How do you walk the fine line between actively growing your social media presence and turning people off for being too self-promoting?
If this is a concern for you, rest easy, because there is a handy formula for knowing exactly what to post and how often. If you are using social media for personal branding or for business, consider following the 10–4–1 Rule.
10 X other people’s content
The rule states that for every 15 posts, 10 of them need to be content from other people. This means that you are sharing valuable blogs, articles, or other pieces of content that you think your followers will find valuable. This is what is known as content curation.
4 X your own content
This portion of the 10 – 4–1 ratio is reserved for your own original blog posts or other resources. This is where you share your original thoughts on matters related to your industry. This is also a valuable rule of thumb because it keeps you from seeming to be too self–promoting.
1 X calls-to-action
This is the appropriate ratio of self promotional content you can do. One out of every 15 posts, about 1 should be an action-oriented request. I.e. Follow me on Twitter. Like my Facebook page. Subscribe to my blog.
Asking people to take action only one time out of fifteen is generally seen as acceptable. Too much more than this and you can come to be seen as SPAM.
When is it okay to break this rule?
In short, when the data says so. If, when analyzing trends in your social media activity, you realize that a higher percentage of your original posts earn engagement, then it may be the right move to tweak the formula a little. Keep an eye on the numbers, however, because you may find that the reason you are getting good results was specifically because of the 10–4–1 ratio you have been using. Don’t be afraid to test and adjust.