If you’re a business professional, chances are good you’ve heard of the “80/20 Rule.” Formally known as the Pareto Principle, this is the conventional wisdom employed by a wide range of businesses – that 80 percent of your business comes from 20 percent of your customers.
The 80/20 Rule also applies to social media. In this case, it applies to how much educational-to-promotional content you should employ to attract more customers. In other words, to successfully grow your business through social media, you need to create content that is 80 percent educational and only 20 percent promotional.
Wait a minute, you’re thinking, most of my content should be educational? I thought I’m supposed to be selling. Well, you’re correct on both counts. However, social media is a unique marketing channel and to attract prospects you need to show them valuable content that will encourage them to stop, look, and engage on Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and other platforms. Over-promoting is the kiss of death on social media – a major no-no that will turn-off visitors and shut down your sales effort before it even gets started.
Instead, by creating interesting, educational content that generates search inquiries and informs visitors, you attract prospects and provide them with opportunities to engage in a dialog. Once a budding relationship has developed, the 20 percent of promotional content comes into play and you can begin to show prospects how your products or services can “cure” the “pains” that brought them to your social media channel in the first place. This turns prospects into leads and leads into customers.
Think of it this way: Engagement is rooted in consistently sharing insight and providing value every time you connect with a customer. That’s the educational content you create, and it establishes credibility for your business while building trust and inspiring customers to tell their friends about you. Promotion expands your engagement efforts by presenting valuable offers based on your customers’ interests and needs. Social media amplifies your marketing efforts through a mix of educational and promotional content so you can be found and engage a wider audience to attract customers and grow your business.
So the next time you sit down to create content for your social media campaign, remember the 80/20 Rule. The bulk of your content – the 80 percent — should provide useful, objective information that answers questions potential customers might have, solves problems for them, shares business insights with them, and builds value for your brand. The other 20 percent of your content should present appropriate, valuable offers and other opportunities to engage prospects and open the door for more sales.