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WordPress & Social Media Tools – 1

The days of talking “at” audiences online are well and truly over. To achieve success in today’s interconnected world, requires actively “listening” to your audience’s needs and feedback, and building an engaged social community around your company, products, and brand.

Social channels create a direct line of communication between your brand and your target audience and give you immediate access to the latest buzz about your products or services.

Tracking social media activity allows you to find insights into what people are saying about your company, brand, or products on social media, spot opportunities for engagement, be alerted to impending crises, measure the impact of campaigns, and spy on the competition. It can also provide vital data about emerging trends and what clients and consumers are thinking about specific topics, brands, businesses, or products.

As a business intelligence tool, social media signal monitoring is invaluable. Using social media monitoring as a form of business intelligence, however, is a complex undertaking, typically carried out by various groups that include market researchers, online reputation management (ORM) specialists, marketing teams, social engagement and community staff, social marketing agencies, and professional sales reps. Typically, small businesses don’t have the budget to pay social media monitoring professionals to track their coverage in the and actively monitor their digital reputation.

Fortunately different service providers have made available a range of affordable and even free tools that facilitate the tracking of a variety of social media channels, enabling companies to identify and even predict what is being said online about their products or brands allowing them to react to conversations and interact with consumers in various social media platforms.

In this article, we explore several social media measurement tools and technologies that you may want to check out.

Why Is WordPress An Ideal Platform For Social Media?

WordPress is not only a powerful, scalable and really easy to use content management platform used by millions of businesses worldwide, WordPress also integrates fully with many social media applications, making it an ideal platform for growing your online presence in the social realm.

To learn more about the benefits of using WordPress for a business website please see our related posts section.

Using some of the tools listed in this article and a WordPress site, you will be able to explore the full power social media 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 Products And Services To An Audience Of Buyers On Your Social Media Networks 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, YouTube and many others.

For example, there are plugins that can add social sharing buttons, forums, add images from Instagram, Twitter feeds, Facebook feeds, testimonials, surveys, polls … even optimize your article titles and descriptions for social networks.

The WordPress content management system (CMS) is not only ideal for social media as a content publishing and marketing tool, it can also be transformed into a full-featured social network, using WordPress plugins like BuddyPress, WPSymposium, and others.

BuddyPress

(Run your own social networking website with BuddyPress WordPress plugin)

BuddyPress 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 an active community of plugin developers who contribute new open source plugins that greatly extend the application.

WPSymposium

(WP Symposium Pro WordPress social networking plugin)

WP Symposium offers a strong support community and assistance for members 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.

Share 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 time and money.

If you want to manage your social marketing from WordPress, you can. WordPress not only makes it easy to publish content on your own domain, it also makes available a number of great plugins that encourage your site visitors to easily share your content on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, 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 automate web content syndication across social media networks using WordPress.

Social Media – Great For Researching Your Market

Social marketing tools and services allow you to listen to what consumers want, identify 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 your social networking sites.

Additionally, there are applications that let you run surveys online and help you create customer-driven sales campaigns. Many of these applications can be integrated with WordPress.

Build Your Credibility And Brand Online And Showcase Your Talent

Strengthening your brand and online reputation, showcasing your talent, or establishing your authority online requires commitment, dedication and a robust social marketing strategy.

You are engaging with real people, 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 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 horror stories of brands that handle a customer situation very poorly and end up being the subject of much scorn and derision as soon as the online community finds out about it.

Social media lets you be seen and known everywhere. This can make it easier for others to see you as an authority in your niche, industry, or area of expertise, but it can also be very demanding on your time.

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

(Use an expertly configured WordPress website to automatically syndicate your web content across social channels.)

Study Niche Authorities

Being able to listen to social conversations can help you observe and discover what experts and leaders in your niche are doing right.

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 channels can increase your revenue, get your name out there, and lead to potentially lucrative new ventures.

“Go Viral” Online Faster

Most businesses would love to have a viral hit. “Going viral,” however, is quite difficult to achieve, as it relies on many factors that are completely out of your control. Throwing loads of money at a clever marketing campaign is no guarantee of viral success. Many ridiculous memes have become internet viral hits while big-budget brands have failed.

In many cases, the best you can do is know your audience well, 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 Part 2 of this article can help your content go viral, or at least help you create relatively inexpensive marketing campaigns.

We provide an email training course that shows you how to create useful and compelling content for your readers. In this free course we also explore many ways to create content with 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 – Useful For All Businesses, Big And Small

(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)

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 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 more people about it. People or competing businesses could be posting negative material online about you or your brand and if this goes 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 companies and individuals online.

If you or your image, name or good standing is being affected by negative material being posted online, you have to find a way of diluting the negative with an excess of 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 can help you. If you Google your name 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.

Companies are missing out on opportunities to create happier customers and boost their revenues because they ignore their online reputations.

Monitoring online conversations extends beyond global brands, celebrities, and security-related agencies. There’s also the online reputation of an average individual. For example, consider the following scenarios:

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 about you do come up online, you can act proactively and deal with it in a timely manner.

Do you have a system in place for managing your online reputation?

We’ve written an article about a plugin for WordPress users that allows you to legally and ethically manage your customer reviews. For more information, visit this page: Power Online Reviews – WordPress Plugin For Easy Management Of User Reviews

Monitoring 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 promoted, influential people say something controversial that gets mentioned in the news, companies publish useful information, new presentations are published containing fantastic tips or ideas, an outdated fact gets updated and becomes relevant again, something becomes the next viral phenomenon on Facebook, 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 provides you with an endless source of new content and new content ideas (how many news media channels now incorporate a segment on what’s trending on social media?)

Social media content is topical content. Implementing a regular schedule of posting 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 a “go to” destination or resource for your niche or industry. People could end up referring you to others on social media, and who knows … your site or business could even end up becoming a topical, or newsworthy source of information that others will write about and mention in their content.

This is the end of Part One

In the next section we explore social media tracking tools that can help grow your business online. To read the rest of this article, click on this link: WordPress And Social Media : Useful Resources For Measuring Social Metrics – Part Two

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