The days of passively talking “at” audiences online are well and truly over. To succeed in today’s interconnected global and digital world, requires actively “listening” to your audience’s needs and feedback, and building an engaged social community around your brand, company, and products.
Social media channels create a direct line of communication between your company and your audience and give you immediate access to the latest news about your products or services.
Monitoring social media activity allows you to find insights into what people are saying about your company, brand, or services on social media, measure the impact of your marketing campaigns, identify market opportunities, help you take preventative measures against the spread of negative comments or feedback by dissatisfied users, and spy on your competition. It can also provide you with vital data about emerging trends and what consumers and clients are thinking about specific topics, businesses, products, or brands.
As a business intelligence tool, the ability to monitor trends, social activity, and conversations on social media is invaluable. Using social media monitoring as a form of business intelligence, however, is a complex undertaking, typically carried out by various people including online reputation specialists, market researchers, marketing professionals, social media marketing agencies, sales teams, and social engagement and community staff. Typically, many small businesses don’t can’t afford to pay a media monitoring service to track their coverage in the and actively monitor their online reputation.
Fortunately many technology providers have developed many tools that facilitate the monitoring of a wide spectrum of social media channels, enabling companies to track consumer behavior around their brands so they can respond proactively to conversations and interact with online users in a timely fashion.
In the article below, we explore several social media monitoring tools that will help you identify new trends and opportunities, track competitor activity, see what conversations are taking place online that affect your business,etc.
What Makes WordPress An Ideal Platform For Social Media Marketing?
WordPress is not only a powerful, scalable and easy to use content publishing 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 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 business marketing opportunities.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why WordPress provides an ideal platform for marketing your business on social media.
Pitch Your Services And Products To An Audience Of Buyers On Your Social Media Networks 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, 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 social networkign sites.
The WordPress CMS platform is not only great for social media as a content marketing tool, it can also be transformed into a full-blown social networking, using plugins like BuddyPress, WPSymposium, and others.
(Run your own social networking website with BuddyPress plugin for WordPress)
BuddyPress lets you add a suite of social networking components to your website, such as:
- Extended Member Profiles
- Activity Streams
- Private Messages
- Extensible User Groups
- Friendship Connections
- Online Forums
- Many Add-On Features
BuddyPress is often referred to 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 open source plugins that greatly extend the application.
(WP Symposium Pro WordPress social networking plugin)
WP Symposium Pro provides members with a strong support community and assistance for members who require professional help. Social features of the plugin include:
- Activity Wall
- Private Messaging
- Photo Galleries
- RSS Feeds
WPSymposium lets you work with the theme you have. You can add social features to pages and posts using shortcodes.
Share Your Content Across Multiple Channels
With most social media platforms, sharing and syndicating your content has never been easier. There are services and tools that let you compose, schedule and broadcast your content over many social channels simultaneously and manage your social media marketing campaigns from one central location, saving you considerable 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 many plugins that encourage your site visitors to share your content on Facebook, Twitter, 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 web content across social networks with WordPress.
Social Media – Great For Market Research
Using social media measuring tools and applications allows you to listen to what your target audience wants, identify new opportunities and stay one step 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 conduct surveys and polls online. Many of these applications will easily integrate with WordPress.
Build Your Credibility And Brand
Building and strengthening your reputation and brand online, showcasing your talent, or establishing your expertise online requires commitment, dedication and a robust social marketing strategy.
You are engaging with real people online, and so your interactions must be meaningful and authentic. Focus on the needs of your target audience, 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 to users online is very important. Everyday we hear stories of brands that handle a customer situation poorly and end up paying a heavy price when the online community gets hold of the news.
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 website is an ideal platform for building your online reputation or brand. It can help establish your authority online, showcase your talents, share valuable content and strategies with your clients and customers, and drive more visitors to your business.
(Automate your web content syndication on various social media channels using an expertly configured WordPress-driven blog.)
Spy On Your Competition
Being able to listen in to social conversations allows you to observe and even be inspired by what the experts are doing right.
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. Using social media can grow your revenue, get your business seen, and lead to potentially lucrative new ventures.
“Go Viral” Online Faster
Many 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 you cannot control. Throwing loads of money at a clever or cute campaign is no guarantee of viral success. Many ridiculous memes have become internet viral hits while large brands and corporations have failed to take off.
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 Two of this article could help your content go viral, or at least help you set up relatively inexpensive marketing campaigns.
We have created an email training course that will show you how to create meaningful and compelling content. In this 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 – Not Just For Large Businesses
(Social Media Monitoring – Useful For All Businesses, Big And Small)
In general, social media monitoring can be divided into two main groups:
- Online Reputation Management
- Online Trend Monitoring
Managing Your Online Reputation
You have probably heard about online reputation management. If you haven’t, you will be hearing 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 if what is being posted is negative. No doubt you’ve heard the saying 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 do some serious damage to your reputation.
Originally an aspect of the services of PR firms, reputation management is an issue that now affects many companies and individuals online.
If you or your image, good name or reputation is being affected by negative material being posted online, you have to find a way of diminishing the negative with positive content, 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/brand name 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 website or person directly, etc.
Companies everywhere are currently ignoring opportunities to create happier customers and grow their business because they are not effectively managing their digital reputations.
Monitoring online conversations extends beyond well-known corporations, celebrities, movie stars, famous musicians, and security-conscious departments. It’s also important to be able to monitor the reputation of an average individual. Consider the scenarios below:
- A former spouse in the middle of an acrimonious divorce or child custody battle is feeling 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 a lot of good, positive things published online either to support your job application.
Even if you are just starting out, you can still create a “set and forget” social media alert system, so that if anything does come up online later, you can act proactively and deal with the situation in a timely manner.
How do you manage your online reputation in the web economy?
We’ve written an article about a simple yet effective WordPress plugin that can help to avoid the escalation of negative reviews about your business through effective customer review management. Go here to learn more: Power Online Reviews – Easy User Feedback Management Plugin For WordPress
Tracking Online Trends
Regardless of what 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 research data, new videos are published containing fantastic tips or ideas, something outdated gets updated and becomes relevant again, something goes viral on social media, 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 sites 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 may 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 information that others will write about and post in their content.
This is the end of Part One
In part 2 we explore social media tools for business owners. To continue reading this article, click here: WordPress And Social Media Monitoring – Part 2
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