If you are posting on social media, you’ve probably heard of the 80/20 rule. Well, it’s my opinion that this percentage is skewed and needs to be reconsidered. In fact, I recently spoke about the 80/20 rule in a presentation to small business owners. Afterwards, I put serious thought towards that number. Is it actually accurate? Why does everyone preach it? Turns out, this rule is faulty and needs a revision.
What exactly is this 80/20 rule? It’s the percentage breakdown of your social media posts. The rule states that only 20% of your posts should be product-focused while the other 80% should be valuable, non-promotional content.
For large established brands, like Southwest or Geico (click the links to see their Facebook content), the 80/20 mix is perfect. We know exactly what they are selling. They don’t need to tell us. Instead, they use their social media accounts to showcase their brand personality and all the youtility (marketing that is truly, inherently useful) they want. They don’t need to show us a post about airline tickets or car insurance. We already get it. When you think of car insurance, you immediately think of Geico. It’s second nature.
For smaller businesses however, it’s important that customers and potential customers understand what you have to sell when they hit your social media accounts. Just focusing on your brand image and personality won’t be enough. After all, sales are what keep you in business. No sales means no personality to show off.[bctt tweet=”Small businesses should use the 60/40 rule for #socialmedia. 40% of posts = product specific, 60% = educate, entertain or give back. ” username=”@stefanieamullen”]
Let’s discuss product sharing. Like you, your product has a personality and a lifestyle. Your product has something to say. Think of your website as your product’s home, where it goes to rest make-up free, wearing whatever makes it comfortable. Think of your social media pages as the places your product goes to have a good time. Your product leaves its house to go socialize, to network, to party, to get inspired. Below is an example from Philosophy. The picture on the left is the product at home; the picture on the right is the product at a five star resort sitting a few feet from its favorite celeb.
On social media, don’t just put up any old photos of product. Show how your product is celebrating life to the fullest, and how your customer can have a life like that, if they buy your product. The key to taking photos isn’t in some amazing camera or photography skills; it’s all in the editing. All it takes is some help from great apps. A couple of apps I use on my iPhone to edit photos are SnapSeed and VSCO. That’s 40% of your social media content right there.
The other 60% of your content should provide “Youtility” (be helpful – thank you Jay Baer for coining the phrase and writing such an amazing book), educate, entertain or inspire. Yes, BUT WHAT SHOULD I POST? Scroll down.
1. Play in popular daily hashtags:
MONDAY: A quote that inspires. #MondayMotivation
TUESDAY: A #TuesdayTip related to your industry. I post a social media tip every Tuesday on Facebook. You can see all the tips combined here on my Pinterest board. Tuesday Tips are a great way to use video!
Examples: A real estate agent might offer a staging tip for someone selling their home. A hair stylist might offer a conditioning tip for summer hair.
WEDNESDAY: Share some wisdom for #WisdomWednesday
THURSDAY: Ask for thoughtful responses to a business question related to your industry. For me, it could be, “Which social media platform do you find the easiest to engage with daily?” #ThursdayThoughts
FRIDAY: Post fun, feel good posts to kick off the weekend with #FeelGoodFriday
SATURDAY: Use #SmallBusinessSaturday on Saturdays to promote your business, feature a another local business or to shine light on shopping local.
2. Content Marketing
Your weekly blog post, video, etc. If you aren’t using content as a way to drive traffic to your site and create sales, you should be! That said, if you aren’t, start to provide “Youtility” by sharing an article someone else has written that is relevant to your audience. Then, go figure out how to write your own.
3. Ask a question.
People love to talk about themselves and give their opinions. Give them the opportunity.
4. Holidays and Fun Dates
Keep a calendar of holidays and “important” dates, like National Chocolate Day. If your products have anything to do with chocolate, #NationalChocolateDay is the perfect opportunity to do something fun on your social media accounts. Don’t miss out on these easy engagement opportunities.
5. Have Some Fun
Fill in the blank post. “I would make every day ____________ day if I could.” or “Today is Friday and I am feeling ____________.” It’s hard to inspire engagement. If your followers only have to comment with one word, they’re more likely to comment.
6. We Need Your Help Posts
Should we name our new product “this” or “that”? Would you like to see our next new product be “this” or “that”? Would you rather see “this” new color or “that” new color?
Still looking for some content ideas or not sure what type of content you should be posting on each social media platform? See more here.
Wondering how to implement these ideas in your daily social media posts? It helps to have a theme based calendar to keep you on track. A calendar will help you know what you should be posting daily and allow you to plan your social media content weeks in advance.