The Social Media Rule of Thirds: A How to Guide
Three social media best practices to ensure a well-rounded marketing strategy that generates positive results.
In an earlier blog post we covered a few things to avoid when selling books on social media. Now we’d like to introduce some handy principles of social media marketing that will really get your sales rolling.
Introducing the Social Media Rule of Thirds
The Social Media Rule of Thirds is a simple formula for establishing a balanced social media presence. These recommendations help you come off as authentic, while still promoting your brand. They help answer common questions such as:
- What should I post about?
- How often should I talk about my brand?
- When should I cover related or non-related news items?
- Is it OK to post personal subject matter?
- Are there rules for cross-posting on social media?
I was told there would be no math…
Don’t worry, The Social Media Rule of Thirds requires zero mathematical skill other than the ability to count to three. The recommended rules are as follows.
- One-third of your posts should be about promoting your books.
- One-third of your posts should be shared content and outside resources.
- One-third of your posts should be about personal brand and customer interaction.
Posts That Promote Your Books
These posts should be geared towards conversion and generating profits—the most “business-minded” things you’ll post. Some examples include:
- Highlighting specials and promotions
- Talking up a new bestseller or the next release in a popular series
- Informing readers on how they can score free ebook samples
All of these posts have to do with the books you offer and driving conversions. The bottom line: Buy these books. Buy them from me.
Posts That Share Content
Here you want to tap outside resources and share with your audience things they may have otherwise never come across. Some ways to show you are in the know include:
- Sharing industry related news articles
- Cross-posting from authors, publishers, and other thought leaders
- Linking to popular discussion topics on other platforms or forums
These posts can sound like promotion, but the key is they are coming from outside your brand. The bottom line: We are a well-informed, trusted resource.
Posts That Get Personal
Of the social media trifecta covered in the Rule of Thirds, this can often be the most enjoyable, but at the same time the most difficult. Personal posts can include:
- Opening up the platform for customers to share their stories and experiences
- Engaging with customers—liking, replying, and encouraging interaction
- Talking about things completely unrelated to your business—like a great chili recipe
How to Follow the Rule of Thirds
There are a handful of social media management tools out there that can help you make more beneficial and relevant posts. Continuing with the theme, these are our top three recommended tools to help manage social media:
- Hootsuite – Offers free and paid plans for managing multiple networks. One of the most widely used tools and most robust.
- Bitly – A more simplified version of the above, Bitly lets you share links across multiple platforms with one simple browser plugin.
- Everypost – Love it because of its simplicity. Scheduled posts across multiple channels from one very basic dashboard.
The tools listed above offer pretty comprehensive coverage. However, there are more targeted tools like TweetDeck that give you added insights into one particular platform.
We know. Life is already full of social rules—don’t use speaker phone in public, cover your mouth when sneezing, never wear polka-dot underwear with white pants—but if you want to successfully sell books on platforms like Facebook and Twitter, these are three social media best practices you should abide by.