The 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto principle, basically says that 80% of an outcome stems from 20% of the work put in. So, if you publish 30 blog posts in the month of September, six of them will likely end up driving the majority of traffic (and leads) to your site.
However, there is another 80/20 rule that applies specifically to social media marketing. This one says that 80% of your social media posts should be non-promotional in nature while the rest, well, you can do whatever you want with them.
This is the social media marketing rule we are going to discuss in this blog post so you can quickly and easily find better results with your social media marketing.
Using the 80/20 Rule So You Aren’t Clueless About Social Media Marketing
Have you ever seen the movie Clueless? There is a line in that movie that perfectly sums up the 80/20 rule:
“which I’ll bet serves your interests more than theirs.”
This is the point we try to make to clients over and over again when discussing social media marketing. While marketing is about promoting your business and generating greater awareness about what you do, all in the name of making more sales, getting more readers, finding new clients, and so on, social media is not.
If you’re going to use a tool invented by millennials, you need to approach it in the same way they do. That means that the posts you share need to be:
- Relevant to your audience
- Valuable and shareable
- High-quality and from reliable sources
- Engaging and maybe even entertaining (if that’s what your brand is known for)
This is why the 80/20 rule is not only a best practice for social media, it really is a must practice.
Here is how it works:
The 80 Percent
Your goal on social media—whether you are there as an individual or on behalf of an entire brand—is to build genuine relationships with others. It’s not about selling your services.
This means that the majority of your posts (roughly, 80%) need to be about the “you” in the equation. The “you” is your target customer. The “me” is your company… and the “me” needs to stay out of these posts.
The links you share in 80% of these non-promotional posts should:
- Come from reputable sources.
- Be well-written (i.e., no grammar or spelling issues, not stuffed with filler text, isn’t a compilation of random, unrelated insights from other people).
- Provide your audience with something of value. Did you make them laugh? Did you teach them something new? Did you provide new insights into the article they might not have otherwise considered?
This is your chance to demonstrate that you are well-informed about what’s going on outside of your business and that your primary goal is to improve your customers’ lives.
But remember: this isn’t a numbers game. Since you’re not using these posts to directly drive traffic to your site, you still need to get something out of this effort. And you won’t be able to do that if you share 50 random articles that are irrelevant and poorly written, even if they seem somehow related to your target industry. Always share content that leaves a lasting impression on you as a reader or learner and that you believe others will find value in, too.
The 20 Percent
Now for the part where you can promote your business.
Roughly, a fifth of your social media posts can be self-promotional in nature. That said, the focus should still be on the “you.” Yes, you’re telling your audience about how awesome you are or you’re sharing content you went to great lengths to create, but there needs to be something in it for them if you want a click, share, or conversation out of this exchange.
So, with the 20% posts that are self-promotional in nature, remember to give them an appealing and totally non-self-serving call-to-action like:
- Click to get this great offer.
- Read this article to learn something new.
- Sign up to get a free consultation.
- Grab this code to apply a 20% discount at checkout.
Remember that, and you’ll find that it doesn’t matter if 10% or 50% of your posts are promotional.
Honestly, I’d suggest that you not get too hung up on the exact numbers. 80/20. 90/10. 40/60. They’re just meant to guide you towards putting your best foot forward in social media marketing. In all actuality, if there’s genuine value in what you’re sharing, your audience will see that and react in kind.
Is doing your own social media marketing taking up too much of your time and not letting you focus on growing your business? VirTasktic is here to help! Check out our great content marketing packages to see which one would fit your growing business best!