What’s the Ideal Content Ratio?

On May 18, 2012 by Shai Coggins

When I read the post, Should your social media strategy follow the 4-1-1 rule?, it reminded me of the guideline that I often share when people ask me about the best approach to posting content on social media.

In the 4-1-1 Rule, it was asserted that for every 1 self-serving post on a social platform, the brand/individual/organisation, should share 4 pieces of original content and 1 re-share.

While I really commend this approach, I’m not sure if this would work across the board. I guess, it depends on what constitutes “original content” and what is the primary aim of the brand/individual/organisation in a specific platform.

What's the Ideal Content Ratio - 555+ Rule

The 555+ Content Ratio Rule

In my presentations, I often share the 555+ Guideline instead. In this approach, I suggest:

  • 5 things about you/your organisation and/or original content
  • 5 things about others — either through a ReTweet, a re-post of someone else’s original content, or a link pointing to resources outside yourself/your organisation
  • 5 responses/replies to show engagement
  • + is all other “value adds”, like using #FollowFriday (#FF) hash tags and Paper.li posts on Twitter or allowing wall posts from others on Facebook. While these are great things to have, I believe these should never overrun your stream.

And, no, I don’t see 5 as ‘The Magic Number’. This is really just a random number that I’ve used. It doesn’t even have to be totally equal. Really, the general idea is just to make sure that your social media account doesn’t look like a pulpit (where you just broadcast information all the time), a rehash (where you just share information that may be found elsewhere), or a clique (where everything appears to be private conversations being held in public).

So, there needs to be a balance of content that comes out of your social accounts. Whatever number or ratio you decide to choose, it’s important to show that your social platform may be seen as a great resource for original content, with a personable voice, and one that knows how to promote others and engage.

What about you? What’s your ideal content sharing ratio?

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