The days of talking “at” audiences online are well and truly over. To achieve success in today’s highly connected world, requires actively “listening” to your audience and building a social community around your brand, company, and services.
Social media channels create a direct line of communication between your brand and your audience and give you immediate access to the latest news around your products or services.
Social media monitoring allows you to gain insights into your company’s online visibility on social media, spy on your competitors, be alerted to disasters, measure the impact of campaigns, and spot potential opportunities for engagement. It can also provide you with vital information about emerging trends and what clients and consumers are thinking about specific topics, businesses, products, or brands.
As a tool for business intelligence, the ability to monitor social activity on social media channels like blogging, forums, social networking platforms, micro-blogging platforms, discussion groups, video/photo sharing sites, and user-generated content (UGC) 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 PR staff, marketing teams, market research, social marketing agencies, social engagement and community personnel, and sales teams. Typically, many small businesses don’t can’t afford to pay media monitoring professionals to track their coverage in the and actively monitor their online reputation.
Fortunately different service providers have created tools and solutions that facilitate the tracking of a variety of social media channels, allowing you to track what is being said online about your brand so you can respond to conversations and interact with online users in a timely manner.
In the article below, we explore several social media tracking tools that are worth knowing about.
- WordPress And Social Media – An Ideal Business Marketing Platform
- Pitch Your Products And Services To An Audience Of Buyers On Social Media With WordPress
- Syndicate Your Content Across Many Channels
- Social Media – Great For Researching Your Market
- Build And Strengthen Your Business Reputation And Brand Online
- Study Authority Sites In Your Niche
- Explore Networking Opportunities And Joint Ventures, Find Affiliates, Recruit Talented Staff, etc.
- “Going Viral” Online Faster
- Social Media Monitoring – Useful For All Businesses, Big And Small
WordPress And Social Media – An Ideal Business Marketing Platform
WordPress is not just a powerful, flexible and easy to use CMS 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.
To learn more about the benefits of using WordPress please click on links to visit our related posts section.
Using some of the tools listed in the next section of this article and a WordPress site, you will be able to tap into the new social business 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 Social Media 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, Pinterest and many others.
For example, there are plugins that can add social sharing buttons, forums, add images from Instagram, Twitter cards, Facebook feeds, testimonials, surveys, polls … even optimize your article titles and descriptions for social networks.
WordPress is not only great for social media as a content publishing tool, it can also be transformed into a full-featured social networking, using WordPress plugins like BuddyPress, WPSymposium, and others.
(Run your own social networking site with BuddyPress WordPress plugin)
This plugin helps you 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 an active community of plugin developers who regularly contribute new plugins that greatly extend the platform.
(WPSymposium Pro WordPress social networking plugin)
WP Symposium Pro offers a strong support community and assistance for members who require professional help. Social features of the plugin include:
- Activity Wall
- Private Messaging
- Notification Bar
- User Directory
- Online Forum
- Photo Galleries
- RSS Feeds
WPSymposium lets you work with the theme you have. You can add features to your pages and posts using shortcodes.
Syndicate Your Content Across Many Channels
With most social media platforms, sharing and syndicating content is very easy. There are tools that let you compose, schedule and broadcast your content over many social channels and manage your social media campaigns from one central location, saving you time and money.
If you want to manage your social marketing from WordPress, you can. WordPress not only lets you publish content on your own domain, it also makes available a number of plugins that allow your site visitors to easily share your content online on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. See the article we’ve written about WordPress social media sharing plugins and our comprehensive article series on how to automate content syndication across various social networks with WordPress.
Social Media – Great For Researching Your Market
Using social media marketing tools allows you to listen to what consumers want, identify new 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, many apps are available that let you conduct surveys and polls online. Many of these applications and tools will easily integrate with WordPress.
Build And Strengthen Your Business Reputation And Brand Online
Building your reputation and brand, showcasing your talent, or establishing your authority online requires commitment, dedication and a 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 stories of brands that handle a customer situation very poorly and end up paying a heavy price when the online community gets hold of the news.
Although social media provides many new channels for gaining wider exposure online, it can also be very time-consuming.
An expertly configured WordPress-driven site lets you build your expertise online, share great information with your customers and clients, and drive visitors to your business.
(Automate your content syndication across social media with an expertly configured WordPress-driven website.)
Study Authority Sites In Your Niche
Being able to listen in to social conversations can help you discover and and perhaps even reverse engineer what the experts are doing.
Explore Networking Opportunities And Joint Ventures, Find Affiliates, Recruit Talented Staff, etc.
Recruitment companies spend a lot of time nowadays researching social media and studying the 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.
“Going Viral” Online Faster
Most 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 outside your control. Throwing loads of dollars at a clever or cute advertising is no guarantee of viral success. Many ridiculous memes have become internet viral hits while big-budget brands have failed dismally.
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 Two of this article can help your content go viral, or at least help you run relatively inexpensive marketing campaigns.
We have created an email training course that shows you how to create meaningful and compelling content. In this course we also discuss ways to create content with the potential to go viral and help your business grow faster. For more info, go here or subscribe using the form below:
Social Media Monitoring – Useful For All Businesses, Big And Small
(Social Media Monitoring – Not Just For Large Businesses)
Social media monitoring can generally be divided into two main groups:
- Online Reputation Management
- Monitoring Online Trends
Managing Your Digital Reputation
You have probably heard of online reputation management (ORM). 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 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. Bad news travels fast. People or competing companies could be posting negative things online about you or your brand and if left unchecked, this can do some serious damage to your reputation.
Originally an aspect of the work of public relations companies, reputation management is an issue that now affects many companies and individuals online.
If you or your brand’s image, name or reputation is being affected by negative material being posted online, you have to find a way of defeating the negative effects with positive material, 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 come in. If you Google yourself or your business and spot a negative comment or review, you can then address the issue, e.g. post a response, contact the person directly, etc.
Businesses are missing out on opportunities to attract new customers and grow their business because they are not monitoring their digital reputations.
Actively monitoring online conversations extends beyond well-known corporations, celebrities, and security agencies. Being able to monitor the reputation of of individuals is also very important. For example, consider the scenarios below:
- A former spouse in the middle of an acrimonious divorce or child custody proceedings feels 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 does come up online later, you can act proactively and respond in a timely manner.
Do you know what visitors are saying about you online?
We’ve written an article about a simple yet effective WordPress plugin that lets you legally and ethically manage customer reviews. For more information, go here: Power Online Reviews – WordPress Plugin For Management Of Customer Feedback
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 get mentioned in the news, companies release useful research data, new videos are published containing fantastic tips or ideas, something outdated gets updated and becomes relevant again, something goes viral on Facebook, 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 (have you noticed how all news media broadcasters 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 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 could 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 online users will write about and post in their content.
This is the end of Section 1
In the next section we explore best social media measurement resources for WordPress. To read more, click on this link: Great Social Media Monitoring Tools For Business Owners – Part 2
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