The days of talking “at” your audience online are well and truly over. To achieve success in today’s connected world, you need to build a social community around your services, brand, and company, based around actively ”listening” to what they have to say.
Social channels create a direct line of communication between your brand and your target audience and give you direct access to the latest news around your products or services.
Monitoring social media activity allows you to gain insights into what people are saying about your company, products, or brand on social media, identify new market opportunities, be alerted to crises, spy on your competitors, and measure the impact of your marketing campaigns. Additionally, monitoring social media can also provide you with vital data about emerging trends and what clients and consumers are thinking about specific topics, products, brands, or businesses.
As a tool for business intelligence, being able to monitor social activity on social media is invaluable. Using social media monitoring as a form of business intelligence, however, is a complex undertaking, typically carried out by various people including marketing teams, online reputation management (ORM) specialists, market researchers, social engagement and community staff, agencies, and professional sales reps. Typically, small businesses do not have the budget to pay media monitoring professionals to continually track their coverage in the and actively monitor their digital reputation.
Fortunately many service providers have created a range of tools that facilitate the active monitoring of a broad spectrum of social media channels, allowing companies to identify and even predict what is being said online about their brands or products allowing them to respond to conversations and engage with online users in various social media platforms.
In the article below, we explore several social media monitoring tools that will help you manage, measure, and analyze your social media marketing campaigns.
What Makes WordPress An Ideal Platform For Social Media Marketing?
WordPress is not just a powerful, flexible and easy to manage content management platform used by millions of businesses worldwide, WordPress also integrates fully with many social media applications, making it an ideal too for growing your online presence in the social realm.
For an overview of why the WordPress platform is the vehicle that can help you achieve your business goals online, go here: Everything You Need To Know About Growing A Successful Business Online With A WordPress Site
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 Services And Products To The Right Audience 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, YouTube 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 networkign sites.
WordPress is not only great for social media as a content publishing tool, it can also be completely transformed into a full-featured social networking, using WordPress plugins like BuddyPress, WPSymposium, and others.
(Run your own social networking site with BuddyPress plugin for WordPress)
This free plugin can be used to run your own social networking community on your site, with member profiles, messaging, user groups, activity streams, 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 boasts a thriving community of plugin developers who regularly contribute new plugins that greatly extend the platform.
(WP Symposium WordPress social networking plugin)
WP Symposium offers a strong support community and assistance for members who need professional help. Social features of the plugin include:
- Activity Wall
- Private Messages
- Notification Bar
- User Directory
- Online Forum
- Photo Galleries
- RSS Feeds
WPSymposium lets you work with the theme you have. You can add social features to your posts and pages using shortcodes.
Share Your Content Across Multiple Channels
With most social media platforms, sharing and syndicating content has never been easier. There are services and tools that let you compose, schedule and broadcast your content over multiple social channels and manage your social media campaigns from one central location, saving you a considerable amount of time and money.
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 makes available a number of plugins that encourage your site visitors to easily share your web content on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. See the article we’ve written about WordPress social media sharing plugins and our comprehensive article series on how to automatically syndicate content on various social media channels using WordPress.
Social media tools and services allow you to listen to what your audience wants, identify new trends and 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 those social networks.
Additionally, there are applications that let you run surveys online. Many applications will integrate with WordPress.
Build Your Brand And Online Reputation And Showcase Your Talent
Building your business reputation and brand online, showcasing your special talents, or establishing your authority online requires commitment and a solid social marketing strategy.
You are engaging 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 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 comments and discussions is very important, and can make or break your reputation online. Everyday we hear stories of brands that handle a situation or customer complaint poorly and end up being the subject of much scorn and derision as soon as the online community finds out about it.
Although social media lets you be seen and known on many different channels, it can also be extremely demanding on your time.
An expertly configured WordPress site lets you build authority online, share great information with your clients and customers, and drive visitors to your business.
(Automate content syndication on various social networks with an expertly configured WordPress-driven site.)
Know What Your Competition Is Doing
Being able to listen to social conversations can help you reverse engineer the success strategies of authorities, experts, and thought leaders in your niche.
Explore Networking Opportunities And Joint Ventures, 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. Connecting with others through social media can increase your revenue, get your name out there, and lead to new lucrative ventures.
Could Your Content Be The Next Viral Sensation?
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 you cannot control. Throwing loads of money at a campaign is no guarantee of viral success. Many ridiculous memes have achieved stratospheric viral success while large brands and corporations 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, 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 can help your content go viral, or at least help you create relatively inexpensive marketing campaigns.
We have created an email training course that shows you how to create meaningful and compelling content. In this free course we also explore 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 – Not Just For Big Businesses
(Social Media Monitoring – Useful For All Businesses, Big And Small)
In general, social media monitoring can be divided into two main groups:
- Online Reputation Management
- Monitoring Online Trends
Online Reputation Management (ORM)
You have probably heard about online reputation management (ORM). 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 others are saying about them online – especially negative comments, reviews, etc.. 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. People or competitors could be posting negative things online about you or your business and if things go unchecked, this can seriously damage your reputation.
Originally an aspect of the work of PR companies, reputation management is now an issue that 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 reducing the negative with positive content, 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 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 bad review, you can then do something about it, e.g. post a response, contact the website or person directly, etc.
Businesses are missing out on opportunities to create happier customers and retain existing ones because they ignore their digital reputations.
Monitoring conversations and interactions on social media extends beyond large corporations, celebrities, and security departments. There’s also the online reputation of an average individual. For example, consider these scenarios:
- A former spouse in the middle of an acrimonious divorce or child custody battle 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 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 anything about you does come up online, you can act proactively and deal with the situation in a timely manner.
Do you have an digital reputation management strategy in place for your business?
We’ve written an article about a simple yet effective plugin for WordPress users that allows you to legally and ethically manage user reviews. Go here for more details: Power Online Reviews – Customer Feedback Management Plugin For WordPress Users
Analyzing Online Trends
Regardless of which 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 say something controversial that gets mentioned in the news, companies release useful information, new videos 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 provides 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. 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 could 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 Section 1
In the next section we explore essential social media monitoring resources for WordPress users. To read the rest of this article, click on this link: 29 Social Media Monitoring Resources For WordPress Users – Part 2
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