rule book

In 2007, marketers new to the social media game were seeking clear cut guidelines for how to get started on their own social efforts. To give those marketers a “social media rules” book, we looked back to an oldie but goodie: the 80/20 rule, this version existed way before social media and marketing as we know it today, and was applied to effort. Someone smart turned the 80/20 rule around and applied it as an easy way to get started on social efforts — a hard and fast way to know how much to talk about our own content while sharing that of others.

With so many changes to Facebook alone, and now that we’re in the midst of our marketing plans for 2015, it’s time to tear that rule up and take the time invested in marketing efforts, including social media, to create better and fewer content pieces while focusing on discussion-driven and based content.

We can’t issue blanket advice on this one. There isn’t a rule book anymore. Let’s liken it to a college class: we get a book, we study, attend class, take tests to prove our knowledge, watch our exam and project scores, and use that to judge where we are in terms of learning the material. However, there comes a time when we can no longer learn anything from courses offered after studying those books for years. Rather than relying heavily on what we’ve learned, we have to stretch our legs and find our own way. Much like that life lesson, the 80/20 rule becomes irrelevant for brands once they find what works for their audiences. (Oh, the joy and freedom to be creative!)

Facebook is demanding changes to the way we do things as companies who have brand pages. Twitter is thinking about how to make its content work differently. The newcomers, Snapchat and Instagram, are highly visual yet they still focus on conveying messages that spark discussion about a brand even if the end goal is to get someone to make a purchase. Each of these “new ways of doing things” are shaking up the way we approach content for social channels.

While planning your efforts for 2015, use the new year as a starting point to do things differently. For now, those same things you’ve always done are working. In the coming year, I predict a manner of change so disruptive to how things are done now, if only so forced by algorithms, that let’s you and I get ahead of the curve and find out what works before we have to change on the fly without testing the waters.

Stay tuned for the next post about this subject, where we’ll take a look at what is working and what you can test in the month of December to help inform your plans for 2015.

Chel Wolverton
Account Manager, Marketing Technology

Photo Credit: juhansonin via Compfight cc

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