The days of talking “at” audiences online are well and truly over. It’s no longer enough to put up a web page with static information. To succeed in today’s connected global and digital world, requires actively “listening” to your audience’s needs and feedback, and building an engaged social community around your services, company, and brand.
Social media channels create a direct line of communication between your brand and your audience and give you instant access to the latest news about your services or products.
Tracking social media activity allows you to gain insights into what people are saying about your brand, company, or services on social media, identify market opportunities, measure the impact of your marketing campaigns, spy on your competition, and take preventative measures against the spread of negative comments or feedback by embittered customers. Additionally, monitoring social media can also provide valuable data about emerging trends and what consumers and clients are thinking about specific brands, products, topics, or businesses.
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 various people including online reputation management (ORM) agencies, market researchers, marketing professionals, social marketing agencies, professional sales reps, and social engagement and community staff. Typically, many small businesses do not can’t afford to pay media monitoring professionals to track their coverage in the media.
Fortunately many technology providers have developed affordable tools that facilitate the monitoring of a variety of social media channels, enabling companies to identify and even predict what is being said online about their products or brands so they can respond proactively to conversations and engage with consumers in a timely manner.
In the article below, we explore a number of social media measurement 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 online conversations are taking place that affect your business,etc.
Table of Contents
- WordPress – An Ideal Platform For Social Media
- Pitch Your Products And Services To An Audience Of Buyers On Your Social Media Networks With WordPress
- Share Your Content Across Multiple Channels
- Conduct Market Research
- Build And Strengthen Your Business Brand And Credibility
- Study Niche Authorities
- Explore Networking Opportunities And Joint Ventures, Find Affiliates, Recruit Talented Staff, etc.
- Could Your Web Content “Go Viral” Online?
- Social Media Monitoring – Useful For All Businesses, Big And Small
WordPress – An Ideal Platform For Social Media
WordPress is not only a powerful, flexible and easy to use content publishing 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.
For an overview of why WordPress is a vehicle that every business owner needs to know about, see this article: WordPress For Small Business Owners – A Complete Guide To Growing A Successful Business With WordPress
With a WordPress site and some of the tools listed in the next section 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 is an ideal platform to market your business on social media.
Pitch Your Products And Services To An Audience Of Buyers On Your Social Media 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 content for social networks.
The WordPress content management system (CMS) is not only great for social media as a content publishing tool, it can also be completely transformed into a full-blown social networking, using plugins like BuddyPress, WPSymposium, and others.
(Set up your own social networking site with BuddyPress plugin for WordPress)
BuddyPress can be used to run your own social network on your site.
BuddyPress is known 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 contribute new open source plugins that greatly extend the application.
(WP Symposium Pro WordPress social network plugin)
WPSymposium Pro 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
- Member Directory
- Photo Galleries
- RSS Feeds
WPSymposium lets you work with the theme you have. You can add social features to pages and posts using shortcodes.
Many social media platforms 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 makes it easy to publish content on your own domain, it also has a number of plugins that allow users to share your web content on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc. See the article we’ve written about social media sharing plugins for WordPress and our comprehensive article series on how to automate your web content syndication across various social media networks using WordPress.
Conduct Market Research
Use social media tracking tools to discover what consumers want, identify trends and new 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 your social networking sites.
Additionally, many tools are available that let you run surveys online. Many applications will easily integrate with WordPress.
Build And Strengthen Your Business Brand And Credibility
Building and strengthening your brand and reputation, showcasing your talent, or establishing your authority online requires commitment, patience and a robust social marketing strategy.
You are trying to engage 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 online and how you respond to other user’s comments and discussions is very important. Everyday we hear horror stories of brands that handle a customer situation very poorly and end up paying a heavy price as soon as their response or behavior gets exposed online.
Although social media can make it easier for others to see you as an authority in your niche, it can also take up a lot of your time.
An expertly configured WordPress site is an ideal platform for building your reputation or brand online. It helps you establish your your expertise online, showcase your talents, share great information with your customers and clients, and drive more visitors to your business.
(Use an expertly configured WordPress website to automatically syndicate your web content across social media networks.)
Study Niche Authorities
Being able to monitor social media conversations allows you to observe and discover the success strategies of experts and influencers in your niche.
Explore Networking Opportunities And Joint Ventures, 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. Using social media can grow your revenue, get your name out there, and lead to new lucrative ventures.
Could Your Web Content “Go Viral” Online?
Most businesses would love to have a viral marketing campaign. “Going viral,” however, is a difficult outcome 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, engaging, entertaining or even funny, 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 provide an email training course that will show you how to create useful and compelling content. In this course we also explore ways to create content that has 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)
Social media monitoring activities can be divided into two main groups:
- Online Reputation Management (ORM)
- Online Trend Monitoring
Managing Your Online Reputation
You have probably heard about 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 if what is being posted is negative. 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 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 services of PR firms, reputation management is an issue that now 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 defeating the negative impact with an excess of positive content, or restoring consumer trust and confidence.
Before you can begin to stop negative things being said about you or your brand from spreading further, 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 person directly, etc.
Many businesses around the world are missing out on opportunities to attract new customers and retain existing ones because they ignore their digital reputations.
Monitoring what is being said online extends beyond worldwide corporations, celebrities, and security agencies. There’s also the online reputation of individuals. Consider the following situations:
- A former spouse in the middle of an acrimonious 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 help your case.
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 deal with it in a timely manner.
Do you have a system to manage your online reputation?
We’ve written an article about a WordPress plugin that lets you legally and ethically manage your customer reviews. More info: Power Online Reviews – WordPress Plugin For Easy Management Of User Reviews
Online Trend Monitoring
Regardless of what niche or industry you operate in, there are always new and exciting things happening. New products, new services and new apps get released, events get scheduled and announced online, influential people get mentioned in the news, companies publish useful research data, new videos are published containing fantastic tips or ideas, an outdated fact gets updated and becomes relevant again, something goes viral on social media, 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 (how many news media broadcasters now incorporate a segment on what’s trending on social media?)
Social media content is topical content. Posting regular 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 site or brand could even end up becoming a topical, or newsworthy source of information that other people will write about and mention in their content.
This is the end of Section One
In part 2 we explore social media tracking tools for WordPress. To continue reading this article, click here: WordPress Resources For Media Monitoring – 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
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