The 80/20 Rule: Why Just 20% of Your Social Media Content Should be About Your Brand

By: Sofie De Beule

December 16, 2013

There’s no secret formula to successfully engaging with your audience on social media, but applying ‘The 80/20 Rule’ should always be a big part of your social media strategy. It simply comes down to this: use just 20% of your content to promote your brand, and dedicate 80% to content that really interests your audience and engages them in conversations.

Don’t get me wrong, social media is definitely a large part of your marketing mix. But because people use social media to be social, they don’t want to be subjected to your online sales pitch. Always make it about building relationships, rather than annoying your audience with irrelevant content and boosting your own image.

Because people use social media to be social, they don’t want to be subjected to your online sales pitch.

The year 2013 is already marked as ‘a big year for content’, therefore, content marketing is a really important component of any social media marketing strategy. Here’s how you should apply ‘The 80/20 Rule’ to your social media content:

20% of Your Brand’s Content: Include Persuasive Call-to-Actions

When working on the 20% of content that deals with your brand, also include information that benefits your audience. Include a discount, add a special offer, provide useful statistics, etc. Make sure you integrate a persuasive call-to-action that inspires your audience to learn more about your company so it possibly leads to conversion in the future.

80% of Other ‘Interesting Content’: Make it Shareable 

Dedicating 80% to interesting content that really caters to the interests and needs of your audience means compiling content from influencers with whose ideas and insights you agree. It supports your thinking, the way you do business, or what you believe is going on in your industry. Think about retweets, inspirational quotes, links to news, questions, etc.

You simply look for content that appeals to your audience and share it on your social channels. Compare it to sifting through your own personal RSS reader to pick up on interesting new items.

These three simple steps will make the ‘sharing process’ a lot easier:

1. Follow influencers, and learn from what they find interesting.

2. Share interesting content with your own followers, and try to connect to them.

3. Engage with your influencers so it motivates them to want to share your own content.

In short, if a brand focuses too much on itself within social media as a means for boosting sales, its audience will immediately see through it and tune it out. Only by discovering what your audience is really interested in and responding to those needs, will your brand be able to maintain a consistent, sustainable, and engaging online social media presence.