How to Optimize Your Small Business Social Media Marketing Process With The 10:4:1 Rule
You've read of all the statistics about how social media can help your business drive revenue growth and have decided to design a social media marketing process for your small business. You've done your research on your customers and have chosen to target the social media networks that they are using. The next step in your social media marketing process is to determine what types of messages you should broadcast and how frequently you should broadcast them. After all, you don't want to come off as a pushy sales person but on the other hand, you want to let people know how you can help them with your products and services.
Follow the 10-4-1 Rule to Optimize Your Social Media Marketing Process
According to the B2B Social Media Book by Kipp Bodnar and Jeffrey L. Cohen, the 10-4-1 Rule is a ratio that serves as a guideline for the right balance of content to publish in social media. For every 15 of your social media updates, 10 should be pieces of other people's content, 4 should be your own blog articles, and 1 should be a landing page. Make that a rule, follow that ratio no matter how much you post, and it will help you grow your reach (by promoting other people's content), send traffic to your website, and generate leads!
10 out of every 15 social media messages that you broadcast should be other people's content. Your purpose in choosing these messages is to provide valuable information to your followers that helps position you as a trusted advisor. Share links to relevant content found in trade journals, business publications and newsletters in your customers' areas of interest. Always provide attribution to the author of the information you are sharing by using the convention, "via @TwitterHandle". For example, if you were sharing the blog with someone (hint!), you would use the convention via @DCB2BInbound.
A blog is essential to an inbound marketing strategy - according to marketing automation software provider HubSpot, companes that blog have 55% more webstie vistors than those that don't blog. 4 of every 15 social media messages that you broadcast should promote your blog, which should be including relevant content that is useful to your followers. Ask your followers to spread your message, by asking them to re-broadcast your message by starting it out with "Please RT" (please retweet.)
As stated earlier in this blog post, you do want to let your followers know how your products or services can help them solve a business problem. 1 out of every 15 social media messages should be a link to a landing page on your website that provides relevant content such as eBooks or whitepapers to visitors who complete a form, typically asking for their name, company and e-mail address. You can also use this message to invite followers to a webinar, download a sales brochure or link them to videos that you have produced.
For those navigating the social media world, the 10:4:1 rule is a good guideline to help you provide the right mix of messaging in your social media marketing process to drive traffic to your website and generate leads.
Author: John Beveridge is the President of Rapidan Strategies, an inbound marketing and social media agency and HubSpot certified partner located in Fairfax, VA. He is a Social Media Today contributor and currently serves as Vice Chair for the Northern Virginia Technology Council's Business Development, Marketing and Sales Committee. Please contact John with any questions on this article or any other inbound marketing and social media issues.