Working and marketing online requires planning and strategy. Knowing what to post and when to post to get the most out of your online presence is essential. Luckily, we have a formula we can follow to help us… And when you apply the 80/20 Rule in social marketing strategy, you’ll find it much easier to use social media for your small business.

Chances are, you already know the importance of “engagement,” that all-purpose generic term that strikes fear into the heart of social media marketers everywhere. Engagement is any type of like/comment/share/follow action your community takes and helps build a following on that social channel organically. Since most applications are algorithm-based, engagement is a key factor in how content is pushed out into users’ news feeds. The challenge, of course, is creating content that will be engagement-worthy.

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Applying the 80/20 Rule in Social Marketing

So let’s talk about math. Well, sort of math. Most of us have heard of the 80/20 rule. 80% of your time will be consumed with 20% of your people/customers/team members. 80% of your revenue will come from 20% of your customers. Let’s extend that to social media – 80% of your engagement will come from 20% of your follower community.  So that means you’re really posting content for a very small subset of your communities.

Let’s break this down. The math works out approximately like this:

  • 80% of your followers on any social channel will rarely or never engage. They aren’t online when you post, your channel isn’t one of their key channels, they aren’t paying attention. They might see your content in their feed occasionally but are not likely to engage. They entered your funnel for some free value you provided and then stalled.
  • 16% of your followers will be occasional engagers. They might like or comment on a highly popular post or tune in occasionally to your livestream broadcasts.  They like your content and consider your community one worth checking in with regularly. They may buy your “standard” products when the value proposition is worth it to them. They are your lurkers.
  • 4% of your followers are your passionate community. They will engage, like, comment, share, tune-in, and refer their friends.  They will buy your premium products and be your brand ambassadors. They will follow you to new platforms. These are the community members to keep happy.

So see how that math breaks down? Approximately 80/20: with the 20% being your occasional and frequent community members.

Think about any Facebook group of which you are a member or moderate. These same rations probably apply. 80% of the group activity (or more) comes from 20% of the group members (or less).  Think about the newsletters you send out to your teams or customers. 80% of the views come from 20% of the subscribers. On your Instagram feed, more than likely 80% of the comments and likes come from 20% of your followers.

How Not to Get Discouraged

How do you look at those numbers and not get discouraged. Its a lot of mindset. Its a lot of being on a mission to keep finding NEW people for your Facebook group or your Instagram. That’s how you grow that bottom number, by growing the top number.

How do you grow that top number? Online vendor events, video content featuring Personality and Purposeful content. You draw new people in with you being you, and the value that you provide. Then you keep showing up for them, and they’ll eventually make a purchase.

Like everything else, there’s changes to that bottom number. Not everyone is always going to be your 4%. Life happens and people stop being interested in your product or your story.

And that’s okay.


Brenda Ster sitting at her desk with her phone in both hands in a rectangle frame with the words Remember the 80/20 rule for social marketing Make super fans of your business for the blog post Applying the 80/20 Rule in Social Marketing

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