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WordPress & Social Media Tools – 1

The days of talking “at” your audience online are well and truly over. It’s not enough to put up a web page with static information. To achieve success in today’s interconnected digital world, you need to build and nurture an engaged community around your company, services, and brand, based around actively “listening”.

Social channels create a direct line of communication between your brand and your audience and give anyone with an Internet connection immediate access to the latest buzz around your services or products.

Monitoring social media activity allows you to gain insights into what people are saying about your products, brand, or company on social media, measure the impact of campaigns, identify new opportunities for engagement, help you take preventative measures against the spread of negative comments or feedback by dissatisfied users, and spy on your competitors. Additionally, social media monitoring can also provide you with vital data about emerging trends and what consumers and clients think about specific businesses, topics, brands, or products.

As a tool for business intelligence, the ability to track online conversations and activity on social media channels like blogs, forums, wikis, micro-blogging platforms, discussion boards, video sites, and user-generated content (UGC) 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 research, marketing teams, digital reputation management (ORM) companies, agencies, social engagement and community staff, and professional sales reps. Typically, smaller businesses do not have the budget to pay social media monitoring professionals to continually track their coverage in the media.

Fortunately various technology companies have developed tools that facilitate the active tracking of a wide range of social media channels, enabling you to identify consumer behavior around your products or brand so you can respond proactively 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 are worth knowing about.

WordPress And Social Media – An Ideal Business Marketing Platform

WordPress is not just a powerful, flexible and extremely easy to use content publishing platform used by millions of businesses worldwide, WordPress also integrates fully with many social media applications, making it an ideal application for growing your online presence in the social realm.

To learn more about the benefits of using WordPress please click on links to visit our related posts section.

With a WordPress site and some of the tools listed in the next section of this article, you will be able to explore the new social business marketing opportunities.

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why WordPress is 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 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, 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 content for various social networks.

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

BuddyPress

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

Use BuddyPress to set up and run your own social community on your WordPress site, with member profiles, messaging, activity streams, user groups, 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 regularly contribute new open source plugins that greatly extend the platform.

WP Symposium Pro

(WP Symposium Pro WordPress social network 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:

WPSymposium lets you work with the theme you have. You can add social features to your pages and posts using shortcodes.

Share 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 drive most of your social marketing strategy from WordPress, you can. WordPress not only lets you publish content on your own domain, it also makes available many plugins that encourage your site visitors to share your content online on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc. See the article we’ve written about WordPress social media sharing plugins and our comprehensive article series on how to automate content syndication across various social channels with WordPress.

Social Media – Great For Researching Your Market

Social tools and services allow you to listen to what consumers want, identify trends and new business 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, many applications are available that let you conduct surveys and polls online. Many of these tools can be integrated with WordPress.

Build Your Brand And Credibility And Showcase Your Talent

Strengthening your reputation and brand, showcasing your talent, or establishing your expertise online requires commitment and a solid social marketing strategy.

You are trying to engage with real people online, and so your interactions must be authentic and meaningful. Put the needs of your audience first, 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 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 very poorly and end up being the subject of much scorn and derision when their response or behavior gets circulated online.

Although social media lets you be seen and known on many different channels, it can also be extremely time-consuming.

An expertly configured WordPress website is an ideal platform for building your reputation or brand online. It helps you establish your authority online, showcase your talents, share great content and strategies with your customers and clients, and drive new visitors to your business.

(You can automatically syndicate your web content on social networks with an expertly configured WordPress blog.)

Spy On Authorities In Your Niche

Being able to listen in to social conversations allows you to reverse engineer what thought leaders and influencers in your niche are doing.

Explore Joint Venture Opportunities, Find Affiliates, Recruit Talented Staff, etc.

It’s no secret that recruitment companies nowadays spend a lot of time 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 media channels can increase your revenue, get your brand seen, and lead to new lucrative ventures.

What About “Going Viral”?

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 dollars at a clever or cute advertising is no guarantee of viral success. Many ridiculous memes have achieved stratospheric viral success while large brands and corporations have failed dismally.

In many cases, the best you can do is study and research your audience, and provide content that users 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 the next section 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 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. To learn more, go here or subscribe using the form below:

Social Media Monitoring – Not Just For Big Businesses

(Social Media Monitoring – Not Just For Big Businesses)

In general, social media monitoring can be divided into two main groups:

Managing Your Digital Reputation

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 is being said 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 will tell 10 more people about it. Bad news travels fast. People or competing businesses 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 now an issue that affects many businesses and individuals online.

If you or your image, name or good standing is being affected by negative material being posted online, you have to find a way of weakening the negative with positive content, or restoring consumer trust and confidence.

Before you can begin to stop negative things being said about you 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 come in. If you Google your name or your business/brand and spot a negative comment or bad review, you can then address the issue, e.g. post a response, contact the person directly, etc.

Many businesses are missing out on opportunities to create happier customers and grow their business because they are not monitoring their digital reputations effectively.

Monitoring what is being said online extends beyond large corporations, celebrities, movie stars, famous musicians, and security agencies. Being able to monitor the online reputation of of an average individual is also important. Consider the following scenarios:

Even if you are just starting out, you can still create a “set and forget” social media alert system, so that if anything about you does come up online later, you can act proactively and deal with the situation in a timely manner.

Online reputation management is becoming more important in the web economy.

We’ve written an article about a simple yet effective WordPress plugin that can help you avoid the escalation of negative reviews about your business through effective user review management. To learn more, visit this page: Power Online Reviews – WordPress Plugin For Managing Customer Reviews

Monitoring Online Trends

Regardless of which 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 announced online, 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 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 (have you noticed how all news media agencies 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 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 content that others will write about and mention in their content.

This is the end of Part One

In the next section we explore great media resources for business owners. To continue reading this article, click here: Media Resources Every WordPress User Should Know About – Part Two

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