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The 80:20 Rule of Social Media Marketing

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Table of contents

Social media is a tricky road to maneuver, especially if you’re a newbie.

There are numerous social networks, a variety of online courses from experts, and a hundred different ways to do it right.

While there’s no foolproof method to guarantee 100% success and a lot depends on what you’re trying to market and to whom, the most popularly tested of all these is the 80:20 rule of social media marketing.

What is the 80:20 rule?

So, the purpose of a business account is to get the most sales, right? Well, partly. Before getting to sales, you have to get your audience engaged. Your audience will only buy from you once you have earned their trust.

How do you do that?

You post 80:20.

80% of the time, make sure your posts are on subjects that interest your customer. Find educative, informative, entertaining, or interactive content. Think of your customer as that high school crush you've been looking to impress. Their attention is the gateway to your success. If they find most of your content interesting, they are more likely to pay attention to your promos. That's your 20%—your product poster/sales/anything that is directly promoting your business.

How the 80:20 rule works on social media

If you’re posting 80:20, it means out of every 10 posts, 2 should be advertising your products, sales, coupons and discounts. The remaining 8 should be a good mix and match of postings around your focal subject matter.

So what is your focal subject matter?

Suppose you’re a seller of fitness gear or accessories. You have products to advertise, but will your audience be happy with seeing their news feed flooded only with your sale announcements? These are people who have shown interest in your business, which means they are, more likely than not, interested in health and fitness. This should also be your focal subject while curating your social media content.

Training gear company Ten Thousand Gear does a great job with this. Their Instagram feed is a great blend of workouts and challenges, motivational quotes, occasion-special announcements, partner content and favorite sessions, along with a few product photos thrown in.

social media marketing-fitness brand-ten thousand gear

Nike does fantastic content engagement on its Facebook page. Granted it's already an established brand, but they utilize the 80:20 rule well. Their page is a scrapbook of athlete documentaries, sporting success stories as well as product promotions. Their content comes in a variety of snazzy videos that keeps audiences hooked.

social media marketing-nike-football
social media marketing-nike-federer
social media marketing-nike-product
social media marketing-nike-nadal
social media marketing-nike-air max

OrangeTwig user and Etsian, Christin from Frosting Home Decor—seller of customized curtains, pillows and runners—has put together an extremely aesthetically pleasing feed on her Instagram.

Aside from product posters from OrangeTwig, she has innovative home decor goal ideas wrapped in personal stories, user generated content, quotes accompanying caption stories—in short, very engaging content to keep her brand humanized and interesting enough for visitors.

social media marketing-instagram-frostinghomedecor

Etsian Elizabeth from My Beach Store, that sells Caribbean-inspired accessories, has over 29K followers on Twitter sharing product photos, humorous blog posts, inspirational images, other sellers' product posts, DIY articles, gift ideas.


Social media can be played around with even if all you are trying to do is put your business out there. Keep your strategies in place and it can be more fun than work.

What you should do to keep audience engagement high on social media

Whatever your business niche, find your audience's field of interest and make your social media posts according to that. If you sell maternity wear, your posts can cover topics related to parenting and motherhood. Jewelry sellers can bring in fashion and styling tips, not only related to jewelry. Share blogs, regram/reshare user generated content (this can be done in one click via OrangeTwig's InstaSuccess Toolkit), use quotes and fun illustrations pertaining to your broader subject.

Keeping your audience engaged is the number one priority of marketing successfully on social media. While you are online to promote your business, your customers shouldn't feel that. They are following you to be entertained and informed. Don't push things into their face.

List of things to post to your business account

  1. Product photos
  2. Work-in-progress photos
  3. Inspiration ideas
  4. Blogs related to area of interest
  5. Entertaining + informative videos (There's a reason why cat videos are so popular online! Plus it's a break from heavy content.)
  6. Funny, snarky images
  7. Goal ideas
  8. Gift ideas
  9. DIY tutorials
  10. User generated content
  11. Reposted, shared images that work with your page/profile's overall aesthetic

Think of your business profile as a scrapbook with a theme and you're good to go!

OrangeTwig: Your complete social media solution

It's not easy managing a shop while also marketing it on social media. Social media is strategy and effort and consistency. That's where OrangeTwig comes in. You can automate and schedule all your social media postings through it. You can create and design product posters, sale posts, discounts, coupon codes, customer reviews and a lot more. Are you worried about the designing bit? Don't be. Because we have thousands of layouts for your product promotions that don't require professional design skills at all!

Easy peasy, right?

But what if you want to show off you creative skills and design your own posts? Fret not, that's on the plate, too. With our new Designer tool, you can design your posts any which way you want. These needn't just be your product posts, but any kind of post. Imagine Canva + Buffer - we got you covered! Go ahead and organize that Instagram feed with gorgeous posts now!

But hey, hey, what about the 80:20?

Well, your product posts have been designed, so why don't you take a look around the web now? See a blog post you like? A quote you'd like to share? An image that has you snorting and laughing that you think your customers will love?

Add it to OrangeTwig's brand new feature—Q-rator. It lets you add your favorite content from around the web to your feed and queue it up for social media posting. You don't have to scratch your head worrying about what to post anymore. When you like something, just add it to your queue and social media channels won't be looking so abandoned or spammy anymore.

Currently, Q-rator is available for Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest, and will soon be available for Instagram.

UPDATE: Q-rator is no longer available. We shall update as and when there is a change.

What are you waiting for?

Social media marketing doesn't have to be a hard task anymore. Go ahead and and design/schedule/queue those week's worth of posts. Then take your dog out for a walk.

Happy sales!

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