80/20 Social Media Rule: 4 Tips to Leverage Customer-Centric Content

By: Sofie De Beule

August 4, 2014

Companies have been using social media as a means to purposelessly broadcast messages for too long. Unfortunately, there are no strict rules when it comes to running content on social media pages. The 80/20 rule is, however, a guideline that can deliver the most meaningful engagement with your community. How can brands actually translate this social media rule into their content strategy?

The 80/20 rule implies that only 20% of the content brands post on social media should be about themselves (for self promotion, lead generation, or advertisement), and the overwhelming bulk of 80% needs to focus on what is relevant to their community. It’s time businesses adopt a customer-centric approach to that 80% of content and provide valuable, curated, customer-focused content to their audience.

Why do brands need to adopt a customer-centric approach to content?

Let’s be honest, no one actually wants to read self-promotional content about companies, not even when it’s fantastically written. People simply search for content online because they hope to find an accurate answer to their questions. As we live in a customer-centric business world, the next step is to move forward is to create customer-centric content that focuses solely on the customer as well.

Developing customer-centric content implies creating valuable, meaningful content solely with the customer in mind. This type of content entices your audience completely as it ties in perfectly with customers’ needs, provides easy-to-grasp solutions to critical customer pain points, and differentiates itself from competition by highlighting why your product or service serves as the perfect solution to these issues.

In a consumer powered world, it’s important to take extremely good care of your customers once you have captured their attention in order to make them to want to come back every time. Unlike Apple, brands can’t play by their own rules and need to focus on social media to leverage their brand message and content.

With often limited resources, a lack of inspiration or credibility, it can be hard to develop customer-centric content. Fortunately, we have compiled 4 tips to develop customer-centric content on social media.

1. Collect Feedback, Especially If It is Negative

As social media moves at the speed of light, understanding your customers’ expectations is critical to incorporate them into your social content marketing strategy. Understand what your target audience wants and carefully gather (especially the negative) feedback. What type of content does my target audience want? In which format? Collect all of this feedback to quickly advance your business objectives and stay agile.

Monitor closely what’s being said about your company. Even when people aren’t directly asking for help, capitalize on these conversations by giving them instant support. Understand the reasons why they are dissatisfied, and don’t forget to monitor your competition to be able to provide better solutions in the future.

2. Demonstrate Thought Leadership

Rise above the noise.

No matter in what industry you are operating, make sure you cover the right trends with intriguing, influential social media content by closely monitoring relevant industry topics across the entire social web. Therefore, becoming a thought leader in your industry and go-to source on any specialized topic is a continuous process to identify with customer issues. Finding the right tone and brand voice to complement your content will take up a great part.

Moreover, understanding the type of content people want from you takes a lot of time and effort as well. Do your customers want to be entertained or educated with your thought leadership content? Do they want to be blown away by new product updates? By creating thought leadership content, you can gain a chance to become part of a conversation early in the customer journey. Make sure you completely understand each stage of the sales funnel, and create the right content for each stage. So make sure you capitalize on that.

3. Add Context to Timely Content

Any type of content is short-lived on social media, so keep your finger on the pulse with timely, contextual, or even localized content. This really goes hand in hand with thought leadership content. Businesses can easily create evergreen content, however, the real challenge lies in discovering the most important topics in your industry and talking about them from your own, unique point of view. Why not create weekly newsletters with unique industry insights and one-of-a-kind thought leadership content?

4. Showcase Dynamic Content

While content needs to be tailored to customers’ needs, people still want to be blown away visually by the way content is presented. Dynamic content not only refers to the visual aspect of content but also to the timeliness and interactiveness of content. Use dynamic visuals to help amplify your content. Make your customers the hero of your stories by creating a testimonial or case study to make them more receptive to your message.

While your social media channels already showcase dynamic content on a daily basis as you update it regularly, the user experience and design of your website is also a fundamental aspect of developing customer-centric content. Your blog is especially important as you update it regularly and use it to interact consistently with your audience.


Make sure you connect the content life cycle with the customer life cycle, and create customer-centric content for every stage of the sales funnel. This means creating educational information for the top of the funnel and more product related information for the bottom of the funnel. In order to give your company the edge over competition, provide relevant, valuable, and customer-focused information.