The days of passively talking “at” your audience online are well and truly over. Putting up a static page on your site about your company or services is not enough. To achieve business success in today’s highly connected digital world, requires actively “listening” to your audience and building an engaged community around your brand, company, and products.
Social 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.
Social media monitoring allows you to gain insights into your company’s overall visibility on social media, spot market opportunities, be alerted to disasters, measure the impact of your marketing campaigns, and spy on your competition. Additionally, social media monitoring can also provide you with vital information about emerging trends and what consumers and clients are thinking about specific topics, products, brands, or businesses.
As a business intelligence tool, being able to monitor social media is invaluable. Using social media monitoring as a form of business intelligence, however, is a complex undertaking, often carried out by a cross-section of groups that include marketing professionals, market researchers, digital reputation managers, sales teams, social engagement and community personnel, and agencies. Typically, small businesses don’t can’t afford to pay a media monitoring service to continually track their coverage in the media.
Fortunately a number of providers have made available affordable tools to facilitate the active monitoring of a broad spectrum of social media channels, enabling you to track what is being said online about your brand allowing you to react to conversations and engage with online users in a timely fashion.
In the article below, we explore a number of social media monitoring tools that are worth checking out and knowing about.
- 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
- Syndicate Your Content Across Multiple Social Channels
- Social Media – Great For Market Research
- Build Your Reputation And Brand Online And Showcase Your Talent
- Spy On Your Competition
- Explore Joint Venture Opportunities, Find Affiliates, Recruit Talented Staff, etc.
- What About “Going Viral” Online?
- Social Media Monitoring – Not Just For Global Businesses
Why Is WordPress An Ideal Platform For Social Media Marketing?
WordPress is not just a powerful, flexible and easy to use 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.
For an overview of why WordPress is the vehicle that can help your small business grow and succeed online, see this article: WordPress For Small Business – The Complete Guide To Growing Your Successful Small Business With A WordPress Site
Using some of the tools listed in this article and a WordPress site, you will be able to market your business effectively on social media and take advantage of new social business marketing opportunities.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why WordPress provides 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 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 photos from Instagram, Twitter cards, Facebook feeds, testimonials, surveys, polls … even optimize your content for various social networkign sites.
WordPress is not only great for social media as a content publishing and marketing tool, it can also be transformed into a full-featured social network site, using plugins like BuddyPress, WPSymposium, and others.
(Set up your own social network with BuddyPress WordPress plugin)
BuddyPress is a free WordPress plugin that lets you add a suite of social networking components to your website, such as:
- Extended Member Profiles
- Activity Streams
- Private Messaging
- Extensible User Groups
- Friendship Connections
- Online 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 has a thriving community of plugin developers who regularly contribute new plugins that greatly extend the platform.
(WPSymposium Pro WordPress social networking plugin)
WPSymposium Pro provides a strong support community and assistance for members who require 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 posts and pages using shortcodes.
Syndicate Your Content Across Multiple Social Channels
Many social media tools 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 drive 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 your site visitors to share your content online on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. For more information, read the article we’ve written about social media sharing plugins for WordPress and our comprehensive article series on how to automate content syndication on various social media channels using WordPress.
Social Media – Great For Market Research
Social tools and services 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, many applications and tools are available that let you survey customers online. Many apps will easily integrate with WordPress.
Build Your Reputation And Brand Online And Showcase Your Talent
Building your reputation and brand online, showcasing your special talents, or establishing your authority online requires commitment, dedication and a solid social marketing strategy.
You are trying to engage with real people online, and so your interactions must be genuine and meaningful. Focus on the needs of your target audience, and listen to their conversations for 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 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 poorly and end up suffering heavy losses as soon as their response or behavior gets circulated online.
Social media lets you be seen and known everywhere. 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 blog is an ideal platform for building your reputation or brand online. It helps you establish your authority online, showcase your talents, share valuable content and strategies with your customers and clients, and drive more visitors to your business.
(Automate your content syndication across social media networks using an expertly configured WordPress site.)
Spy On Your Competition
Being able to monitor social media can help you observe and discover the success strategies of experts and thought leaders in your niche.
Explore Joint Venture Opportunities, Find Affiliates, Recruit Talented Staff, etc.
It’s no secret that 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 can grow your revenue, get your brand seen, and lead to new lucrative ventures.
What About “Going Viral” Online?
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 cannot be controlled. Throwing loads of money at a clever or cute marketing campaign is no guarantee of viral success. Many ridiculous memes have succeeded virally while big-budget brands 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, 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 create relatively inexpensive marketing campaigns.
We provide a free email training course that shows you how to create useful and engaging content for your readers. In this course we also discuss many 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 – Not Just For Global Businesses
(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)
- Monitoring Online Trends
Online Reputation Management (ORM)
You have probably heard the term 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 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. Bad news travels fast. People or competing companies could be posting negative stuff 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 work of public relations companies, reputation management is now an issue that affects many businesses 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 diluting the negative effects with positive material, or restoring consumer trust and confidence.
Before you can do this, 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/brand name 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 person directly, etc.
Companies everywhere are currently ignoring opportunities to attract new customers and boost their revenues because they are not monitoring their digital reputations effectively.
Monitoring what is being said online extends beyond worldwide corporations, celebrities, and security-related departments. There’s also the reputation of individuals. For example, consider the scenarios below:
- 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 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, it’s good to create an easy “set and forget” social media alert system, so that if any conversations, comments or reviews about you do come up online, you can act proactively and deal with it in a timely manner.
Are you effectively managing your online reputation?
We’ve written an article about a simple yet effective tool for WordPress users that allows you to legally and ethically manage your customer reviews. More information: Power Online Reviews – WordPress Plugin For Customer Reviews Management
Tracking Online Trends
Regardless of which niche or industry you operate in, there are always new things happening. New products get released, new services get launched, events get scheduled and promoted, influential people say something controversial that gets 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 YouTube, 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 (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 an authoritative 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 people will write about and mention in their content.
This is the end of Part 1
In the next section we explore WordPress social media monitoring and resources. To continue reading this article, click here: 29 Media Tools Every Business Owner Should Know About – Part Two
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