80/20 rule

The 80/20 Rule

Hello, and welcome to the latest edition of Social Media Optimization! I hope you have found the previous articles to be informative, influencing your return! If this is your first time visiting, I appreciate your interest. The topic of discussion is based upon an extremely interesting article that I am happy I stumbled upon.

If you have ever worked for a company with some kind of social media presence, or pushed out content on your own personal account, you may have run into the issue of not knowing what to post. This issue is in regards to content that is yours and content that is not yours. Have no fear, we have the answers here! Wow, I did not mean to rhyme there. Apologies folks. So yeah, back to the content breakdown.

The history of the “formula” dates back to before social media was even a thought, and lies within the field of Economics. In 1906, “Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian sociologist, mathematician and philosopher, discovered that 20% of the Italian population owned 80% of the land. This proportion was repeated in many other countries and many other daily life aspects, such as power distribution, material wealth, etc.” If you know your history, this had the early markings of fascism.

This concept continued to grow throughout the 1940’s. Dr. Joseph Juran “found a similar percentage in Quality Management. He established the difference between the ‘20% vital few’ and the ‘80% trivial many’. In his experience, managing quality standards, 20% of the defects caused 80% of the problems and complaints from clients”. Translated into business terms, 80% of total business comes from only 20% of the total customers. Interesting to think about, huh? If you have a product and ten people buy it, you should have only spent your time and resources on two of those people! Their continued support will be good enough to produce results for the others.  It breaks down to this simple concept, “80% of your outcomes come from 20% of your inputs”.

Now we have to do a little math. I bet you didn’t think we would be doing that in an SMO article! 20% of your content will make 80% of your revenue, so only 20% of your content – whether it be on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social site – should be for “sales purposes, self-promotion, lead generation, and advertisements”. The remaining percentage should consist of content to promote others, show data regarding the industry, and answer questions.  Also, this is when you should work to curate your own content regarding your brand.

No one wants to only hear about how awesome you and your company are. You will seem more real and genuine if you sing praises to others, provide valuable feedback, and gauge the interests of your audience. I sincerely thank you for taking the time to read this.  Keep on tweeting, sharing, liking, and posting!

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