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The Social Media Rule of Thirds


I was discussing social media strategy with Bernie Janes, Managing Director of adrenalin business The Activity People - which includes Go Ballistic, the UK & Ireland's premier paintball network.  

We were talking about how businesses were achieving a commercial return on their investment in social media as a result of the move towards "earned media" and away from purely paid media. 

Bernie explained "The challenge with social media is getting the mix right between engagement, entertainment and commercial outcomes. We have been doing very well on Facebook, entertaining our users and getting lots of shares and likes. But we found it more difficult to see how that was positively impacting the business." 

This challenge gets to the heart of where of how value is created and realised with social media. Companies feel obligated to do something. But without a clear business case, choose either do nothing or search for the lowest possible cost - and usually lowest value - solution. 

"We have two writers generating content and they do an excellent job. We often found though it was a challenge to keep coming up with great content. So I was searching for how we could change it up a gear. " 

Go Ballistic have implemented a new approach based upon the Social Media Rule of Thirds

"One-third of what we will post will be entertaining and fun content. We know our customers value and engage with that, so will it continue to be an important part of what we do as an entertainment business. 

The second third will be content around people enjoying the product - and that includes our staff on our own regular corporate days. Our customers love getting tagged in pics, seeing and tagging their friends in videos and so on. It is a great source of engagement. 

And the final third is offer driven, providing great offers and deals to those people on social media. Again, we are using this as a value add in social that we think is better than just entertaining content alone” says Janes. 

It is a pretty simple concept, but as often is the case, something refined to the essence of what is important often is most effective.

Go Ballistic have just started this process so it will be interesting to see how it works on their numbers. Early indications are showing this as a better approach providing increased  engagement and a better ability to confirm that they are getting a return on their investment in social.  

We are also about to implement the same model at Lakelands Country Club - and whilst the rule of thirds might not be exactly right for a membership based organisation like Lakelands that doesn’t need to constantly sell, chances are it will be close to a perfect fit. 

Why not take moment to like their Facebook page - and decide for yourself if the Social Media Rule of Thirds is right for your business.

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