80/20 Rule of Social Media: Examining the Pros and Cons

As a business owner or brand, you may have heard somewhere along the way about the 80/20 rule of social media marketing. This rule essentially states that 80% of your content you focus on your audience and their interests while only 20% of your content should focus on promoting your business.

But is this rule really the best way for all businesses to approach their social media?

Is it possible to create content that simultaneously achieves both goals of promoting your business and giving your audience true content that interests them?

If you’re a new business, how do you even create content that interests your audience when you are not sure who your audience is in the first place?

Many social media experts argue that this rule is not so much a rule but a parameter or a guideline.

According to CEO of Green Leaf Book Co, Tanya Hall, “the trick is to find a ratio that works best for your brand.” Which means that brands, businesses, individuals and marketers should be willing to test and see what works best for them and how their audience responds best.

In my business Wink of an Eye, I am constantly amazed even after producing over 170 videos for my YouTube channel, what content my audience actually wants to see. I started producing cooking videos and tested adding poetry or inspirational content, although I wasn’t sure if my audience would actually be interested in these videos at all. Several months later, I’ve seen that the view count on the poetry and inspirational videos are some of highest in all of the content that I’ve created.

But of course, every social media platform and every business is different and attracts people for different reasons. What are the pros and cons of the 80/20 rule of social media?


-It sets a clear guideline to follow. When you’re just getting started or if you’re managing all of your social media accounts independently, it can be daunting to decipher what and how to post content. This rule, provides a clear and concise guideline that’s manageable for everyone.

-It has been tested. This is not a rule for no reason. It was developed and continues to be preached across the social media world because many businesses have tested it and found it to be successful.

-It is client/audience focused. No one likes to have a face to face conversation with someone who talks about themselves all the time, and the same is true over social media. Following this rule takes the focus off of the business and onto the client, which makes them more likely to engage with your business and take interest when you do post something to promote yourself.


-There is no ​guarantee​ that it will work for your business. Yes, it is a rule that has worked for many, however, there’s no ​guarantee​ that it will also work for you. Be realistic, committed and consistent. Choose a timeframe to test the rule and determine ahead of time how you will measure the success (e.g. analytics, engagement, follows, etc.).

-You need to know your audience. If you’re just starting out, you may wonder who your audience is and what they are interested in. This is where social listening can play a major role. Find a brand that is similar to yours and look at their followers. What do they like? What are they interested in? What are they missing in their life that your brand can provide?

-You need to think about bulk content. Chances are, if you want to be able to talk about your brand one day out of the five days that you’re posting content (or 1 in 5 posts), then you need to think strategically about your posting. I am a big cheerleader of a combination of scheduled and organic content. Scheduling content ensures that you are consistently communicating, like scheduling a weekly brunch with your BFFs. But organic content shows you’re really listening and how much you care, as you take the time to see what’s happening on social media right now. Equivalent to surprising your special someone with dinner and flowers when she gets that new promotion at work.

While these pros and cons just scratch the surface of the examining the 80/20 rule, I hope that they give you something to helpful to think about and consider for your business.

Want to chat it over? Contact me and I’ll be glad to help!

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