Social networks go in and out of style.
Pinterest is all the rage this year. While Facebook stock is at an all-time low.
And there's a new "must-use" tool that pops up every other week.
Fortunately, none of that really matters. Because marketing's not about the tools or technology.
In fact, you don't even have to stay up with the news or "what's hot right now".
There are underlying principles you can use -- on any social network -- to get more fans, increase engagement and ultimately drive sales.
In fact, you can fit a lot of these principles into a single status update. See if you can spot them...
It's hard to accurately measure sales from social media.
But it can still give you a wealth of insight about your customers.
You can get demographic data and clues about their interests. But more importantly, you can start to uncover their underlying emotional triggers.
These triggers might get them to "Like" your page. But they're also the motivations that can get them to buy.
I recently worked on a client's Facebook page. I analyzed posts with the largest reach and most engagement, to see if I could identify patterns. Here's what I found:
Now that's a start. But you still have to analyze what people don't like. So try to identify what turned people off or prevented them from responding.
Obviously everyone's results will be a little different. It's always going to depend on your customers, product/service and industry.
But these examples should help you analyze your own results and show you what to look for. And they'll show you how to use the following 3 skills to your advantage.
1. Psychology: Uncovering what motivates your customers.
Demographic information is a good start. It gives you a general idea of who you're talking to. But if you want better results, then you need to go deeper and figure out what makes them take action.
So if people don't like seeing your "self-promotion updates", then figure out how you can re-position it. Find the challenges they face on a daily basis, and pain points they experience, and position your product or service as the "solution" or "cure".
2. Copywriting: Knowing how to communicate those motivations in the best way.
Once you understand what your customers want, then you need to communicate it effectively. There are two important parts in the example above.
And this is where most companies go wrong. So cut out jargon, complex language and speak as clearly as possible.
Sure, your product or service has to make logical sense for people financially.
But that's not why they buy from you. They buy from you because they like or trust you.
And because they know that you understand exactly how they feel (and how to help them).
3. Analytical: Test, experiment, measure and iterate.
The hard part of this process is doing the initial research, understanding your customer's psychology, and then properly communicating it.
Once you've done that, it's easy to get more fans, traffic or sales.
Do more of what they like, and less of what they don't.
It's that easy.
Use Facebook Insights to get some initial data. Record the qualitative feedback people give you. Use a Bit.ly link to track click-through-rates.
Try some new things, and see how people respond. Then rinse and repeat.
And you'll start to better social media results across the board.
Because when you understand the underlying principles and skills, then it doesn't matter what platform you're using or which new tool is popular. You'll still be able to thrive.