Use the 10-4-1 Rule.

There are multiple reasons people flock to social media—connecting with friends, making business connections, seeking information, staying up with recent events. Planning your social media posts to leverage these motives doesn’t have to be difficult. Learn to apply the 10-4-1 rule. It will simplify planning your social media posts.

Foundation of the 10-4-1 Rule

Look at your social media schedule as a block of 15 posts. Of those posts, 10 should come from sources outside your company. Select four posts from your own blog. The final post could be a landing page and/or sales pitch.

There’s a clear rational behind this strategy. You position yourself as an expert with the power to evaluate content for its power to inform and entertain simultaneously. Your curated content turns your posts into a one-stop ‘shop.’ Your blogs become the opportunity to be a unique voice within your niche. When you finally invite your audience to a landing page, you’ve earned their confidence that what you offer will be worth what you ask for it.

Why 10-4-1?

According to Ross Bishoff, your goal is to become ‘an information hub.’ Do such a good job of gathering information in which your audience is interested, they stop looking elsewhere. They go straight to you.   That doesn’t happen if you’re always pushing your own content. Self-promotion fosters mistrust. Don’t you feel skeptical when someone starts bragging—even if his or her list of accomplishments is long? At the same time, don’t you connect with people who point you to the information you need for success? Isn’t it easier to trust someone who has enough confidence to refer you to his or her ‘competition’ if that’s going to work better for you.

Where to Find Content and Ideas

Content is everywhere for those willing to give credit for their sources.

  • Report on the latest industry news.
  • Quote trade journals.
  • Discuss industry specific business publications.
  • Ask your vendors for information.
  • Invite complimentary (non-competing) businesses to contribute content.
  • Share potential client’s content.
  • Seek out newsletters.
  • Follow industry recognized bloggers.
  • Keep your eye out for witty comments.
  • Start keeping a file of great quotes.

You’ll find posts much easier to come up with if you keep a small notebook with you. Jot down things you hear on TV or see on YouTube. You’ll find that gathering content for the 10 ‘outside’ posts will spark ideas for your ‘inside’ posts. It will also help you hone your ‘offer’ so it’s truly attractive to your audience.

Why Blog?

As great as curating content is, you also need to produce original material—relevant, helpful and shareable. HubSpot compiled data from 1,531 of its customers. The 795 businesses which blogged had 55% more visitors to their websites, 97% more inbound links and 434% more indexed pages. This translates into more leads and sales conversions.

How to Blog Successfully

  • Use variety in your blogs. Making one topic your only theme will bore your audience.
  • Keep each blog focused. Trying to say too much is worse than saying too little.
  • Target specific interests. Expand your coverage over time, rather than trying to interest too many people at once.
  • Invite feedback. The more eyeballs that read a blog before you hit ‘publish,’ the more likely you’ll have a great blog worth reading.

What About Landing Pages

As you establish your strategy around 10-4 for your outside and inside content, select content that fits your strategy for that one landing page.

  • Do you want leads? Then your landing page should use a squeeze page or lead capturing format. Give something in exchange for contact info.
  • Do you have something to sell? Then your landing page could be a sales page.

The 10-4-1 rule is effective. It achieves that delicate balance you need to build a loyal audience. With 10 impartial posts and four semi-partial, you stop the cycle of heckling your audience guards against. They’ll be willing to listen to you when you do ask something from them that one time out of 15.




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