Twitter Strategy: the 80/20 Rule

There are hundreds of 80 / 20 rules, but one that applies to Twitter is put especially well by Business Blogs: 80% of your social media activity should be about helping your community, and 20% should be about promoting yourself. Here’s why:

“No one cares about you.  Instead, they care about how you can help them or add value to their lives.  The key to social media marketing success is engagement and interaction.  No one will want to interact with you if all you ever do on the social Web (including on your business blog) is talk about yourself.”

This is sort of an unspoken rule of social media engagement—if you follow a big brand, you should expect to hear something other than why you should buy their products. Here are some of the best 80/20 social engagement uses for brands:

  1. Customer Care – responding to people who have a problem with your service, to either enforce a positive impression or mitigate a bad one. Example: Dominos, who spends most of their time responding to people complaining about 16-year-old employees bathing in their sinks and the moldy pizza.
  2. A Personal Face – illustrating to your customers that your company is made up of friendly, witty people who are up for a good chat. Example: Ford tweets almost exclusively through their social media guru Scott Monty, a happy-go-lucky guy whose job it is to humanize the gargantuan car company.
  3. Content Curator – sharing news about the industry, or better yet, the industry of consumers. Example: Flowtown uses their Twitter feed to provide remarkably on-point commentary about social media marketing from around the web.

a typical complaint response tweet from Dominos

If you do the 80 percent right, the idea is the you can get away with a lot more because you’ve built up a lot more goodwill. You can ask your customers to buy from you, give you feedback, or even be a bit shameless in using Twitter to just push ads out.

Try it —you’ll be surprised how much more responsive your customers are when you give them another reason to like you!

  • ericsaber

    great post adam!

  • Rafe Ahmed

    The 80/20 rule shows we should try to be humane in marketing.

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