Social media channels create a direct line of communication between your brand and your target audience and give you direct access to the latest news about your services or products.
Tracking social media activity allows you to find insights into your company’s overall visibility on social media, spy on your competitors, measure the impact of your marketing campaigns, spot opportunities for engagement, and help you take preventative measures against the spread of negative comments or feedback by dissatisfied customers. Additionally, social media monitoring can also provide you with vital data about emerging trends and what consumers and clients are thinking about specific businesses, brands, topics, or products.
As a business intelligence tool, social 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 groups that include online reputation management (ORM) companies, market researchers, marketing teams, social marketing agencies, social engagement and community personnel, and professional sales reps. Typically, many small businesses don’t can’t afford to pay social media monitoring professionals to continually track their coverage in the media.
Fortunately a number of technology companies have developed many affordable tools to facilitate the active tracking of a variety of social media channels, allowing companies to identify and even predict what is being said online about their brands allowing them to react to conversations and engage with online users in various social media platforms.
In the article below, we explore several social media measurement tools and technologies that will help you manage, measure, and analyze your social media marketing campaigns.
WordPress – An Ideal Platform For Social Media
WordPress is not only a powerful, scalable and very easy to use content management platform used by millions of businesses worldwide, it also integrates fully with many social media applications, allowing you to easily grow your online presence in the social realm.
To learn more about the benefits of using the WordPress platform please click on links to visit other posts we have published on this site.
With a WordPress site and some of the tools listed in the next section of this article, you will be able to tap into the full power of social media.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why WordPress makes an ideal platform to market your business on social media.
Pitch Your Products And Services To An Audience Of Buyers On Social Media With WordPress
WordPress includes 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 feeds, Facebook feeds, testimonials, surveys, polls … even optimize your content for social networks.
WordPress is not only ideal for social media as a content marketing tool, it can also be completely transformed into a full-blown social network, using plugins like BuddyPress, WPSymposium, and others.
(Set up your own social networking website with BuddyPress WordPress plugin)
BuddyPress lets you add a suite of social networking components to your website, such as:
- Member Profiles
- 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 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)
WPSymposium provides members with a strong support community and assistance for members who need professional help. Social features of the plugin include:
- Activity Wall
- Private Messages
- 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
Many social media tools let you get your information out to a wider audience, leverage multiple social channels simultaneously, build your online presence and manage all of your social marketing strategy from one central location with with ease.
If you want to manage your social marketing from WordPress, you can. WordPress not only lets you publish content on your own domain, it also has many great plugins that allow users to share your content on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. For more information, see the article we’ve written about WordPress social media sharing plugins and our comprehensive article series on how to automate your content syndication on social media with WordPress.
Social tools and applications allow you to listen to what consumers want, identify trends and new business 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.
Also, many apps are available that let you run surveys online and help you create consumer-driven sales campaigns. Many tools will easily integrate with WordPress.
Build Your Business Brand And Online Reputation And Showcase Your Talent
Building and strengthening your brand and reputation, showcasing your talent, or establishing your authority online requires commitment, dedication and a social marketing strategy.
You are engaging with real people online, and so your interactions must be authentic and meaningful. Focus on 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 online and how you respond to other user’s comments and discussions is very important, and can make or break your reputation online. Everyday we hear stories of brands that handle a situation or customer complaint very poorly and end up being the subject of much scorn and derision as soon as the online community gets hold of the news.
Social media provides many new channels for gaining wider exposure online. This can make it easier for others to see you as a credible authority in your niche, industry, or area of expertise, but it can also take up a lot of your time.
An expertly configured WordPress-driven website is an ideal platform for building your online reputation or brand. It helps you establish your your expertise online, showcase your talents, share great content and strategies with your customers and clients, and drive new visitors to your business.
(Use an expertly configured WordPress-driven site to automate your content syndication across social media networks.)
Study Authority Sites In Your Niche
Being able to listen to social media conversations can help you observe and and perhaps also reverse engineer the success strategies of authorities and thought leaders in your niche.
Explore Joint Venture Opportunities, Find Affiliates, Recruit Talented Staff, etc.
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 grow your revenue, get your name out there, and lead to new lucrative ventures.
What About “Going Viral” Online?
Many businesses would love to see their content or marketing campaigns go viral. “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 marketing campaign is no guarantee of viral success. Many ridiculous memes have achieved stratospheric viral success while large brands have failed.
In many cases, the best you can do is study and research your audience, 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 Part Two 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 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 – Not Just For Big 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
- Tracking Online Trends
Online Reputation Management (ORM)
You have probably heard about 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 high profile and even general 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 the saying that when someone has a bad experience with a product or service they tell 10 more people about it. Real or imagined, bad news travels fast. People or competitors could be posting negative material online about you or your business and if left unchecked, this can seriously damage your reputation.
Originally an aspect of the services of PR companies, reputation management is an issue that now affects many businesses 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 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 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 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 all around the world are currently missing out on opportunities to create happier customers and grow their business because they ignore their online reputations.
Monitoring conversations and posts on social media extends beyond well-known corporations, celebrities, and security agencies. It’s also important to be able to monitor the reputation of average individuals. Consider the scenarios below:
- A former spouse in the middle of an acrimonious divorce or child custody dispute 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 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 an easy “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 deal with the situation in a timely manner.
Do you have an effective strategy to manage your online reputation in the digital economy?
We’ve written an article about a plugin for WordPress users that lets you legally and ethically manage customer reviews. More information: Power Online Reviews – Easy Client Feedback Management Plugin For WordPress
Analyzing 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 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 YouTube, 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 can provide you with an endless source of new content (have you noticed how all 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 an authoritative 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 brand could even end up becoming a topical, or newsworthy source of information that other people will write about and post in their content.
This is the end of Part One
In the next section we explore WordPress and social media tracking. To continue reading this article, click here: WordPress Social Media Measurement : Useful Resources – Part Two
"Wow! I never knew there's so much to learn about WordPress! I bought one of the WordPress for Dummies three years ago, such authors need to be on this course!" - Rich Law, Create A Blog Now