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WordPress & Social Media Tools – 1

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

Social channels create a direct line of communication between your business and consumers and give you immediate access to the latest information about your services or products.

Social media monitoring allows you to gain insights into your company’s online visibility on social media, spot market opportunities, be alerted to crises, measure the impact of campaigns, and spy on your competition. Additionally, monitoring social media can also provide you with vital information about emerging trends and what consumers and clients are thinking about specific topics, products, brands, or businesses.

As a business intelligence tool, social media signal 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, marketing professionals, market researchers, social marketing agencies, social engagement and community personnel, and professional sales reps. Typically, small businesses do not can’t afford to pay social media monitoring professionals to track their coverage in the media.

Fortunately different providers have made available a range of tools that facilitate the tracking of a variety of social media channels, allowing companies to identify consumer behavior around their brands allowing them to respond to conversations and interact with consumers in a timely manner.

In this article, we explore a number of social media measurement tools and technologies that are worth knowing about.

WordPress And Social Media – An Ideal Business Marketing Platform

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

To learn more about using the WP software please see our related posts section.

Using some of the tools listed in this article and a WordPress site, 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 for marketing your business on social media.

Promote Your Products And Services To A Wider Audience On Your Social Media Networks With WordPress

WordPress includes 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 social networkign sites.

The WordPress CMS platform is not only ideal for social media as a content publishing and marketing tool, it can also be transformed into a full-featured social network, using plugins like BuddyPress, WPSymposium, and others.

BuddyPress

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

Set up your own social networking community on your website, with member profiles, messaging, user groups, activity streams, and more.

BuddyPress is known as “social networking in a box.” You can turn features on and off to suit your needs and the plugin boasts a thriving community of plugin developers who regularly contribute new open source plugins that greatly extend the platform.

WPSymposium Pro

(WP Symposium WordPress social networking plugin)

WPSymposium provides 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 pages and posts using shortcodes.

Syndicate Your Content Across Many Social Channels

Many social media tools let you get your information out to a wider audience, leverage multiple social channels simultaneously, build your business presence online and manage all of your social marketing strategy from one central location with with ease.

If you want to run your social marketing from WordPress, you can. WordPress not only makes it easy to publish content on your own domain, it also makes available a number of plugins that encourage your site visitors to easily share your content online on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. For more information, read the article we’ve written about social media sharing plugins for WordPress and our comprehensive article series on how to automatically syndicate content across various social channels using WordPress.

Conduct Market Research

Social tools allow you to listen to what consumers want, identify new trends and 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 network pages.

Additionally, many applications are available that let you run surveys online. Many of these apps and tools will easily integrate with WordPress.

Build Your Business Brand And Reputation

Building your reputation and brand online, showcasing your talent, or establishing your authority online requires commitment and a 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 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 and how you respond online is very important. Everyday we hear horror stories of brands that handle a situation or customer complaint very poorly and end up paying a heavy price when the online community gets hold of the news.

Although social media can make it easier for others to see you as an authority in your niche, industry, or area of expertise, it can also be very time-consuming.

An expertly configured WordPress site is an ideal platform for building your reputation or brand online. It lets you build authority online, showcase your talents, share great information with your customers and clients, and drive visitors to your business.

(Automate content syndication on various social media channels using an expertly configured WordPress blog.)

Study The Influencers

Being able to listen to social media conversations can help you observe and learn what the experts are doing.

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 media channels can increase your revenue, get your business seen, and lead to new lucrative ventures.

Could Your Web Content Be The Next Viral Sensation?

Most 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 are out of your control. Throwing loads of dollars at a clever or cute campaign is no guarantee of viral success. Many ridiculous memes have become internet viral hits while big-budget and well-funded campaigns have failed to take off.

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, engaging, informative or even funny, 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 have created a free email training course that shows you how to create meaningful and engaging content for your readers. In this free course we also discuss 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 Large Brands

(Social Media Monitoring – Not Just For Global Businesses)

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

Managing Your Digital Reputation

You have probably heard of 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 it said before that when someone has a bad experience with a product or service they tell 10 other people about it. Real or imagined, bad news travels fast. People or competing companies could be posting negative stuff online about you or your brand and if this goes unchecked, this can do some serious damage to your reputation.

Originally an aspect of the services of public relations companies, reputation management is an issue that now affects many businesses 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 reducing the negative effects with positive content, or restoring consumer trust and confidence.

Before you can do this, 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 and a negative comment or bad review comes up, you can then do something about it, e.g. post a response, contact the person directly, etc.

Businesses everywhere are currently missing out on opportunities to attract new customers and increase their revenues because they are still ignoring their online reputations.

Monitoring what is being said online extends beyond multinational corporations, celebrities, and security-conscious departments. There’s also the online reputation of average individuals. Consider the situations below:

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

Do you have an digital reputation management strategy?

We’ve written an article about a simple yet effective tool for WordPress users that allows you to legally and ethically manage customer reviews. More info: Power Online Reviews – Customer Reviews Management Plugin For WordPress

Online Trend Monitoring

Regardless of which niche or industry you operate your business in, there are always new and exciting 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 publish useful research data, new presentations are published containing fantastic tips or ideas, an outdated fact gets updated, 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 (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 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 Section One

In part two we explore top social media resources for business owners. To continue reading this article, click here: WordPress And Social Media : Useful Tools For Tracking Social Performance – Part Two

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