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August 19, 2014

How to plan your Social Media Posts: 10:4:1 Rule

By Jessika Phillips
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Do you manage a social media account or multiple accounts and scramble to find a method to produce and organize content that gets engagement?

What if I told you there was a science to the art of creating social media content that gets noticed ...There is a beautiful tool called the "10-4-1 rule" that can assist you with knowing the exact amount of content that should be curated and produced to evolve your social media marketing plan.

If you haven’t heard of the 10-4-1 rule with regard to creating great posts for your social media marketing campaigns, let us introduce you to a wonderful tool that is going to help you in many ways. Essentially the 10-4-1 rule is a ratio of what messages to send out over a 15-post period across your social media platforms. Embracing this rule will help you build your audience and your engagement, helping your overall strategies hum like the engine in an Indycar.

The truth is, creating fantastic content isn’t always as easy as you may think.

Two of your key goals should be:

  1. Consistency
  2. Building trust as an expert to your audience

That sounds easy, but often it isn’t. Over the course of a couple weeks, a couple months, a couple years, creating consistent, smart posts across your social media platforms can be a major challenge.

That’s where the 10-4-1 guideline comes into play. This rule serves as a way to use the right mix of content to publish on social media, and it’s been proven to help businesses effectively grow their reach while generating leads.

The 10-4-1 rule is basically a ratio that states over a 15-post period, 10 should come from third-party sources, 4 should come from your companies’ blogs and 1 should be a landing page or sales pitch.

So let’s break it down.

10 Third-Party Posts

 Using 10 out of every 15 posts from third-party, or other, sources sometimes can be difficult to wrap your mind around. Some struggle with the idea of using information from another source, thinking maybe they’ll be sending their personas away from their own content.

It actually has the opposite effect.

If you understand your audience, you understand the challenges they face, the myriad of interests they have, you have a great understanding of all the ways you can help them. So if you take content they’ll love from trade journals, business publications, newsletters, other blogs, funny sources, great quotes etc. you are helping them in a million different ways. Over time, your audience starts to see you as a trusted advisor, an expert.

The end result is you become an information hub. Your audience no longer has to track down 15 different sources, they know you’re the go-to spot. You’re not only seen as an expert, but you build a relationship of trust that you’re a company that isn’t just out to sell, sell, sell. You want to help, and that builds lifelong customers and clients.

4 Blog Shares

Blogging is absolutely essential to any social media or inbound marketing strategy. According to HubSpot, “companies that blog have 55 percent more website visitors than those that don’t.” So blog and blog often. Then, get those messages out. Tweet them, post them on Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn, Pin them, put them on LinkedIn and the like. You spent time writing this blog, now get the word out! And if you are putting out effective information, your audience is going to help you spread the word by retweeting, sharing and interacting on your behalf.

This not only helps your image as a trusted advisor and expert, it drives traffic to your website.

1 Sales Pitch

If you are adhering to this rule, you have earned the chance to sell something to your audience. This post or message is your opportunity to let your fans and followers know how you can help them solve a problem through your services and products. So 1 out of every 15 posts should be a link to a landing page on your website. You can offer an eBook, a white paper, a webinar, a sales brochure or even a video.

If 14 other posts are giving your audience great information, this salesy post isn’t going to get ignored, it’s going to be embraced.

Using the 10-4-1 rule is a fantastic guideline to help you create your social media marketing content and mix your message to build your audience and your engagement.

Creating a good mix of messages is crucial to building your audience and your engagement, and that will lift your business above the noise.

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Tags: Social Media Marketing, Social Media, social media posts

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