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Less About Me, How Can I Help You: The 80/20 Rule

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Who would you want to hang out with - someone who is informational and humble or someone who is boastful and self-centered? A majority of the time, the first personality is the preferred choice because this person is approachable and easier to interact with.

Now what exactly does this question have to do with social media? Quite a lot actually - when creating a brand profile it's important to realize what type of personality portrays your brand, since essentially you're asking current and potential customers to publicly be your friend.

With so many different brands joining social media platforms, it's important to remember that it can be rude and come off as boring to always talk about yourself. An easy way to become the informational and humble friend that users would rather have is to apply the 80/20 rule to your social media accounts.

The 80/20 rule is a social media best practice that recommends posting engaging, informational and relevant content 80% of the time and brand centric, call-to-action content only 20% of the time. This ratio is meant to keep your audience engaged with your social media presence while promoting your brand and improving sales simultaneously in a way that doesn't make the account seem like little more than a digital salesman.

Finding the proper content to fill the 80% can be a difficult process and take a little bit of time to properly figure out when first applying this best practice to existing social media account. Three things to remember that will make this process easier when searching for content are:

1) Listen

Open your ears, or, in the case of social media, your eyes. Listen to what influencers, bloggers, your audience, competitors, relevant media and even what people around the office are talking about. Seeing what topics are "hot" and relating them to your brand on social media often helps to break the ice between you and your audience. A great way to keep track of this is to follow the social media accounts of industry influencers and news sources and see what they are talking about. Another great way is to use socialmention.com — a free website that allows you to see how many people are talking about a specified term and even whether or not they are talking positively or negatively about it.

2) Is this content helpful and relevant?

Your audience is following your brand because they want to know more about you and hopefully get inside information from an expert. Whether inside information is weekly coupon codes or the latest industry tips depends on the product. When finding content to share, make sure that the end result is that your customer leaves learning something they didn't know before. If you help them, the hope is that they will help you in the end.

3) Would my audience want to share this?

"Sharable content" is a big buzzword in the industry right now. Successful sharable content is something that can spread brand awareness overnight. The beauty of your followers sharing an appealing image, a funny joke or a helpful tip from your page is that no matter who shares it, your brand name is attached. When something goes viral people are always interested to learn more about the source. Creating or finding this type of content and sharing it with your audience on your social channels is another way to humbly spread the word about your brand.

Red Bull's Sharable Content

A great example of sharable content can be seen in this image from Red Bull. As opposed to trying a hard sales pitch for their product, Red Bull concentrates on a lifestyle that they want associated with their brand - with great success. Their content gets regularly shared and talked about because the content they post resonates with their audience on a much deeper level than a product pitch even to the most fervent fan ever could.

There are so many ways brands like Red Bull, Tropicana, The No H8 Campaign and Cartier that have expressed the 80/20 rule and have achieved prominence on social media as a result. Isn't it time your brand took advantage of this simple rule to start building an audience the right way?

Out of the brands that you follow on social media, which do you find yourself engaging or "hanging out" with most? Let us know in the comments section or by following us @BFMweb.

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