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WordPress & Social Media Tools – 1

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 products is not enough. To achieve success in today’s interconnected world, requires actively “listening” to your audience’s needs and feedback, and building a community around your brand, services, and company.

Social channels create a direct line of communication between your business and consumers and give anyone with an Internet connection direct access to the latest information around your products or services.

Social media monitoring allows you to find insights into your brand’s online visibility on social media, spy on your competitors, help you take preventative measures if you detect negative comments or feedback by embittered customers, spot opportunities for engagement, and measure the impact of your marketing campaigns. Additionally, monitoring social media can also provide you with valuable information about emerging trends and what clients and consumers think about specific topics, products, businesses, or brands.

As a tool for business intelligence, being able to monitor volume and sentiments of social conversations and social activity on social media is invaluable. Using social media monitoring as a form of business intelligence, however, is a complex undertaking, often carried out by various people including digital reputation management companies, market researchers, marketing professionals, social media marketing agencies, social engagement and community personnel, and sales teams. Typically, many small businesses don’t have the budget to pay media monitoring professionals to track their coverage in the media.

Fortunately many technology companies have developed affordable tools that facilitate the tracking of a variety of social media channels, enabling you to track consumer behavior around your brand so you can respond proactively to conversations and interact with consumers in a timely fashion.

In the article below, we explore a number of social media monitoring tools and technologies that are worth knowing about.

WordPress And 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 using WordPress please see our related posts section.

With a WordPress site and some of the tools listed in the next section of this article, you will be able to explore full range of benefits offered by social media marketing.

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

Pitch Your Services And Products To A Wider Audience On Social Media 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 photos from Instagram, Twitter feeds, 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 publishing and marketing tool, it can also be completely transformed into a full-featured social networking, using WordPress plugins like BuddyPress, WPSymposium, and others.

BuddyPress

(Set up your own social network 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 boasts a thriving community of plugin developers who regularly contribute new plugins that greatly extend the platform.

WPSymposium

(WP Symposium WordPress social networking plugin)

WPSymposium provides a strong support community and assistance for users who require professional help. Social features of the plugin include:

WPSymposium lets you work with the theme you have. You can add social features to posts and pages using shortcodes.

Syndicate Your Content Across Many Social Channels

With most social media platforms, syndicating your 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 marketing campaigns from one central location, saving you considerable time and money.

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 has many plugins that allow your site visitors to easily share your content online on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc. For more information, check out the article we’ve written about WordPress social media sharing plugins and our comprehensive article series on how to automatically syndicate your content across various social media channels using WordPress.

Conduct Market Research

Use social media measuring tools and applications to listen to what consumers want, identify new trends and business opportunities and stay ahead of competitors.

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 applications are available that let you survey customers online and help you create customer-driven sales campaigns. Many of these apps and tools will easily integrate with WordPress.

Build Your Business Brand And Credibility Online And Establish Authority In Your Niche

Building your business brand and online reputation, showcasing your talent, or establishing your authority online requires commitment and a 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 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 and how you respond online is very important. Everyday we hear stories of brands that handle a situation or customer complaint poorly and end up suffering heavy losses when their response or behavior gets exposed online.

Social media lets you be seen and known on many different channels. This can make it easier for others to see you as a credible authority in your niche, industry, or area of expertise, but it can also take up a lot of your time.

An expertly configured WordPress-driven website is an ideal platform for building your online reputation or brand. It lets you build authority online, showcase your talents, share great content and strategies with your clients and customers, and drive new visitors to your business.

(An expertly configured WordPress website can automate web content syndication across social media channels.)

Spy On Authorities In Your Niche

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

Explore Networking Opportunities And Joint Ventures, Find Affiliates, Recruit Talented Staff, etc.

Recruitment companies research social media 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.

Could Your Web Content “Go Viral” Online?

Most businesses would love to have a viral content marketing strategy. “Going viral,” however, is a difficult thing 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 become internet viral hits 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 will find so useful, engaging, 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 can help your content go viral, or at least help you create relatively inexpensive marketing campaigns.

We have created a free email training course that will show you how to create useful and compelling content. In this free course we also discuss ways to create content that has the potential to go viral and help your business grow faster. To learn more, go here or subscribe using the form below:

Social Media Monitoring – Useful For All Businesses, Big And Small

(Social Media Monitoring – Not Just For Big Brands)

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

Online Reputation Management (ORM)

You have probably heard about 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 others are saying 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 tell 10 other people about it. Real or imagined, bad news travels fast. People or competing companies could be posting negative material online about you or your business and if things go unchecked, this can do some serious damage to your reputation.

Originally an aspect of the work of public relations firms, reputation management is now an issue that affects many companies and individuals online.

If you or your brand’s image, good 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 content, 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 your name or your business/brand name and a negative comment or bad review comes up, you can then do something about it, e.g. post a response, contact the website or person directly, etc.

Businesses around the world are missing out on opportunities to create happier customers and increase their revenues because they are not effectively managing their online reputations.

Actively monitoring conversations and new conversations on social media extends beyond multinational brands, celebrities, movie stars, famous musicians, and security-related departments. It’s also important to be able to monitor the reputation of average individuals. Consider the scenarios below:

Even if you are just starting out, it’s good to create a “set and forget” social media alert system, so that if anything about you does come up online, you can act proactively and deal with it in a timely manner.

Online reputation management should not be avoided if you want your business to grow in the online economy.

We’ve written an article about a simple WordPress plugin that can help you avoid the escalation of negative reviews about your business through effective user review management. Go here for more details: Power Online Reviews – User Feedback Management Plugin For WordPress

Online Trend Monitoring

Regardless of which niche or industry you operate your business in, there are always new and exciting things happening. New apps 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 presentations are published containing fantastic tips or ideas, something outdated 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 and new content ideas (have you noticed how all news media agencies 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 a “go to” destination or resource for your niche or industry. People may end up referring you to others on social media, and who knows … your site or brand could even end up becoming a topical, or newsworthy source of content that others will write about and post in their content.

This is the end of Section One

In the next section we explore social media monitoring tools that can help grow your business online. To continue reading this article, click here: WordPress And Social Media Measurement – Part 2

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"Wow! I never knew there's so much to learn about WordPress! I bought one of the WordPress for Dummies three years ago, such authors need to be on this course!" - Rich Law, Create A Blog Now

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