The days of passively talking “at” your audience online are well and truly over. To achieve success in today’s connected world, requires actively “listening” to your audience’s needs and feedback, and building a community around your brand, company, and products.
Social media channels create a direct line of communication between your business and your audience and give anyone with an Internet connection direct access to the latest buzz around your services or products.
Social media monitoring allows you to gain insights into what people are saying about your brand, products, or company on social media, spy on the competition, measure the impact of your marketing campaigns, spot market opportunities, and be alerted to crises. It can also provide valuable data about emerging trends and what clients and consumers are thinking about specific businesses, topics, brands, or products.
As a tool for business intelligence, 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 people including marketing professionals, PR staff, market researchers, social media marketing agencies, social engagement and community staff, and sales teams. Typically, smaller businesses don’t can’t afford to pay social media monitoring professionals to continually track their coverage in the and actively monitor their online reputation.
Fortunately a number of technology providers have developed tools and solutions that facilitate the monitoring of a broad range of social media channels, enabling you to identify and even predict what consumers, competitors, supporters, and critics are saying about your products or brand allowing you to respond proactively to conversations and engage with online users in a timely fashion.
In the article below, we explore several social media monitoring tools that you may want to check out.
WordPress And Social Media Marketing – Social Tracking Tools & Applications
WordPress is not just a powerful, scalable and extremely easy to use CMS 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 why the WordPress platform is the vehicle that can help your small business grow and succeed online, see this article: The Small Business Owner’s Guide To WordPress
Using some of the tools listed in Part Two of this article and a WordPress site, you will be able to explore full range of benefits offered by social media marketing.
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 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 article titles and descriptions for social networks.
The WordPress CMS platform is not only ideal for social media as a content publishing and marketing tool, it can also be completely transformed into a full-featured social network site, using WordPress plugins like BuddyPress, WPSymposium, and others.
(Run your own social networking site with BuddyPress plugin for WordPress)
Run a social network on your site, with member profiles, messaging, user groups, activity streams, and more.
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 an active community of plugin developers who contribute new open source plugins that greatly extend the application.
(WPSymposium WordPress social network plugin)
WPSymposium provides members with a strong support community and assistance for users who need professional help. Social features of the plugin include:
- Activity Wall
- Private Messaging
- Notification Bar
- User Directory
- Online Forum
- Photo Galleries
- RSS Feeds
WPSymposium lets you work with the theme you have. You can add features to pages and posts using shortcodes.
Share Your Content Across Multiple Social Channels
Many social media platforms 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 run most of your social marketing strategy from WordPress, you can. WordPress not only makes it easy to publish content on your own domain, it also offers a number of great plugins that encourage users to easily share your web content on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc. For more information, read 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 using WordPress.
Conduct Market Research
Social measuring tools and services allow you to listen to what your market wants, identify new trends and 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 your social networking sites.
Additionally, there are many apps that let you conduct surveys and polls of customers online and help you create customer-driven sales funnels. Many tools can be integrated with WordPress.
Strengthen Your Business Brand And Credibility Online
Building and strengthening your reputation and brand, showcasing your talent, or establishing your authority online requires commitment, dedication and a solid social marketing strategy.
You are trying to engage 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 horror stories of brands that handle a situation or customer complaint poorly and end up paying a heavy price as soon as their response or behavior gets exposed online.
Although social media provides many new channels for gaining wider exposure online, it can also be very time-consuming.
An expertly configured WordPress-driven blog is an ideal platform for building your online reputation or brand. It can help establish your your expertise online, showcase your talents, share great content and strategies with your customers and clients, and drive more visitors to your business.
(Automate your content syndication across various social networks using an expertly configured WordPress-driven blog.)
Study The Influencers
Being able to listen in to social conversations can help you observe and and perhaps also reverse engineer what experts in your niche are doing.
Explore Networking Opportunities And Joint Ventures, 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 can grow your revenue, get your brand seen, 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 a difficult thing to achieve, as it relies on many factors that cannot be controlled. Throwing loads of dollars at a advertising is no guarantee of viral success. Many ridiculous memes have become internet viral hits while big-budget and well-funded campaigns have failed.
In many cases, the best you can do is study and research your audience, 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 Two of this article could help your content go viral, or at least help you run relatively inexpensive marketing campaigns.
We provide an email training course that shows you how to create useful and engaging content for your readers. 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 information, go here or subscribe using the form below:
Social Media Monitoring – Not Just For Global Brands
(Social Media Monitoring – Not Just For Global Brands)
Social media monitoring activities can be divided into two main groups:
- Online Reputation Management (ORM)
- Tracking Online Trends
Managing Your Digital Reputation
You have probably heard the term online reputation management (ORM). If you haven’t, you will be hearing 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 if what is being said is negative. No doubt you’ve heard it said before that when someone has a bad experience with a product or service they will tell 10 other people about it. Real or imagined, bad news travels fast. People or competing businesses could be posting negative material online about you or your brand and if this goes unchecked, this can seriously damage your reputation.
Originally an aspect of the work of PR companies, reputation management is now an issue that affects many businesses 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 diminishing the negative effects with 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 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 your name or your business/brand name and spot a negative comment or review, you can then address the issue, e.g. post a response, contact the website or person directly, etc.
Many businesses all around the world are missing out on opportunities to create happier customers and grow their business because they are not effectively monitoring their online reputations.
Actively monitoring online conversations extends beyond multinational brands, celebrities, and security-related departments. There’s also the reputation of an average individual. For example, consider the following situations:
- 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 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 later, you can act proactively and deal with the situation in a timely manner.
Do you have a system to manage your online reputation?
We’ve written an article about a tool for WordPress users that can help you avoid the escalation of negative reviews about your business through effective user review management. Go here for more information: Power Online Reviews – User Reviews Management Plugin For WordPress
Benefiting From Online Trends
Regardless of which niche or industry you are in, there are always new and exciting 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 videos are published containing fantastic tips or ideas, an outdated fact gets updated and becomes relevant again, 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 and new content ideas (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 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 site or brand could even end up becoming a topical, or newsworthy source of information that others will write about and mention in their content.
This is the end of Section One
In the next section we explore social media tracking tools for WordPress users. To continue reading, click on this link: Top Social Media Tracking Resources For WordPress Users – Part 2
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