Using the 80/20 Rule for Social Media

80/20 Rule for Social Media
Jacqueline Puga
Jacqueline Puga
August 4, 2017

Table of Contents


One of the core principles of marketing is the 80/20 rule. This concept comes from the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto who emphasized that 20% of the population controls the majority of the wealth. In marketing, this translates a bit differently. About 20% of your strategy is going to produce 80% of the results.

For social media that means top performing posts are more likely to be monetized than the rest of your content. One way to think about this is that about 20% of your social media posts will give you about 80% of your overall results (clicks & engagement).  Now that you have an overview of this principle, let’s talk about what your content should actually look like.

Only about 20% of your content should be self promotional. The other 80% should be informational or entertaining posts that you think your audience will love. In their eyes, you are giving them something relevant and useful while occasionally promoting your business, something they’ll be able to see past. Users can generally see past self promotion if it’s offset by something they find useful and if they are the appropriate target audience for the product or service you plan to offer. What you don’t want to do is sound too sales-ey too often. This will turn potential customers away if they get the impression that you are trying to push a product on them. First grow the relationship with your audience, then introduce your product to them.

Whenever a post performs well, you should try to recreate similar posts, pin that content to the top of your social media channels or simply repost the same image with a different caption.

Here are a few ideas on what you should post about using a hotel as an example:

80% - Informational & Entertaining Content

Describe the Area - Restaurants, beaches, attractions, local hotspots, etc.

Highlight Activities - Upcoming shows at popular concert venues, performances, unique activities to your area etc.

Travel Tips & Tricks - Advice on what to pack, tips on getting around town, shortcuts to the airport, travel hacks, etc.  

Re-posts - Share photos of local attractions, post interesting travel article, etc.

20% Self Promotion

Amenities - Free breakfast, free wifi, a pool, in-room TV etc.

Specials - discounts, pet-friendly, on-site restaurant or gift shop etc.

Room types - Show photos, describe the rooms i.e. one or two beds, what size etc.

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