Social Media’s 30/60/10 Principle — Not Too Hot, Not Too Cold

When I speak to companies about their social media strategies, I’m always surprised at their reaction when I pitch the 30/60/10 principle for their content strategy. Some companies are able to grasp the concept immediately, while others take additional explanation before they can see the growth potential for their digital footprint. I’m speaking about the perfect blend of the type of content that you and your brand(s) should be posting on your social platforms. Much like the story of the three little bears, you want your proverbial content strategy to be not too hot and not too cold.

I’ve used this principle to add 500,000 Facebook Followers in 2yrs and many other content marketing giants like Rallyverse use this principle with their clients. The 30/60/10 principle for content on social media looks like this: 30% of your content should be owned by your brand, 60% should be curated by your brand, and the remaining 10% should be self-promotion which features a call-to-action of some sort. Let’s take a look at each one of these percentages in a bit more depth:

30% Owned Content — The big question here that you’re probably asking is why isn’t “owned content” taking up the lionshare of published material? The thought here is that you don’t want to make your organization look “self-absorbed” or insular. If you’re ONLY speaking about yourself, that limits your growth potential and sets the ceiling much lower than if you expanded your social media horizons. Also, when you’re only talking about yourself and you’re looking to post frequently, there’s a particular temptation to water down the quality of your content in the pursuit for a higher quantity of content. I’ve found that oftentimes organizations (especially small businesses) aren’t taking into account the time investment and opportunity costs associated with creating a large percentage of owned content.

60% Curated Content — Curated content is posting material that is not created by your brand. Curated content include articles that source organization in someway or some piece of content relevant to your industry that your audience would simply find valuable. The end goal to posting so much curated content is to position your brand as the beacon of your industry. By posting this kind of content early and often, you’ve immediately created an environment where your followers can see that your brand is an authority on the topic at hand. My recommendation is to connect with other social influencers in your space and see if you can get some sort of collaboration in place (Yes, this even applies to competitors). This enables a value-add for both parties and provides an opportunity in most cases for cross-selling and list building.

10% Self-Promotion — The remaining 10% is probably the most important part of your social media strategy which is shameless self-promotion. The nice part about this remaining percentage is that the “digital ask” won’t feel as awkward if you’ve been building trust and buy-in from your audience using the first two principles. Gary Vaynerchuk calls this the Jab, Jab, Right Hook principle. The “Jabs” are the content you’ve posted in the 30% and 60% and the “Right Hook” is that call-to-action that you’ve included in your content after you’ve earned your audience’s attention.

In my experience, most brands recognize that social media is a huge tool to help them achieve their organizational goals. However, problems often occur in the methodology of the brand’s social media content strategy. It’s extremely important to be cognizant of the fact that people do not like to be interrupted on their social platforms. With the rise in digital advertising, we find ourself in an “ad skipping” culture. This means that brands need to be intentional about adding value to people’s lives through the content that they are posting. In this way, you’ll begin to build trust in your brand that can be leveraged for that 10% of self-promotional content. Social media is a marathon, not a sprint. Building trust takes time and consistency. In building trust with your audience, the best strategy that I’d advocate for is to post content that is the perfect blend of owned, curated, and promotional…not too hot, and not too cold…but just right.


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