The Social Media ‘Rule of Thirds’: How to Optimize Content to Boost User Response

Ronn Torossian, CEO, 5WPR

There is a new fitness brand on the block. The brand, focused on promoting CBD products, supplements, and apparel, is aimed at the trendy wellness movement and the current focus on health and holistic training methods. 

The brand wastes no time in getting its social media up and running, quickly hammering out a content calendar full of promotional posts and advertisements for the wide array of products the business offers. 

But it’s odd, the posts don’t seem to be gaining much traction. When the brand first launched, users were flocking to the Instagram page, eager to learn about the newest wellness brand. Influencers were constantly asking to represent the brand, and new followers were coming in by the hour. But this slowed down after the first few weeks of posting. 

What happened here? 

Let’s start with the type of content the brand was posting. Content is king when it comes to digital marketing and creating a splash that also creates ongoing momentum for a new business. Therefore, the specific type of content posted should be planned out carefully. 

This is where the popular social media “rule of thirds” comes into play. Digital marketing experts say that balance in content is highly valuable. Brands who post nothing but promotional and product content are likely to turn off consumers. Consumers don’t want to be constantly sold to. So mix it up a bit! 

The rule of thirds works this way: a third of a brand’s content should be promotional or advertorial, a third should be relevant industry content, and a third should be a more personal interaction. 

Promotional content is fairly self-explanatory. This would include advertisements, sales or promotional events, or product posts. 

The next third deals with relevant content. What does this mean, exactly? Depending on the platform and its audience, this content can include articles or press done on wellness topics (for this brand, specifically), lifestyle imagery, or general tips and tricks for getting the most out of one’s wellness routine. 

Lastly, the final third should be based on more personal interaction and engagement with followers. This can include sharing personal stories that are relevant from influencers or ambassadors, testimonials from happy customers, or anything that shows a more “human” touch. 

Social media should not only be about appearances and selling at all times. Social media is intended to be just that: social. Brands should not get bogged down in constant product pushing or sales tactics. 

This overdone concept could be the reason why this new wellness brand’s pages seemed to fail after the initial excitement wore off. Once followers realized the brand was only going to push sales and products, their feed became less valuable. A brand’s social media feed must always add value for the customer, or else their attention and loyalty may fade. 

So take a good look at the upcoming content for a business page. Make sure that it has a healthy, 30-30-30 mix of content that’s promotional, relevant, and personal. Paying attention to this mixture will help social media gain loyal, engaged followers and be an instrumental part of any brand’s growth.


Ronn Torossian & Vice President Mike PenceAbout the Author: Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, a leading Public Relations agency.

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