The days of talking “at” audiences online are well and truly over. Putting up a web page with static information about your business is not enough. To achieve business success in today’s interconnected global economy, requires actively “listening” to your audience’s needs and feedback, and building a social community around your company, services, and brand.
Social media channels create a direct line of communication between your business and your audience and give you immediate access to the latest information around your services or products.
Monitoring social media activity allows you to find insights into what people are saying about your products, company, or brand on social media, measure the impact of campaigns, spy on the competition, avert disasters, and identify opportunities for engagement. Additionally, social media monitoring can also provide you with vital information about emerging trends and what clients and consumers are thinking about specific products, topics, brands, or businesses.
As a business intelligence tool, social signal monitoring 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, online reputation management companies, marketing professionals, sales teams, social media marketing agencies, and social engagement and community personnel. Typically, smaller businesses do not can’t afford to pay social media monitoring professionals to track their coverage in the media.
Fortunately many service providers have developed affordable tools to facilitate the active tracking of a wide range of social media channels, enabling companies to identify what consumers are saying about their brands allowing them to react to conversations and interact with online users in a timely fashion.
In the article below, we explore a number of social media monitoring tools and technologies that will help you keep track of online trends, monitor competitor activity, see what online conversations are taking place that can affect your business, etc, see what online conversations are taking place that can affect your business,etc.
Why WordPress Is An Ideal Platform For Social Media Marketing
WordPress is not just a powerful, flexible and extremely easy to use content publishing 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.
For an overview of why WordPress is the vehicle that can help you achieve your online business goals, see this article: Everything You Need To Know About Growing A Successful Small Business Online Using WordPress
Using some of the tools listed in the next section of this article and a WordPress site, 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 to market your business on social media.
Promote Your Services And Products To The Right 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, YouTube and many others.
For example, there are plugins that can add social sharing buttons, forums, add photos from Instagram, Twitter cards, Facebook feeds, testimonials, surveys, polls … even optimize your content for various social networkign sites.
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 site, using plugins like BuddyPress, WPSymposium, and others.
(Run your own social network with BuddyPress plugin for WordPress)
BuddyPress lets you add a suite of social networking components to your website, such as:
- Activity Streams
- Private Messaging
- Extensible User Groups
- Friendship Connections
- Online 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 regularly contribute new plugins that greatly extend the application.
(WPSymposium WordPress social network plugin)
WP Symposium Pro provides a strong support community and assistance for members who need professional help. Social features of the plugin include:
- Activity Wall
- Private Messages
- Notification Bar
- Photo Galleries
- RSS Feeds
WPSymposium lets you work with the theme you have. You can add features to your pages and posts using shortcodes.
Share Your Content Across Multiple Social Channels
With most social media platforms, syndicating content has never been easier. There are tools and services 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 strategy from WordPress, you can. WordPress not only lets you publish content on your own domain, it also makes available many plugins that encourage your site visitors to share your content online 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 automatically distribute your content across social channels using WordPress.
Use social tools and applications to discover what consumers want, identify new 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. Many tools can be integrated with WordPress.
Build And Strengthen Your Business Brand And Online Reputation
Building your brand and online reputation, showcasing your talent, or establishing your expertise online requires commitment, patience and a solid social marketing strategy.
You are engaging 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 for 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 online is very important, and can make or break your reputation online. Everyday we hear stories of brands that handle a situation or customer complaint poorly and end up being the subject of much scorn and derision when the online community finds out about it.
Social media provides many new channels for gaining wider exposure online. 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 take up a lot of your time.
An expertly configured WordPress site is an ideal platform for building your online reputation or brand. It lets you build your expertise online, showcase your talents, share great content and strategies with your clients and customers, and drive more visitors to your business.
(You can automate your web content syndication on social media networks using an expertly configured WordPress-driven blog.)
Know What Your Competition Is Doing
Being able to listen in to social conversations can help you observe and learn the success strategies of experts, authorities, and thought leaders in your niche.
Explore Joint Venture Opportunities, Find Affiliates, Recruit Talented Staff, etc.
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. Connecting with others through social media channels can increase your revenue, get your business seen, and lead to new lucrative ventures.
Could Your Content “Go Viral”?
Many 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 or cute advertising is no guarantee of viral success. Many ridiculous memes have become internet viral hits while large and well-funded campaigns have failed dismally.
In many cases, the best you can do is study and research your audience, and provide content that users will find so useful, engaging, informative or even funny, 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 engaging content for your readers. In this free course we also discuss 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 (ORM)
- Monitoring Online Trends
Online Reputation Management (ORM)
You have probably heard of online reputation management. 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 more people about it. Bad news travels fast. People or competing businesses could be posting negative stuff online about you or your business and if left unchecked, this can do some serious damage to 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 image, good name or good standing is being affected by negative material being posted online, you have to find a way of weakening the negative impact with an excess of positive material, 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 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 yourself or your business/brand 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 businesses are currently ignoring opportunities to create happier customers and retain existing ones because they are not monitoring their online reputations effectively.
Actively monitoring online conversations extends beyond global brands, celebrities, and security-related agencies. The ability to monitor the reputation of of an average individual is also very important. Consider these situations:
- A former spouse in the middle of an acrimonious divorce or child custody dispute 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” alert system, so that if anything does come up online, you can act proactively and respond in a timely manner.
Do you have an effective system to manage your online reputation?
We’ve written an article about a simple yet effective plugin for WordPress users that can help to avoid the escalation of problem reviews about your business, products or services through effective customer review management. More information: Power Online Reviews – Easy Customer Reviews Management Plugin For WordPress
Online Trend Monitoring
Regardless of which niche or industry you are in, there are always new things happening. New products, new services and new apps get released, events get scheduled and promoted, influential people say something controversial that gets mentioned in the news, companies publish useful research data, new videos are published containing fantastic tips or ideas, an outdated fact gets updated and becomes relevant again, something becomes the next viral phenomenon on Twitter, 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 (how many news sites now incorporate a segment on what’s trending on social media?)
Social media content is topical content. Posting regular 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 could end up referring you to others on social media, and who knows … your website or brand could even end up becoming a topical, or newsworthy source of information that other online users will write about and mention in their content.
This is the end of Section One
In the next section we explore WordPress and media measurement. To continue reading this article, click here: Great Social Media Measurement Tools Every WordPress User Should Know About – Part Two
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