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WordPress & Social Media Tools – 1

The days of passively talking “at” your audience online are well and truly over. To achieve business success in today’s connected digital world, requires actively “listening” to your audience and building an engaged community around your brand, services, and company.

Social media channels create a direct line of communication between your brand and consumers and give you instant access to the latest information around your services or products.

Social media monitoring allows you to gain insights into what people are saying about your company, brand, or products on social media, measure the impact of campaigns, identify potential market opportunities, spy on your competitors, and take preventative measures if you detect negative comments or feedback by disgruntled customers. Additionally, social media monitoring can also provide vital information about emerging trends and what consumers and clients think about specific businesses, products, topics, or brands.

As a business intelligence tool, being able to track social media channels like blogs, forums, social networking sites, micro-blogging platforms like Twitter, Quora, etc., message boards, video sites, and user-generated content is invaluable. Using social media monitoring as a form of business intelligence, however, is a complex undertaking, often carried out by various people including PR companies, marketing teams, market research, professional sales reps, social engagement and community personnel, and agencies. Typically, many small businesses don’t can’t afford to pay a social media monitoring service to track their coverage in the media.

Fortunately a number of service providers have made available affordable tools to facilitate the active tracking of a variety of social media channels, allowing companies to track consumer behavior around their brands or products so they can respond to conversations and interact with consumers in a timely manner.

In this article, we explore several social media measurement tools and technologies that you may want to check out.

WordPress And Social Media Marketing – Social Monitoring Tools

WordPress is not only a powerful, scalable and extremely easy to use CMS 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.

For an overview of why the WordPress platform is a vehicle that every business owner needs to know about, go here: Using WordPress To Grow Your Business

Using some of the tools listed in this article and a WordPress site, you will be able to tap into full range of benefits offered by social media marketing.

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 Products And Services To The Right Audience 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, Pinterest 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 various social networkign sites.

WordPress is not only great for social media as a content publishing and marketing tool, it can also be completely transformed into a full-blown social network, using plugins like BuddyPress, WPSymposium, and others.

BuddyPress

(Set up your own social network with BuddyPress plugin for WordPress)

Use the BuddyPress plugin to set up an online social networking community on WordPress.

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 has an active community of plugin developers who regularly contribute new plugins that greatly extend the platform.

WP Symposium Pro

(WPSymposium WordPress social networking plugin)

WP Symposium provides members with a strong support community and assistance for members who require professional help. Social features of the plugin include:

WPSymposium lets you work with the theme you have. You can add features to posts and pages 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 and manage your social media marketing campaigns from one central location, saving you considerable time and money.

If you want to run most of your social marketing from WordPress, you can. WordPress not only lets you publish content on your own domain, it also has many plugins that encourage users to easily share your content on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc. See the article we’ve written about social media sharing plugins for WordPress and our comprehensive article series on how to automatically syndicate content across social media networks with WordPress.

Social Media – Great For Market Research

Social media tracking tools and services allow you to listen to what consumers want, identify new trends and 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, there are many tools that let you survey customers online and help you create customer-driven sales campaigns. Many apps will easily integrate with WordPress.

Build And Strengthen Your Business Brand And Credibility

Building and strengthening your business reputation and brand, showcasing your special talents, or establishing your expertise online requires commitment and a solid social marketing strategy.

You are engaging with real people, 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 online and how you respond to comments and discussions is very important. Everyday we hear stories of brands that handle a customer situation very poorly and end up suffering heavy losses as soon as 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, but it can also take up a lot of your time.

An expertly configured WordPress website helps you establish your authority online, share great information with your customers and clients, and drive visitors to your business.

(Automate content syndication on various social media networks with an expertly configured WordPress blog.)

Spy On Your Competition

Being able to monitor social media can help you observe and discover what authorities and influencers in your niche are doing.

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. Using social media to explore new opportunities and joint ventures can grow your revenue, get your business seen, and lead to new lucrative ventures.

Could Your Content “Go Viral”?

Most 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 marketing campaign 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 know your audience well, and provide content that users in your audience will find so useful, engaging, entertaining or “spot-on”, that they will be naturally motivated to share with others.

Some of the tools listed in Part 2 of this article can help your content go viral, or at least help you create relatively inexpensive marketing campaigns.

We provide a free email training course that shows you how to create meaningful and compelling content for your readers. In this course we also explore many ways to create content with the potential to go viral and help your business grow faster. To learn more, go here or subscribe using the form below:

Social Media Monitoring – Not Just For Global Brands

(Social Media Monitoring – Not Just For Large Businesses)

Social media monitoring activities can be divided into two main groups:

Managing Your Digital Reputation

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 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 things online about you or your business and if this goes unchecked, this can do some serious damage to your reputation.

Originally an aspect of the work of PR firms, reputation management is now an issue that affects many companies and individuals online.

If you or your brand’s image, good name or good standing is being affected by negative material being posted online, you have to find a way of defeating the negative effects with an excess of positive content, 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 name and find that a competitor has published fake reviews or customer complaints designed to discredit your business, you can then do something about it, e.g. post a response, contact the website or person directly, etc.

Businesses all around the world are currently missing out on opportunities to create happier customers and grow their business because they are not monitoring their online reputations effectively.

Monitoring what is being said online extends beyond multinational brands, celebrities, movie stars, famous musicians, and security-conscious agencies. Being able to monitor the reputation of of an average individual is also very important. For example, consider these situations:

Even if you are just starting out, you can still create a “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 respond in a timely manner.

Do you have an online reputation management strategy in place?

We’ve written an article about a simple yet effective WordPress plugin that lets you legally and ethically manage your customer feedback. More information: Power Online Reviews – Customer Feedback Management Plugin For WordPress Users

Online Trend Monitoring

Regardless of what niche or industry you operate your business in, there are always new things happening. New apps get released, new services get launched, events get scheduled and promoted, influential people say something controversial that gets mentioned in the news, companies release useful research data, new presentations are published containing fantastic tips or ideas, something outdated gets updated and becomes relevant again, something becomes the next viral phenomenon on Facebook, 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 provides you with an endless source of new content (how many news media outlets 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 additional 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 website or business could even end up becoming a topical, or newsworthy source of content that other people will write about and mention in their content.

This is the end of Part 1

In the next section we explore WordPress and social media monitoring. To read more, click here: WordPress And Social Media : Useful Resources For Measuring Social Activities – Part 2

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