The days of talking “at” audiences online are well and truly over. To achieve business success in today’s connected digital economy, you need to build and nurture a community around your products, company, and brand, all based around “listening”.
Social media channels create a direct line of communication between your brand and consumers and give anyone with an Internet connection direct access to the latest news around your services or products.
Monitoring social media activity allows you to find insights into what people are saying about your products, company, or brand on social media, measure the impact of your marketing campaigns, assess competitor activity, spot opportunities for engagement, and help you take preventative measures against the spread of negative comments or feedback by embittered customers. It can also provide you with valuable information about emerging trends and what consumers and clients think about specific products, topics, brands, 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 a cross-section of people including marketing professionals, PR agencies, market researchers, social engagement and community personnel, professional sales reps, and social marketing agencies. Typically, small businesses do not have the budget to pay social media monitoring professionals to track their coverage in the media.
Fortunately different technology companies have developed a range of tools to facilitate the monitoring of a variety of social media channels, enabling companies to identify what consumers are saying about their brands or products so they can respond to conversations and engage with consumers in various social media platforms.
In this article, we explore a number of social media monitoring tools that will help you manage, measure, and analyze your social media marketing initiatives.
Table of Contents
- Why Is WordPress An Ideal Platform For Social Media Marketing?
- Promote Your Services And Products To An Audience Of Buyers On Your Social Media Networks With WordPress
- Share Your Content Across Many Channels
- Conduct Market Research
- Build Your Business Brand And Reputation And Showcase Your Talent
- Study Niche Authorities
- Explore Joint Venture Opportunities, Find Affiliates, Recruit Talented Staff, etc.
- What About “Going Viral” Online?
- Social Media Monitoring – Not Just For Large Businesses
Why Is WordPress An Ideal Platform For Social Media Marketing?
WordPress is not just a powerful, scalable and easy to manage 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 please see our related posts section.
Using some of the tools listed here 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 to market your business on social media.
Promote Your Services And Products To An Audience Of Buyers On Your Social Media Networks With WordPress
WordPress includes 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 content for social networkign sites.
The WordPress CMS platform is not only great for social media as a content marketing tool, it can also be completely transformed into a full-featured social networking, using plugins like BuddyPress, WPSymposium, and others.
(Run your own social network with BuddyPress WordPress plugin)
BuddyPress lets you add a suite of social networking components to your website, such as:
- Activity Streams
- Private Messaging
- User Groups
- Friend Connections
- Discussion Forums
- Many Add-On Features
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.
(WPSymposium Pro WordPress social network plugin)
WP Symposium Pro offers a strong support community and assistance for users who need professional help. Social features of the plugin include:
- Activity Wall
- Private Messages
- User Directory
- Photo Galleries
- RSS Feeds
WPSymposium lets you work with the theme you have. You can add features to your 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 run most of your social marketing from WordPress, you can. WordPress not only lets you publish content on your own domain, it also offers many great plugins that allow users to share your 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 automatically syndicate your content on social channels with WordPress.
Conduct Market Research
Use social tools to discover what your target audience wants, identify trends and 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.
Additionally, many tools are available that let you conduct surveys and polls online. Many of these applications can be integrated with WordPress.
Build Your Business Brand And Reputation And Showcase Your Talent
Strengthening your business brand and online reputation, showcasing your special talents, or establishing your authority online requires commitment and a robust social marketing strategy.
You are trying to engage with real people, 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 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 online and how you respond to comments and discussions is very important. Everyday we hear horror stories of brands that handle a situation poorly and end up suffering heavy losses when the online community finds out about it.
Although social media provides many new channels for gaining wider exposure online, 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 lets you automatically distribute content across various social networks.)
Study Niche Authorities
Being able to monitor social media can help you discover and even reverse engineer what experts in your niche are doing right.
Explore Joint Venture Opportunities, 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. Using social media to explore new opportunities and joint ventures can grow your revenue, get your business seen, and lead to potentially lucrative new ventures.
What About “Going Viral” Online?
Most businesses would love to have a viral hit. “Going viral,” however, is quite difficult to achieve, as it relies on many factors that you cannot control. Throwing loads of money at a clever or cute campaign is no guarantee of viral success. Many ridiculous memes have succeeded virally while big-budget brands and corporations have failed to take off.
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, compelling, informative or “spot-on”, that they will be naturally motivated to share with others.
Some of the tools listed in the next section of this article could help your content go viral, or at least help you create relatively inexpensive marketing campaigns.
We provide a free email training course that will show you how to create meaningful and engaging content. In this course we also explore 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 – Not Just For Large Businesses
(Social Media Monitoring – Not Just For Large Brands)
Social media monitoring can generally be divided into two main groups:
- Online Reputation Management
- Online Trend Monitoring
Managing Your Online Reputation
You have probably heard the term 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 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. Real or imagined, bad news travels fast. People or competitors could be posting negative material online about you or your business and if left unchecked, this can do some serious damage to your reputation.
Originally an aspect of the services of public relations firms, reputation management is an issue that now affects many businesses and individuals online.
If you or your brand’s image, name or good standing is being affected by negative material being posted online, you have to find a way of reducing the negative with positive material, or restoring consumer trust and confidence.
Before you can begin to stop negative things being said about you 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 come in. If you Google your name or your business/brand and find that a competitor has published fake reviews or customer complaints designed to discredit your business, you can then address the issue, e.g. post a response, contact the website or person directly, etc.
Companies are currently ignoring opportunities to attract new customers and boost their revenues because they are still ignoring their digital reputations.
Monitoring what is being said online extends beyond worldwide brands, celebrities, and security-related agencies. Being able to monitor the online reputation of of average individuals is also very important. Consider the following scenarios:
- A former spouse in the middle of a bitter divorce or child custody dispute 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 your job application.
Even if you are just starting out, it’s good to create a “set and forget” alert system, so that if any conversations, comments or reviews about you do come up online later, you can act proactively and respond in a timely manner.
Are you effectively managing your digital reputation?
We’ve written an article about a simple yet effective tool for WordPress users that lets you legally and ethically manage customer reviews. For more details, go here: Power Online Reviews – WordPress Plugin For Managing User Feedback
Tracking Online Trends
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 get mentioned in the news, companies publish useful research data, new presentations are published containing fantastic tips or ideas, something outdated gets updated, something becomes the next viral phenomenon 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 provides you with an endless source of new content (how many news sites now incorporate a segment on what’s trending on social media?)
Social media content is topical content. Posting regular topical 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 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 website or brand could even end up becoming a topical, or newsworthy source of content that others will write about and mention in their content.
This is the end of Section 1
In the next section we explore top social media tools that can help grow your business online. To continue reading this article, click here: Top Social Media Monitoring Resources For WordPress Users – Part Two
"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
Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users
Learn how to set up and configure a WordPress membership site using the S2 Member free WordPress membership plugin.
More info: Using S2 Member
Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users
Learn how to safely and automatically backup your WordPress files and database and how to easily restore your WordPress site if something were to happen.
More info: How To Back Up & Restore WordPress Sites
Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users
Learn how to set up an e-commerce store on your WordPress site using e-commerce platforms like WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads.
More info: Build An e-Commerce Store With WordPress
Recommended Video Courses For WordPress Users
Learn how to optimize your WordPress site and improve your page loading speed.
More info: How To Optimize WordPress