Just in the past few years, social media sites have transformed into valuable, cost effective marketing tools for businesses of all sizes. However, posting on social media is only going to benefit your business if you’re using the tool properly.

Many businesses are quick to jump to social media networks and create a company account and then…crickets. What exactly is my business supposed to say? What should we be talking about online?

The answer is fairly simple: just follow the rule of thirds.

What is the Rule of Thirds?

The rule of thirds has been gaining momentum in the brand marketing world. According to a recent post in HubSpot’s marketing blog, the rule of thirds is a formula for determining what your tweets, posts and status updates should consist of. The content you choose to share on social media sites should fit into one of three categories, spread out evenly between them.

Social Media Rule of ThirdsCategories:

  • 1/3 of posts should be about your brand
  • 1/3 of posts should be about your industry, with content from outside sources
  • 1/3 of your posts should be personal interactions

Divvying up your posts to fall into these categories is the key to creating a healthy social media mix.


One third of the time you are posting on social media you are allowed to be self-centered. This is your chance to promote your company and let the world know about all the wonderful things you have to offer. Feel free to announce upcoming events, promote your blog or new posts, and update clients about new offerings. In a way, this is your opportunity to sell or pitch your product or service if you’re a B2C company. For example, you can inform clients about lunch specials, available coupons or offerings via social media posts. However, I don’t advise B2B brands to sell on social media, unless your product is a very low cost item, as it comes off as a bit tacky to ask people for thousands of dollars via social media, a cheap shot so to speak. Appropriately selling your brand on social media revolves around there being a low barrier of entry. A B2B brand promoting a special on pens on social media is OK. A B2B brand trying to sell a website in this arena, not OK. A good rule of thumb for B2B companies to stick to is only selling on social media if the offer is valued at under $50.

Industry News

In an effort to maintain a healthy social media mix, another third of your online posts will relay industry news to your followers. This industry news comes from other sources, not you. The idea here is to build your credibility. By sharing that you’re company keeps up with the latest news related to your industry, you become an expert that people will come to for more news or advice.

Personal Interactions

The other third of your posts is where your company can have some fun and interact with followers on a more personable level. Share fun photos, let people know what’s up around the office, or post your thoughts for the day as they relate to your brand. Remember, this is not the time to share negative things. Focus on the happy and the positive and the awesomeness of the day! There’s soo many crazy holidays, wish followers a Happy (fill in the blank) Day! This third of your posts is perfect for showing the personality of your company and making yourself approachable and real.

So remember, spread out your online content. The rule of thirds is designed to keep your followers interested in what you have to say while allowing your company to market your brand and gain credibility.

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