How does the 80/20 Rule take the Sleaziness out of Social Media Marketing?

Up until now, I’ve never felt comfortable with the idea of spruiking anything, whether my own work or others’, on social media. ll the things I’ve read about about “social media strategies” and how anyone with an online presence needs to maximise their effectiveness in order to establish social media as a part of their sales funnel, etcetera, etcetera… they just leave me cold.

I  don’t want to be another guy spamming stuff to my followers on social media. And even if I did, how would I still have the time to do all the other stuff I need to do, like actually reading other people’s postings? Just find random stuff? Put something up that doesn’t really come from me, but that pads out the figures and / or might wind up as a lead?

But I read something just recently that made a chunk of “social media strategy” not just make sense, but also comfortable.

There are quite a few 80/20 Rules out there, but this one I read over on Cordelia Calls It Quits. Cordelia’s version of the rule is thus:

If you want your social media strategy to do what it’s supposed to do (namely, engage and connect with readers), you need to follow the 80/20 rule—make sure that 80% of your updates are about things not related to you, you, you.  They can be retweets of posts by other bloggers you love, inspirational quotes, links to news you think your readers will find valuable, questions to generate conversation.  Only 20% of your updates should be self-promotional if you want to give people a reason to follow you.

So if I were to apply this to the Paid to Play Podcast page on Facebook, and I’m putting a new interview up every week, I should be putting up four more updates in that week.

Extend that out to Twitter, a platform that often feels way too fast for me. Say I whack up a tweet about my day, or my writing progress, or a link to a blog post. That day, then, I ought to put four more tweets up about 

As of this posting, I’ve interviewed twenty-five people (twenty-six including Marcus). That’s twenty-five (six) potential generators of awesome content that I could share. All I need to do is check their sites, blogs, feeds. Five minutes and I could shake down enough content for a solid update – and all of stuff from folks whom I like, enjoy, believe in.

Suddenly, I’m feeling a lot less sleazy about this whole Internet Marketing thing…

Are you curious?

What’s your social media strategy?

What other 80/20 Rules have worked for you?

If you liked this, you should check this out:

8 Things Amateur (and Sometimes Professional) Bloggers Do That Make Me Want to Smack Them – Cordelia Calls It Quits

Featured image sourced from Flickr; taken by Simon Birkunow. Released under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license.

  • I’m so glad that rule helped you, Rob!

    Another thing I should add:

    I myself have had trouble keeping up with the 80/20 rule as of late because I’ve just been too busy with my freelancing to stay as on top of social media as I used to be. The result? I’ve been committing my own advised-against social media sin of only publishing updates announcing my latest posts. (Do as I advise, not as I’ve done.) :/

    So my solution (for myself and anyone else intimidated by the “what am I supposed to come up with to say”? dilemma): start scheduling your updates ahead of time. You can use a platform like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite to schedule your Facebook and Twitter updates days in advance, so sit down and come up with some great quotes, questions, etc. and plug them into various times of the day for the week coming up. Your social media engagement will be covered without you having to feel like you have to babysit it.

    It’s also great for reaching people who are checking their social media accounts at times of the day you might not be active–I’m on more during the morning and afternoons, but by scheduling my updates ahead of time, I can make sure people who are on in the evenings and weekends also get a chance to see my stuff.

    • Rob F.

      Forward-scheduling my updates? That’s a scary thought.

      Which basically means, I ought to try it sometime soon…