The days of passively talking “at” your audience online are well and truly over. To succeed in today’s interconnected world, requires actively “listening” to your audience and building an engaged social community around your brand, products, and company.
Social media channels create a direct line of communication between your brand and consumers and give anyone with an Internet connection instant access to the latest information around your services or products.
Tracking social media activity allows you to gain insights into your company’s overall visibility on social media, identify opportunities for engagement, measure the impact of campaigns, spy on your competitors, and take preventative measures against the spread of negative comments or feedback by dissatisfied customers. It can also provide you with vital data about emerging trends and what consumers and clients think about specific topics, products, businesses, or brands.
As a business intelligence tool, the ability to track social activity, trends, and conversations on social media is invaluable. Using social media monitoring as a form of business intelligence, however, is a complex undertaking, often carried out by various people including market researchers, marketing teams, PR companies, sales teams, social marketing agencies, and social engagement and community personnel. Typically, smaller businesses don’t have the budget to pay a media monitoring service to continually track their coverage in the and actively monitor their digital reputation.
Fortunately a number of service providers have developed a range of tools to facilitate the monitoring of a variety of social media channels, allowing companies to identify and even predict what customers, competitors, critics, and supporters are saying about their brands or products so they can respond proactively to conversations and interact with consumers in various social media platforms.
In the article below, we explore a number of social media tracking tools that will help you identify new trends and opportunities, track competitor activity, see what conversations are taking place online that could affect your business,etc.
WordPress – An Ideal Platform For Social Media
WordPress is not just a powerful, flexible and easy to manage content management 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.
To learn more about using the WP software please click on links to visit our related posts section.
Using some of the tools listed in 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 is an ideal platform to market your business on social media.
Pitch Your Services And Products To An Audience Of Buyers On Your Social 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 images from Instagram, Twitter cards, Facebook feeds, testimonials, surveys, polls … even optimize your article titles and descriptions for social networkign sites.
The WordPress content management system (CMS) is not only great for social media as a content marketing tool, it can also be transformed into a full-featured social network, using WordPress plugins like BuddyPress, WPSymposium, and others.
(Set up your own social networking site with BuddyPress WordPress plugin)
This free plugin can be used to set up a social network on your website.
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 application.
(WP Symposium Pro WordPress social networking plugin)
WP Symposium provides a strong support community and assistance for users who need professional help. Social features of the plugin include:
- Activity Wall
- Private Messaging
- Member Directory
- Online Forum
- Photo Galleries
- RSS Feeds
WPSymposium lets you work with the theme you have. You can add features to posts and pages using shortcodes.
Share Your Content Across Many Social Channels
With most social media platforms, syndicating your content has never been easier. There are services and 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 considerable 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 has many great plugins that allow your site visitors to easily share your web content on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc. See the article we’ve written about WordPress social media sharing plugins and our comprehensive article series on how to automatically distribute your web content across various social networks with WordPress.
Conduct Market Research
Use social media tracking tools to discover what your target audience wants, identify new business 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.
Additionally, many tools are available that let you survey customers online and help you create consumer-driven sales campaigns. Many of these applications can be integrated with WordPress.
Build Your Business Reputation And Brand
Building and strengthening your business reputation and brand online, showcasing your talent, or establishing your authority online requires commitment and a robust social marketing strategy.
You are engaging with real people, and so your interactions must be genuine 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, and can make or break your reputation online. Everyday we hear horror stories of brands that handle a situation very poorly and end up suffering heavy losses as soon as the online community finds out about it.
Although social media lets you be seen and known on many different channels, it can also be very demanding on your time.
An expertly configured WordPress website lets you build authority online, share great information with your clients and customers, and drive visitors to your business.
(Use an expertly configured WordPress-driven site to automate your web content syndication on social channels.)
Spy On Authorities In Your Niche
Being able to monitor social media allows you to reverse engineer what the experts are doing right.
Explore Networking Opportunities And Joint Ventures, Find Affiliates, Recruit Talented Staff, etc.
It’s no secret that 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. Using social media can increase your revenue, get your business seen, and lead to potentially lucrative new ventures.
Could Your Content Be The Next Viral “Hit”?
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 cannot be controlled. Throwing loads of dollars at a clever campaign is no guarantee of viral success. Many ridiculous memes have achieved stratospheric viral success while big-budget brands have failed dismally.
In many cases, the best you can do is know your audience well, 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 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 engaging content. In this free course we also explore ways to create content that has the potential to go viral and help your business grow faster. For more info, 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:
- Online Reputation Management
- Online Trend Monitoring
Online Reputation Management
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 negative comments, reviews, etc.. 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. Bad news travels fast. People or competing companies could be posting negative stuff 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 work of PR companies, reputation management is an issue that now 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 reducing the negative impact with an excess of positive material, or restoring consumer trust and confidence.
Before you can do anything, 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 address the issue, e.g. post a response, contact the person directly, etc.
Many businesses all over the world are missing out on opportunities to create happier customers and grow their business because they are not managing their digital reputations effectively.
Monitoring what is being said online extends beyond global brands, celebrities, movie stars, famous musicians, and security-related departments. Being able to monitor the online reputation of of individuals is also very important. For example, consider these situations:
- A former spouse in the middle of a bitter 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 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” alert system, so that if anything about you does come up online later, you can act proactively and respond in a timely manner.
Managing digital reputation should not be ignored if you want your business to grow in the digital economy.
We’ve written an article about a WordPress plugin that can help you avoid the escalation of problem reviews about your services through effective customer review management. To learn more, visit this page: Power Online Reviews – Customer Feedback Management Plugin For WordPress
Predicting Online Trends
Regardless of which niche or industry you are in, there are always new and exciting 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 information, new videos are published containing fantastic tips or ideas, something outdated gets updated, something goes viral on social media, 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 media broadcasters 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 an authoritative destination or resource for your niche or industry. People could 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 online users will write about and mention in their content.
This is the end of Part 1
In part two we explore 25+ social media tracking tools for WordPress. To continue reading this article, click here: Media Monitoring Tools For Business Owners – Part Two
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