“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” ― Charles Dickens
There are multiple philosophies about how to manage social platforms, and as more “professionals” jump in the messages get more confusing.
But there’s one philosophy that will never, ever do you wrong.
Online professionals I admire the most make it their main mission, and it’s the heart of my business.
You might have heard about other 80/20 rules that apply to customer retention, sales or growth, but this 80/20 rule applies directly to social media content strategies.
In simplest terms, 80 percent of the content shared should be for your audience, whether it’s to inform, make them laugh or teach them how to do something that is important to them. The 20 percent is the amount of content that is directly associated with your business or personal brand. It could be a new promotion, product or service your business is selling.
Give 80 percent of the time and ask 20 percent of the time.
Why is this important?
Online communities become successful by creating authentic relationships, and those relationships are developed by giving value and developing trust. Whether you are retweeting someone else’s tweet, commenting on their blog or sharing their content, the emphasis is on THEM, not you.
In day-to-day life, relationships are built when we share our space, give our time and commit to meeting someone in the middle.
Although social media is based in an online world, it is communicating in real-time. And anyone who spends a lot of time online will vouch for the authentic relationships it can create – consider online dating.
That is why only promoting your brand or service is a social marketing FAIL. It’s about them. And hopefully you’re offering something that can legitimately help your audience.
For social media marketing, the 80/20 rule gives our content choices a framework. We say, here’s a bunch of videos, photos, articles that will help you. And if you find value in what we share with you, it would be wonderful if you shared this status, signed up for our newsletter or purchased our product/service.
It’s polite marketing, it’s old school, it takes the focus off expectations, and I personally love it. I’m sure you’ve heard that you must provide value to your audience, but now you know how much.
So let’s spotlight some folks who are SUPERB at successfully implementing the 80/20 rule, AND who make it their main focus.
Gary is known for a few things – he cusses like a sailor, made millions tasting and selling wine, and is now considered a marketing king. He’s an intense personality that doesn’t appeal to everyone, but if there’s anything that no one can argue about – it’s that he gives spectacular amounts of value to his audience.
Back in his Wine Library days, he would find out what a customer enjoyed, i.e. baseball, photography, whatever, and send random presents or find a way to do something for them with that favorite in mind. He gave, gave, gave and then asked for the sale, and built a multi-million dollar business.
In fact, he wrote a book about this philosophy (if you haven’t heard), called “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook.” It’s a social media marketing guide that is 100 percent based on the 80/20 rule.
Gary would tell you that the number one thing he’s consistently done is show appreciation for his online audience by giving them value stacked on value.
And he utilizes social media to give those jabs again and again. Follow him on Twitter where he gives random opportunities for followers to ask him a question or on Instagram where he gives things away.
2. Marie Forleo
Have you ever gotten “to know” someone online and felt like they were a kindred spirit? Marie is that person for me.
She’s goofy and brilliant. And if Gary V. is the marketing king, Marie is surely the marketing queen. I was introduced to Marie in 2012 and instantly hooked by her sassy wisdom and genuine spirit. If you watched MarieTV, it’s easy to see that she is heavily invested in bringing real solutions to her audience.
Marie’s entire career has been about helping other people. Initially she mixed a love of dance and fitness into making aerobics videos, then launched her coaching business. And that business blossomed into a full-on program dedicated to guiding entrepreneurs into making their dreams come true, Marie Forleo’s Bschool.
Some of the most successful women in the online sphere have graduated from Marie’s school.
Her dedicated approach to giving value with her weekly videos, her flagship bschool program, and her book (written when she was 22), Make Every Man Want You (hint: NOT a dating book), she has done nothing but produce programs and products that provide valuable information for her audience.
Plus, Marie devotes an entire page on her website to Giving Back that features the charities and nonprofits she partners with and promotes on a continuous basis.
Before BundlePost, he owned a marketing firm, but noticed they were spending too much time gathering content for social platforms – time that needed to be spent developing relationships. Enter BundlePost, an app that streamlines the content gathering process for social media professionals, so they can spend their time engaging instead of searching.
But he’s not an example because he’s a friend or because I like his product. He’s featured because even though Robert has a product to grow, he dedicates an enormous amount of time to counseling other social media professionals with their businesses. And he created a private group for social media managers where he hosts webinars teaching them how to develop successful businesses and get the clients they want – without charging a dime.
Robert and his team (BIG love to Julia Hull) offer a huge amount of value to their BundlePost users and social media marketers with one-on-one product coaching, blogs, and consulting.
I often marvel at the amount of time Robert spends on his business and is still able to support those around him. It’s inspiring to say the least.
So, how does this apply to your content strategy?
Great question. Let’s check out the folks I give credit to.
1. Gary V’s Facebook page.
Gary averages about 3-4 posts in every ten that have something to do with promotions or sales. The majority of what he shares is information the audience comes to him for – advice in the form of blogs or videos about his specialty subjects.
So while the content is tied to him, it was made for the audience. And because he’s made himself a brand that continually gives solid feedback, it’s not pushy.
2. Marie Forleo’s Facebook page.
Marie basically averages two biz-related posts for every ten. She has a strong brand, so she doesn’t post multiple times a day. But she throws in a mix of videos, blogs, news and quotes that directly relate to her brand and give value to her audience.
Ironically, one could argue that Gary and Marie have so much brand loyalty that they don’t need to talk about anything besides themselves. But it’s the opposite of what they do.
3. Robert Caruso’s Facebook.
If there’s anything that’s obvious about Robert’s account, it’s that he loves being a Dad, and readily shares videos showcasing his kids and amazingggggg homemade cannolis from Momma Caruso (feel free to send me some :D).
But when Robert isn’t sharing his personal life, he averages about one out of ten posts that have anything to do with his business. He congratulates others, shares industry updates and holds social media discussions. In fact, I knew Robert for some time on Twitter before I ever found out about BundlePost, and he wasn’t the one to tell me about it.
These examples may not directly relate to your business or personal brand, but I challenge you to think about how these folks are using implementing the 80/20 rule. Take a look at their social platforms, check out what they share and dig deeper.
1. Look at your social platforms. How many posts out of ten are directly related to your business? What is your business average?
2. Write out the ultimate goal of your social platforms – what do you want to deliver to your online audience?
3. What type of content will help you attain that goal?
4. What can you give your audience that is above and beyond?
5. Write out a content schedule that outlines the framework of what you share. i.e. 3 industry-related videos, 2 blogs, 3 how-to’s, 1 funny photo, and 2 biz-related content pieces.