Within the past few years, social media marketers and marketing professionals everywhere have witnessed the growing shift in the landscape of social media marketing. The traditional 80/20 social media marketing rule, which recommends businesses to post content that is 80% useful to their audience and 20% promotional, no longer holds the same power it used to.
The justification for the old 80/20 social media rule came about because of the idea that people don’t like to feel like they’re being advertised to, especially on social media. The rule also suggests that posting a higher ratio of helpful over promotional content helps businesses build trust with their consumers, as most of the efforts are geared towards providing value to the customer.
However, it’s evident that social media is transforming rapidly, especially with the rise of new content creation apps, a constant evolution of marketing strategies, shifts in brand recognition and establishment, and more. Apps like TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, and others have encouraged users to embrace creative content and interact with content from other users more than ever before — and it’s changing the social media game entirely.
In line with the evolving social media landscape, companies and brands have begun to promote their content in fresh ways that appeal to their followers while still reflecting their own values. For example, influencer marketing has taken center stage and changed the way that people view advertising. Audiences typically follow influencers because they are interested in the lifestyle, habits, products, etc. that a particular person has.
Therefore, if a brand were to promote a product through an influencer, that content could be considered enjoyable to consume for some people, thereby lessening the promotional aspect of the post. Because of this, some social media advertisements have been able to lose the sense of having self-promoting or sales-centered messages, and instead have become more about the story behind a person/group of people or a certain product.
With today’s audiences responding to social media content differently than ever before, the ratio of helpful content and promotional posts that should be shared on social media is less cut and dry as it used to be. Additionally, the way that social media content can help people engage with an industry or company has been elevated. In the past, advertising on social media platforms seemed like a less personal way to build relationships with customers.
However, nowadays, social media channels are not only a strategic set of tools that can be used to bring a good idea to life, but they can also be a great place to provide information to your audience without making them feel like you’re selling to them. The perfect balance is finding ways to create content that is both helpful and promotional, without having one overshadow the other.
Take, for example, Glossier’s social media strategy — The brand started as a small blog that later blossomed into a beauty and skincare empire. Glossier creates both helpful and emphatic content by interacting heavily with its followers and answering the questions and concerns of its consumers who reach out via social media platforms. Glossier also takes user-generated content like Tweets from customers or reviews to generate further promotional content.
However, this content still feels personal as the reviews and praise are not coming from the company itself, but from the very people who have previously purchased from and trust Glossier. By doing so, they are able to create content that is both helpful and informative about their product and business while also providing promotional content as well. In instances like these, the 80/20 rule is not the best method for Glossier.
Glossier and many other brands make the case for a scrapping of the 80/20 rule and the adoption of a new concept. Each social media strategy will differ from brand to brand, according to their goals, so keeping to a rigid rule for social media content can be constricting for some businesses. The best way to determine what will work efficiently for your brand is to define your own goals and what you want to achieve with social media.
Most importantly, the content that you create should be engaging and meaningful to your audience, so that they can continue building trust with your business and enjoy interacting with and buying from you. When you create valuable content that is tailored for your audience’s needs, it can foster long-term relationships that last. Taking the time to invest in relationships with your audience can also pave the way for your customers to become brand advocates of your products and services. And the wheels keep turning and turning.
Now it’s your turn!
Think about the goals you want to achieve as a business and how your current social media strategy fits into that. Take the time to deliberate, deduce, and determine what steps you need to take in order to create content that is both helpful to your audience while giving you the sales edge that you need to promote your products and services in a genuine way.
Have ideas but not sure exactly how to execute them for maximum efficiency? At Lift Digital Marketing, we offer Social Media Marketing services that help you with organic and paid social media efforts. Our team of experts