3 Ways Retailers Can Improve Their Social Media Using the 80-20 Rule
retail clients has taught me first-hand that it’s very rare when things are NOT
busy in their world. Whether it’s rolling out a new product on Facebook, driving
traffic to their ecommerce website, or running a contest on Pinterest, it’s
easy to lose track of what’s important. Enter The Pareto principle, also known as the 80-20 rule. It states that roughly
80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. As a common rule of thumb in
business, “80% of your sales come from 20% of your clients”. If we apply it to
social media that means 80% of your engagement/likes/success comes from 20% of
your efforts. By applying the 80 20 principle, retailers will uncover hidden
gems and fix the leaks that provide the most strain on your resources.
Identify 20% of social media activity
that provides the most benefit
Look over the last quarter and review your performance against your goals. What
is working really well? Can you
replicate it? Make sure to involve your social media and analytics people to
bring up any hidden trends you may have missed.
EXAMPLE: Client wanted to grow their social media but was struggling to
identify the right type of content they should use. After analyzing their
social media channels, we discovered that their Facebook page engagement went
up whenever they focused on answering customer questions about the product and
client events. We paid attention to the
questions that customer service received, and started posting the questions and
answers on Facebook. This created
conversations and encouraged fans to ask more questions on Facebook causing the
community to grow, increasing engagement.
The goal with any social media initiative is provide value in the content you
put out. If the customer sees value in something you’re doing they’ll stick
around, don’t waste their time (and yours) by creating content they don’t care
What 20% of
social media creates 80% of waste?
As hard as we plan and as diligent as we are, hitting a bulls-eye is not always
the case with social media. If a certain program is putting strain on your
resources, it’s time to look at why it’s happening, modify your strategy or cut
EXAMPLE: One of our clients saw that Pinterest was one of the newest
trending social media platforms, and wanted to try it for their brand. After a
few weeks of testing various techniques and strategies, the numbers just
weren’t there. Although Pinterest is a valuable platform to have for some brands,
it wasn’t a good fit for our particular client due to their customer
demographic and Pinterest user base. We looked at the data and decided to relocate
the Pinterest resources into a pilot program that was significantly more
successful for the client.
What 20% of changes would create the
Your customers and
technology are constantly changing, which makes it critical to identify new
successful techniques. What can you start doing today that will have the
biggest benefit in the future? Are there
any new social media platforms that make sense for your brand? Test it out with
a pilot program and see what results you get.
EXAMPLE: As part of our new retail client reputation management
initiative, we discovered that their reviews on a local social review site Yelp
were very negative. What’s even worse, the reviews showed up in the top Google
searches when the client’s name was entered. Knowing that Yelp reviews are
viewed as word-of-mouth, we quickly identified this as an opportunity and implemented
an action plan to improve the reviews and customer service initiatives. We
believe the program will pay great dividends in the future for client’s
reputation as well as attract customers who were potentially turned off by the
low rating during search.
Success Breeds Success
By using the 80-20 principles retailers can cut down on inefficient social
media initiatives and invest in those that work. Build on your success and
apply 80-20 principle to other parts of your business as well as your personal
life. Let us know what insights you find. What 20% of marketing initiatives
provide the most return for you?