Social media channels create a direct line of communication between your brand and your audience and give anyone with an Internet connection instant access to the latest news around your services or products.
Social media monitoring allows you to gain insights into what people are saying about your products, company, or brand on social media, measure the impact of campaigns, avert impending crises, spot potential market opportunities, and assess competitor activity. Additionally, monitoring social media can also provide valuable information about emerging trends and what clients and consumers are thinking about specific topics, brands, products, or businesses.
As a tool for business intelligence, social signal monitoring is invaluable. Using social media monitoring as a form of business intelligence, however, is a complex undertaking, typically carried out by a cross-section of people including marketing teams, PR agencies, market research, professional sales reps, social media marketing agencies, and social engagement and community personnel. Typically, small businesses don’t can’t afford to pay a media monitoring service to track their coverage in the media.
Fortunately many technology providers have developed tools that facilitate the active tracking of a wide spectrum of social media channels, allowing you to identify what is being said online about your brand so you can respond proactively to conversations and engage with online users in various social media platforms.
In the article below, we explore several social media tracking tools that will help you identify new trends and opportunities, track competitor activity, see what online conversations are taking place that affect your business,etc.
WordPress And Social Media – Social Management Tools & Applications
WordPress is not just a powerful, flexible and easy to manage CMS 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.
For an overview of why WordPress is the vehicle that can help you achieve your online business goals, go here: Using WordPress To Grow Your Business
With a WordPress site and some of the tools listed here, 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 provides an ideal platform to market your business on social media.
Pitch Your Services And Products To A Wider Audience 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, 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.
WordPress is not only great for social media as a content publishing and marketing tool, it can also be transformed into a full-blown social network site, using WordPress plugins like BuddyPress, WPSymposium, and others.
(Run your own social networking site with BuddyPress plugin for WordPress)
BuddyPress lets you add a suite of social networking components to your website, such as:
- Activity Streams
- Private Messaging
- User Groups
- Friendship Connections
- Discussion Forums
- Many Add-On Features
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 plugins that greatly extend the platform.
(WPSymposium Pro WordPress social network plugin)
WP Symposium provides a strong support community and assistance for users who require professional help. Social features of the plugin include:
- Activity Wall
- Private Mail
- Notification Bar
- Online Forum
- Photo Galleries
- RSS Feeds
WPSymposium lets you work with the theme you have. You can add features to your posts and pages using shortcodes.
Syndicate Your Content Across Multiple Social Channels
With most social media tools, sharing and syndicating content is very easy. There are tools that let you compose, schedule and broadcast your content over multiple social channels and manage your social media marketing campaigns from one central location, saving you time and money.
If you want to run your social marketing from WordPress, you can. WordPress not only lets you publish content on your own domain, it also makes available a number of great plugins that allow users to share your content online 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 your web content syndication across social media with WordPress.
Conduct Market Research
Social tools and applications allow you to discover what your market wants, identify new opportunities and stay one step 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, there are many tools that let you conduct surveys and polls of customers online. Many of these tools will integrate with WordPress.
Build Your Brand And Credibility Online
Building your reputation and brand online, showcasing your special talents, or establishing your expertise online requires commitment, dedication and a solid social marketing strategy.
You are engaging with real people, and so your interactions must be meaningful and authentic. Focus on the needs of 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 and how you respond to users online is very important. Everyday we hear horror stories of brands that handle a customer situation poorly and end up paying a heavy price as soon as the online community finds out about it.
Social media lets you be seen and known on many different channels. This can make it easier for others to see you as an authority in your niche, but it can also take up a lot of your time.
An expertly configured WordPress blog is an ideal platform for building your reputation or brand online. It helps you establish your authority online, showcase your talents, share great information with your clients and customers, and drive more visitors to your business.
(Use an expertly configured WordPress blog to automate content syndication across various social media channels.)
Spy On Your Competition
Being able to listen in to social conversations can help you discover and even reverse engineer the success strategies of authorities, experts, and influencers in your niche.
Explore Joint Venture Opportunities, Find Affiliates, Recruit Talented Staff, etc.
It’s no secret that 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. Connecting with others through social media can increase your revenue, get your name out there, and lead to new lucrative ventures.
“Go Viral” Faster
Most businesses would love to have a viral marketing campaign. “Going viral,” however, is a difficult outcome to achieve, as it relies on many factors that are out of your control. Throwing loads of money at a clever campaign is no guarantee of viral success. Many ridiculous memes have become internet viral hits while large and well-funded campaigns have failed.
In many cases, the best you can do is know your audience well, and provide content that users will find so useful, engaging, entertaining or even funny, 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 set up 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 many ways to create content that has 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
- Tracking Online Trends
Managing Your Digital Reputation
You have probably heard of 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 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 tell 10 other people about it. Real or imagined, bad news travels fast. People or competing businesses could be posting negative things online about you or your business and if left unchecked, this can seriously damage your reputation.
Originally an aspect of the work of PR firms, reputation management is now an issue that affects many businesses 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 diluting the negative effects with an excess of positive content, or restoring consumer trust and confidence.
Before you can begin to stop negative things being said about you or your brand 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 can help you. If you Google your name or your business/brand and a negative comment or review comes up, you can then do something about it, e.g. post a response, contact the website or person directly, etc.
Many companies are missing out on opportunities to create happier customers and grow their business because they ignore their online reputations.
Monitoring what is being said online extends beyond global corporations, celebrities, movie stars, famous musicians, and security departments. It’s also important to be able to monitor the reputation of average individuals. Consider the situations below:
- A former spouse in the middle of a bitter 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 the things you have listed in your job application.
Even if you are just starting out, it’s good to create a “set and forget” social media alert system, so that if any conversations, comments or reviews about you do come up online, you can act proactively and respond in a timely manner.
Are you managing your digital reputation?
We’ve written an article about a WordPress plugin that allows you to legally and ethically manage your customer feedback. Visit this page to learn more: Power Online Reviews – WordPress Plugin For Client Reviews Management
Predicting Online Trends
Regardless of which niche or industry you operate your business in, there are always new and exciting things happening. New products, new services and new apps get released, events get scheduled and announced online, influential people say something controversial that gets mentioned in the news, companies release useful information, new presentations are published containing fantastic tips or ideas, an outdated fact gets updated, something becomes the next viral phenomenon on YouTube, 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 (have you noticed how all news media broadcasters now incorporate a segment on what’s trending on social media?)
Social media content is topical content. Posting regular 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 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 website 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 the next section we explore WordPress and social media monitoring. To read the rest of this article, click here: Media Tools For WordPress Users – Part 2
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