “Going Viral”?
Most businesses would love to have a viral content marketing strategy. “Going viral,” however, is quite difficult to achieve, as it relies on many factors that you cannot control. Throwing loads of dollars at a marketing campaign is no guarantee of viral success. Many ridiculous memes have achieved stratospheric viral success while large and well-funded campaigns have failed to take off.
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 Part 2 of this article could help your content go viral, or at least help you create relatively inexpensive marketing campaigns.
We have created an email training course that will show you how to create meaningful and engaging content for your readers. In this course we also explore ways to create content with the potential to go viral and help your business grow faster. For more details, 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)
In general, social media monitoring can be divided into two main groups:
- Online Reputation Management
- Online Trend Monitoring
Online Reputation Management
You have probably heard of 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 high profile and even general individuals and brands to track what others are saying about them online – especially if what is being said is negative. 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 companies could be posting negative things 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 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 impact with 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 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 your name or your business/brand and spot a negative comment or bad review, you can then address the issue, e.g. post a response, contact the website or person directly, etc.
Businesses all over the world are missing out on opportunities to attract new customers and grow their business because they are not effectively managing their online reputations.
Monitoring what is being said online extends beyond global brands, celebrities, and security-conscious departments. The ability to monitor the reputation of of an average individual is also very important. Consider the following scenarios:
- A former spouse in the middle of a bitter divorce or child custody proceedings 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 support the things you have listed in 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 the situation in a timely manner.
Do you have an 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 your customer reviews. To learn more, go here: Power Online Reviews – Easy User Feedback Management Plugin 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 get released, new services get launched, events get scheduled and announced online, influential people say something controversial that gets mentioned in the news, companies release useful research data, new videos are published containing fantastic tips or ideas, an outdated fact gets updated, something goes viral on Twitter, 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 provides you with an endless source of new content and new content ideas (have you noticed how all news sites 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 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 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 other people will write about and post in their content.
This is the end of Section One
In part two we explore WordPress and social media and useful social monitoring tools. To continue reading this article, click here: WordPress Tools For Social Media Measurement – Part 2
"I have used the tutorials to teach all of my clients and it has probably never been so easy for everyone to learn WordPress ... Now I don't need to buy all these very expensive video courses that often don't deliver what they promise." - Stefan Wendt, Internet Marketing Success Group