WordPress For Non-Techies: Free WordPress Tutorials – WPCompendium.org

WordPress & Social Media Tools – 1

The days of passively talking “at” audiences online are well and truly over. To succeed in today’s interconnected global and digital economy, requires actively “listening” to your audience and building a social community around your company, services, and brand.

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

Social media monitoring allows you to gain insights into what people are saying about your company, products, or brand on social media, measure the impact of your marketing campaigns, take preventative measures against the spread of negative comments or feedback by dissatisfied users, spy on the competition, and identify market opportunities. It can also provide vital information about emerging trends and what clients and consumers think about specific brands, topics, businesses, or products.

As a tool for business intelligence, the ability to track social media channels like blogging, forums, news sites, micro-blogging platforms like Twitter, Quora, etc., discussion groups, video/photo sharing websites, 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 groups that include market researchers, PR companies, marketing teams, social engagement and community staff, agencies, and sales teams. Typically, small businesses do not can’t afford to pay a social media monitoring service to continually track their coverage in the media.

Fortunately different service providers have made available tools to facilitate the monitoring of a wide spectrum of social media channels, allowing you to track consumer behavior around your products or brand allowing you to respond to conversations and interact with online users in various social media platforms.

In this article, we explore a number of social media measurement tools and technologies that will help you manage, measure, and analyze your social media marketing initiatives.

What Makes WordPress An Ideal Platform For Social Media?

WordPress is not just a powerful, scalable and easy to use content management platform used by millions of businesses worldwide, it 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 using WordPress for a business website please see our related posts section.

With a WordPress site and some of the tools listed in this article, you will be able to market your business effectively on social media and take advantage of new social marketing opportunities.

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 Products And Services To An Audience Of Buyers On Social Media With WordPress

WordPress comes with 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 various social networks.

WordPress is not only great for social media as a content publishing and marketing tool, it can also be completely transformed into a full-blown social network, using plugins like BuddyPress, WPSymposium, and others.

BuddyPress

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

BuddyPress is a free plugin for WordPress 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 an active community of plugin developers who contribute new open source plugins that greatly extend the application.

WPSymposium

(WPSymposium Pro WordPress social network plugin)

WPSymposium Pro 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 your pages and posts using shortcodes.

Syndicate Your Content Across Many Channels

With most social media tools, sharing and syndicating content has never been easier. There are tools and services that let you compose, schedule and broadcast your content over many social channels and manage your social media campaigns from one central location, saving you considerable 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 makes available a number of great plugins that encourage users to easily share your web content on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc. See the article we’ve written about social media sharing plugins for WordPress and our comprehensive article series on how to automatically distribute your web content on social media channels with WordPress.

Market Research

Use social media monitoring tools and applications to discover what consumers want, identify new business opportunities and stay ahead of many 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.

Additionally, many tools are available that let you run surveys online and help you create consumer-driven sales campaigns. Many apps and tools can be integrated with WordPress.

Build Your Credibility And Brand And Establish Authority In Your Niche Or Industry

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

You are engaging with real people, and so your interactions must be authentic and meaningful. Focus on your target audience, 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. Everyday we hear stories of brands that handle a customer situation poorly and end up suffering heavy losses as soon as the online community gets hold of the news.

Although social media lets you be seen and known on many different channels, it can also be very time-consuming.

An expertly configured WordPress-driven blog lets you build your expertise online, share great information with your clients and customers, and drive more visitors to your business.

(Automatically distribute your content on various social networks using an expertly configured WordPress-driven site.)

Study The Influencers

Being able to listen to social media conversations can help you discover and and maybe also reverse engineer what the experts 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 potentially lucrative new ventures.

“Go Viral” Faster

Most businesses would love to have a viral content marketing strategy. “Going viral,” however, is quite difficult 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 become internet viral hits while big-budget brands and corporations have failed dismally.

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, 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 set up 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 course we also discuss many ways to create content with 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 Large Businesses)

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

Managing Your Online Reputation

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 if what is being posted 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. People or competing companies could be posting negative material online about you or your brand and if things go unchecked, this can seriously damage your reputation.

Originally an aspect of the services of public relations companies, reputation management is an issue that now affects many businesses 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 diminishing the negative effects with an excess of positive material, or restoring consumer trust and confidence.

Before you can begin to repair any damage, 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 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.

Many companies around the world are missing out on opportunities to create happier customers and grow their business because they are not monitoring their digital reputations effectively.

Monitoring what is being said online extends beyond worldwide corporations, celebrities, movie stars, famous musicians, and security-conscious departments. There’s also the reputation of an average individual. Consider these situations:

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 respond in a timely manner.

Do you have an effective digital reputation management strategy in place?

We’ve written an article about a simple WordPress plugin that allows you to legally and ethically manage customer reviews. More info: Power Online Reviews – Customer Reviews Management Plugin For WordPress

Online Trend Monitoring

Regardless of which 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 announced online, influential people get mentioned in the news, companies release useful research data, new presentations are published containing fantastic tips or ideas, an outdated fact gets updated, something becomes the next viral phenomenon on Twitter, 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 can provide you with an endless source of new content (how many 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 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 may 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 content that others will write about and post in their content.

This is the end of Part 1

In part two we explore social media monitoring resources for WordPress. To read more, click on this link: Social Media Tracking Tools For WordPress Users – Part 2

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"I was absolutely amazed at the scope and breadth of these tutorials! The most in-depth training I have ever received on any subject!" - Myke O'Neill, DailyGreenPost.com

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