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WordPress & Social Media Tools – 1

The days of passively talking “at” your audience online are well and truly over. To achieve business success in today’s interconnected digital world, you need to build an engaged community around your company, services, and brand and ”listen” to their feedback.

Social channels create a direct line of communication between your business and your target audience and give anyone with an Internet connection direct access to the latest news about your services or products.

Monitoring social media activity allows you to find insights into what people are saying about your company, services, or brand on social media, measure the impact of campaigns, spy on the competition, spot opportunities for engagement, and take preventative measures if you detect negative comments or feedback by dissatisfied users. It can also provide vital data about emerging trends and what clients and consumers are thinking about specific products, businesses, topics, or brands.

As a business intelligence tool, the ability to track social media channels like blogging, internet forums, social networking platforms, micro-blogging platforms like Twitter, Quora, etc., discussion boards, video/photo sharing sites, and user-generated content is invaluable. Using social media monitoring as a form of business intelligence, however, is a complex undertaking, often carried out by various people including marketing professionals, online reputation managers, market research, sales teams, social marketing agencies, and social engagement and community staff. Typically, many small businesses don’t can’t afford to pay a social media monitoring service to continually track their coverage in the and actively monitor their online reputation.

Fortunately different technology providers have developed many tools to facilitate the tracking of a variety of social media channels, allowing companies to track consumer behavior around their products or brands so they can respond proactively to conversations and interact with consumers in various social media platforms.

In this article, we explore a number of social media monitoring tools that are worth checking out and knowing about.

WordPress And Social Media Marketing – Social Media Monitoring Tools

WordPress is not only a powerful, flexible and easy to manage 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 the WordPress platform is the vehicle that can help you achieve your business goals online, see this article: WordPress For Small Business Owners – The Beginner’s Guide To Building A Successful Small Business With WordPress

Using some of the tools listed in the next section of this article and a WordPress site, you will be able to explore the new social business marketing opportunities.

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why WordPress is an ideal platform for marketing your business on social media.

Promote Your Services And Products 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, Pinterest and many others.

For example, there are plugins that can add social sharing buttons, forums, add photos 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 ideal for social media as a content publishing tool, it can also be completely transformed into a full-blown social network site, using plugins like BuddyPress, WPSymposium, and others.

BuddyPress

(Set up your own social networking website with BuddyPress plugin for WordPress)

BuddyPress is a free WordPress plugin that lets you add a suite of social networking components to your website, such as:

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 contribute new open source plugins that greatly extend the application.

WP Symposium Pro

(WP Symposium WordPress social network plugin)

WPSymposium Pro offers a strong support community and assistance for members who need professional help. Social features of the plugin include:

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, syndicating content is very easy. There are services and tools that let you compose, schedule and broadcast your content over multiple social channels simultaneously and manage your social media campaigns from one central location, saving you a considerable amount of time and money.

If you want to run your social marketing from WordPress, you can. WordPress not only makes it easy to publish content on your own domain, it also offers many plugins that allow your site visitors to easily share your content on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. See the article we’ve written about social media sharing plugins for WordPress and our comprehensive article series on how to automate web content syndication across various social networks using WordPress.

Market Research

Using social media tools allows you to listen to what your audience wants, identify trends and 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, there are many apps and tools that let you conduct surveys and polls of customers online and help you create customer-driven sales campaigns. Many applications will integrate with WordPress.

Build And Strengthen Your Brand And Credibility Online

Building and strengthening your brand and reputation, showcasing your special talents, or establishing your authority online requires commitment and a social marketing strategy.

You are trying to engage with real people online, 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 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. Everyday we hear stories of brands that handle a situation or customer complaint poorly and end up paying a heavy price as soon as their response or behavior gets exposed online.

Although social media can make it easier for others to see you as an authority in your niche, industry, or area of expertise, it can also take up a lot of your time.

An expertly configured WordPress site lets you build authority online, share great information with your clients and customers, and drive new visitors to your business.

(An expertly configured WordPress-driven site can automatically syndicate your content across various social channels.)

Study Influencers In Your Niche

Being able to monitor social media can help you reverse engineer what authorities and influencers in your niche are doing right.

Explore Joint Venture Opportunities, Find Affiliates, Recruit Talented Staff, etc.

It’s no secret that recruitment companies research 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 increase your revenue, get your name out there, and lead to new lucrative ventures.

What About “Going Viral” Online?

Most businesses would love to see their content or marketing campaigns go viral. “Going viral,” however, is a difficult outcome to achieve, as it relies on many factors that you cannot control. Throwing loads of money at a clever advertising is no guarantee of viral success. Many ridiculous memes have achieved stratospheric viral success while big-budget and well-funded campaigns have failed.

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, entertaining 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 set up relatively inexpensive marketing campaigns.

We have created a free email training course that will show you how to create useful and engaging content for your readers. In this course we also explore many ways to create content that has 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 Large Businesses

(Social Media Monitoring – Not Just For Global Brands)

Social media monitoring can generally be divided into two main groups:

Online Reputation Management

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 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 more people about it. Real or imagined, bad news travels fast. People or competing businesses could be posting negative stuff online about you or your brand and if left unchecked, this can seriously damage your reputation.

Originally an aspect of the work of public relations companies, reputation management is now an issue that affects many companies 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 weakening the negative effects 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 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 yourself or your business 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 person directly, etc.

Businesses all around the world are currently ignoring opportunities to create happier customers and grow their business because they ignore their digital reputations.

Monitoring what is being said online extends beyond worldwide brands, celebrities, and security-conscious departments. It’s also important to be able to monitor the reputation of average individuals. Consider the following scenarios:

Even if you are just starting out, it’s good to create an easy “set and forget” alert system, so that if any conversations, comments or reviews about you do come up online, you can act proactively and deal with the situation in a timely manner.

How well do you manage your online reputation in the web economy?

We’ve written an article about a simple yet effective tool for WordPress users that allows you to legally and ethically manage customer feedback. For more information, go here: Power Online Reviews – Customer Reviews Management Plugin For WordPress Users

Online Trend Monitoring

Regardless of what niche or industry you operate in, there are always new and exciting things happening. New products get released, new services get launched, events get scheduled and promoted, influential people get mentioned in the news, companies publish useful information, new videos are published containing fantastic tips or ideas, something outdated gets updated, something goes viral on Facebook, 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 and new content ideas (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 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 One

In the next section we explore WordPress and social media monitoring. To continue reading this article, click here: 29 Media Resources For WordPress Users – Part 2

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