Have you heard of the 80-20 Rule? There are many reasons to engage in social media if you are a business owner or a professional, and often times we forget or do not know of the basic rule of engagement. From having a place for potential prospects to find out more about your products or services, contact information, menus or other resources, to sharing specials and promotions, every business and professional should have a Facebook, Twitter, or other viable social media platform that will help them reach and interact with their target audience. Knowing which platform is best is another topic, but the same rules apply to them all. This is the ’80-20 Rule’ which is simply this: For every one time you talk about yourself or your business, whether it be about your products or services or a promotion, you should have four posts about something else.
Trying to understand the “something else” is what gets many to stop using social media, or just to keep promoting themselves. But think about this: You are at a networking event, a party amongst friends, a family gathering. When introducing yourself, you will probably mention what you do. But if you kept on talking about yourself, your work, your family, your interests, would you audience still be listening? Of course not, they would either politely excuse themselves, or try to find someway to distance themselves from you! This is what you obviously want to avoid doing on social media. The more you talk about the community you work in, the industry you are a part of, the associations you may be a member of, acknowledging achievements and holidays, the more you will have engagement with your audience. Be careful not to be repetitious (don’t only take pictures of sunsets, clouds, etc.), but instead look for a variety of subjects to discuss.
Another good tactic is to ask your audience questions about subjects that may be pertinent to them. Ask about a favorite recipe, favorite season, a favorite sport or activity, or just something going on in the world. As with regular networking protocol, it is best to avoid discussing ‘hot button issues’ such as politics, religion, or other controversial topics, unless you deal in them as part of your profession (church, attorney, politician, activist, etc.).
The following three steps will help make the sharing at the 80-20 rule of engagement level easier:
The most important thing with social media marketing is to just do it. Have fun, make your daily or weekly posts, and see how your audience interacts with you. If you can get away with posting more promotional posts and ‘break’ the 80-20 rule, go for it! But try to stay as close as possible to keep an engaged and appreciative audience.
Success to you!