The days of talking “at” audiences online are well and truly over. Putting up a page on your site with static information about your company is no longer enough. To achieve business success in today’s highly connected world, requires actively “listening” to your audience’s needs and feedback, and building a community around your company, brand, and products.
Social media channels create a direct line of communication between your brand and your audience and give anyone with an Internet connection direct access to the latest information around your products or services.
Monitoring social media activity allows you to gain insights into your brand’s online visibility on social media, take preventative measures against the spread of negative comments or feedback by online users, spy on your competitors, spot market opportunities, and measure the impact of campaigns. Additionally, monitoring social media can also provide vital data about emerging trends and what consumers and clients think about specific businesses, products, topics, or brands.
As a business intelligence tool, 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 people including market researchers, online reputation management (ORM) companies, marketing teams, social engagement and community personnel, professional sales reps, and social marketing agencies. Typically, smaller businesses do not can’t afford to pay media monitoring professionals to continually track their coverage in the and actively monitor their online reputation.
Fortunately various providers have made available many tools that facilitate the monitoring of a broad range of social media channels, allowing companies to track what consumers, competitors, supporters, and critics are saying about their brands or products allowing them to react to conversations and engage with consumers in a timely fashion.
In this article, we explore a number of social media measurement tools and technologies that are worth knowing about.
- Why WordPress Is An Ideal Platform For Social Media
- Promote Your Products And Services To The Right Audience On Social Media With WordPress
- Share Your Content Across Multiple Channels
- Social Media – Great For Researching Your Market
- Build Your Brand And Credibility Online And Establish Authority In Your Niche Or Industry
- Study Authority Sites In Your Niche
- Explore Joint Venture Opportunities, Find Affiliates, Recruit Talented Staff, etc.
- Could Your Web Content “Go Viral”?
- Social Media Monitoring – Useful For All Businesses, Big And Small
Why WordPress Is An Ideal Platform For Social Media
WordPress is not only a powerful, flexible and really easy to use CMS 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.
To learn more about the benefits of using WordPress for a business website please see our related posts section.
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 provides an ideal platform for marketing your business on social media.
Promote Your Products And Services To The Right Audience On Social Media With WordPress
WordPress comes with 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 social networks.
The WordPress CMS platform is not only great for social media as a content publishing tool, it can also be transformed into a full-blown social network site, using WordPress plugins like BuddyPress, WPSymposium, and others.
(Run your own social networking site with BuddyPress WordPress plugin)
Use the BuddyPress WordPress plugin to run your own online social network on your WordPress website, with member profiles, messaging, activity streams, user groups, and more.
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 regularly contribute new open source plugins that greatly extend the application.
(WPSymposium Pro WordPress social networking plugin)
WP Symposium Pro provides members with a strong support community and assistance for members who require professional help. Social features of the plugin include:
- Activity Wall
- Private Messaging
- User Directory
- Online Forum
- Photo Galleries
- RSS Feeds
WPSymposium lets you work with the theme you have. You can add social features to posts and pages using shortcodes.
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 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 great plugins that encourage users to share your 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 various social channels using WordPress.
Social Media – Great For Researching Your Market
Social media tools allow you to discover what your target audience wants, identify new trends and 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 your social networking sites.
Additionally, there are apps that let you run surveys online. Many apps will easily integrate with WordPress.
Build Your Brand And Credibility Online And Establish Authority In Your Niche Or Industry
Building your reputation and brand, showcasing your talent, or establishing your authority online requires commitment, dedication and a social marketing strategy.
You are engaging with real people online, 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 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, and can make or break your reputation online. Everyday we hear horror stories of brands that handle a situation very poorly and end up suffering heavy losses as soon as their response or behavior gets exposed online.
Social media lets you be seen and known everywhere. This can make it easier for others to see you as an authority in your niche, but it can also take up a lot of your time.
An expertly configured WordPress-driven site lets you build your expertise online, share great information with your clients and customers, and drive more visitors to your business.
(You can automate web content syndication across social networks with an expertly configured WordPress-driven website.)
Study Authority Sites In Your Niche
Being able to monitor social media can help you observe and learn what the experts 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 media channels can increase your revenue, get your name out there, and lead to potentially lucrative new ventures.
Could Your Web Content “Go Viral”?
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 money at a advertising is no guarantee of viral success. Many ridiculous memes have achieved stratospheric viral success while big-budget and well-funded campaigns have failed dismally.
In many cases, the best you can do is study and research your audience, and provide content that users in your audience will find so useful, engaging, informative 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 run relatively inexpensive marketing campaigns.
We provide an email training course that will show you how to create useful and engaging content. In this course we also discuss 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 can generally be divided into two main groups:
- Online Reputation Management
- Tracking Online Trends
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 material online about you or your business and if this goes unchecked, this can do some serious damage to your reputation.
Originally an aspect of the services of public relations firms, 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 reducing the negative impact with 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 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 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 currently ignoring opportunities to create happier customers and boost their revenues because they ignore their digital reputations.
Monitoring what is being said online extends beyond large brands, celebrities, and security-related agencies. Being able to monitor the online reputation of of an average individual is also important. For example, consider the following situations:
- 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 a lot of good, positive things published online either to help your case.
Even if you are just starting out, it’s good to create a “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.
Are you effectively ignoring your online reputation?
We’ve written an article about a WordPress plugin that can help to avoid the escalation of problem reviews about your business, products or services through effective customer review management. For more information, go here: Power Online Reviews – Client Feedback Management Plugin For WordPress Users
Online Trend Monitoring
Regardless of which niche or industry you are in, there are always new things happening. New products, new services and new apps get released, events get scheduled and promoted, influential people say something controversial that gets mentioned in the news, companies release useful research data, new presentations are published containing fantastic tips or ideas, something outdated gets updated, 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 (have you noticed how all news media outlets now incorporate a segment on what’s trending on social media?)
Social media content is topical content. Posting regular content with added 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 brand could even end up becoming a topical, or newsworthy source of content that other online users will write about and post in their content.
This is the end of Part 1
In the next section we explore WordPress and social media tracking. To continue reading this article, click here: Social Media Measurement Resources That Can Help Grow Your Business Online – Part Two
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