The 80/20 rule. Is it really a universal truth like gravity and the perfection of Moose Tracks ice cream?
Maybe it’s not so universal. And I’m not just saying that it’s more like the 90/10 rule.
The 80/20 rule is actually the Pareto principle, the idea that 80% of results derive from 20% 0f the causes. The principle has its origins in economics. An example would be that 20% of individuals own 80% of the land.
There is some solid applications we can make from this principle. Many of us in sales could trace 80% of our revenue to 20% of clients. 20% of our sales activities can be leveraged to 80% of our effectiveness.
The 80/20 or 90/10 rule often gets applied to social media activities, also. It’s become almost universally accepted that 80% of social media posts should be content curation (i.e. posting links to other’s blogs or resources) and 20% links to your own business’s information or blog posts.
Oh So Pinteresting, Oh So Helpful (and Eye-Opening)
But then, listening through the Oh So Pinteresting Podcast, I landed on the gem that is episode 069 – Is Your Social Media Content Curation Just Noise OSP 069.
It was refreshing to listen to Ralph Rivera challenge this 80/20 practice of focusing on content curation vs. learning how to usefully and generously tell your own business story. I love the basic premise that if we want people to benefit from the value our businesses bring to the table, why do we always highlight everybody else’s work? Is it really helpful to send people away from our own websites and content where we should be showing how we can solve their problems?
It was like a breathe of fresh air. (He wrote two blog posts on the topic: Part 1 and Part 2). We don’t have to try to be the most well-versed blog readers out there! We just need to do a better job at translating our work into a generous story that can benefit readers, fans, and others who might run into our work.
He uses the metaphor of listening to Grandpa tell stories at the dinner table. Nobody tells him to shush. He’s wise. He has experience. He has some humor about him. We love to hear him tell his story. We don’t want him to toss Readers Digests to everybody and tell them to go find a spot on the couch.
My Action Today: Use social media and other content to amplify the value of those I help vs. sending people to others’ home bases all the time.
I help a few folks with their social media. I drafted an initial plan that will help move our work from a 80/20 type output to translating our offerings into a story that will engage readers with our products and services vs. some sort of falsely humble content curation generosity thing (although I won’t stop completely).
As a part-timer in the social media game and as one who has fallen prey to the 80/20 gospel, I’m excited about the shift.
Rivera also pointed out that brand awareness doesn’t necessarily put money in the bank. Sales put money in the bank. And the problem with much social media striving is that it is not tied to revenue.
Over the next few days, I look forward to seeing how I can tell marketing stories in a way that draws engagement to my work and the work of my clients vs. overworking my Feedly to Buffer connection (as much as I love that connection).
A huge P.S. here: Check out Cynthia Sanchez and her work over at Oh So Pinteresting. Especially check out her podcast and give her workshop a whirl if you are interested in using Pinterest for your business. It has singlehandedly caused me to become a Pinterest nerd.
And today’s my birthday (hence the post title). Happy birthday to me. 🙂