Every morning, I wake up and check my phone first thing. First Facebook, then Instagram, and maybe Twitter if there are any notifications. I usually scroll through and share quotes that I find relatable, retweet about fitness in Pittsburgh, or write a post about finding motivation to go to the gym in the morning. But never do I once think about the organization of my posts, the representation of my “brand”, or the strategy that I am using to hold my followers’ attention or gain more followers.
We tend to forget that although social media is much about us, it is more about our audience. At least, it is when we use social media platforms in a professional setting. Whether we are creating our own personal “brand” to become more attractive to employers, maintaining the social media platforms for another organization or business, or utilizing social media for any other professional reason, our posts must be strategic, organized, and meaningful.
When it comes to using various social media platforms efficiently and effectively, there have been a few “rules” proposed to help with social media strategy. Below are three that I find pretty interesting: the 5:3:2 rule, the 80/20 rule, and the 70/20/10 rule.
The 5:3:2 Rule
The 5:3:2 rule is an easy one to follow—out of ten posts on one given social media platform, five should be content from others that is relevant to your audience (curation), three should be your own content that is relevant to your audience (creation), and two should be personal that speaks to your brand (humanization). The curated posts are not only relevant, but they are also useful and sharable for your intended audience. Posts like this aren’t meant to be random and sporadic; whenever you are posting, especially when it comes to sharing materials from other sources, you need to make sure that whatever you are posting makes sense. The created posts are meant to attract your audience, not push them away, so avoid sales pitches and anything too abrupt or forceful. The humanizing posts, while only making up 20% of your posts, are the most crucial. These posts create the image and personality of your brand and gives life to your business. You can step farther out of the content comfort zone and share posts that are not as relevant to your business/industry.
The 80/20 Rule
The next rule is the 80/20 rule. This rule states that 80% of your social media posts should include entertainment content that does not involve self-promoting. Post like this are the ones that your audience will find relatable, including personal stories, experiences, and reflections—things that will keep your audience coming back for more. This helps engage your audience in conversation and builds a strong relationship. We cannot forget that this is social media, after all; people are here to socialize, not to hear your latest sales pitch. 20% of your posts, on the other hand, are promotional and persuasive. Here you are able to talk about your products, services, and anything else that relates to you, your brand, or your business. It is also suggested that 1 out of 5 posts can be brand-specific, if you are working for a certain company. In this 20%, offer incentives for your audience, such as coupons, special offers, or contests.
The 70/20/10 Rule
This rule is much like the other two, except the distribution of posts is different. 70% of posts should add value to and build your brand, 20% should be curated posts and ideas from other relevant sources, and 10% should promote your brand/business. This rule is focused on representing your story and brand, so 70% of the content should show your audience who you are. You also have to focus on building your network, and one of the best ways to do that is to build relationships through shared content. This 20% should be genuine and relevant to your brand and the image you are working towards creating. The final 10% should be self-promotional, where you share your work, products, and services.
Okay Cheyenne, so what is your point?
As you can tell, there is a theme here between these three rules on social media strategy. No matter which approach you take (5:3:2; 80/20; 70/30/10), all of the rules include posting some form of personal content, curated content, and promotional content. Not only do you have to share these kinds of posts, but you also must balance the posts, which is where the rules come into play. I don’t think you can go wrong with any of the rules, but you should try to use one of them through your social media platforms. The easiest way to do this is to utilize a social media management tool or app. Some of the most popular ones include Hootsuite and Buffer, which allow you to compose posts and schedule them to be shared at a later time. Good luck!