Redefining Social Media’s 80-20 Rule

I just heard from a long­time client-turned-­friend that a speaker she heard was espousing the importance of spending 80% of our marketing time on personal connections – networking, public speaking and face­-to-­face meetings – and only 20% on social media.

Even though I run a company heavily immersed in social media, I don’t think the speaker’s too far off. Her definition of social media, however, is very different than mine.

You can connect to a dozen people per hour on LinkedIn, but the connection in and of itself is virtually meaningless.

The key is taking that connection and turning it into a relationship – whether by email, phone or in person – that is then maintained and nurtured.

When social media time ends, personal engagement time begins. I’ve recently begun replying to comments on my blog posts, which I syndicate on LinkedIn, with renewed vigor. One great way to fill your social media datebook is to spend time gathering the comments you generate on LinkedIn and adding them to the blog posts themselves for future readers.

Having a lively comment section is especially helpful for Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Engaging people in my comments section leads to connections which I can then add to our mailing list. Frequently I’ll take the conversation and relationship to the next level by reaching out to them personally.

A blog is also a “social media platform” in and of itself, and I don’t even have to look to know that every blog post on our clients active blog websites has had visitors/readers in the last month, even those that were posted years back.Mark Bullock of discusses how the 80-20 rule applies to social media.

It’s important to note that your blog posts will be referenced or forwarded by the people you know and others you’ve never met both now, and well into the future. Some of those connections will drop your name, or say to their coworkers, “Yeah, I know who that person is! They’re a really well-­known Attorney/Mediator/CPA, etc.” Social media platforms, like LinkedIn, allow your content and brand to become viral in nature, passing from one friend of a friend of a friend to another, therefore you gain a long-term return on investment (ROI) of your social media engagement time.

Social media is, necessarily, a series of relationships. If you’re good at forming, farming, maintaining and nurturing relationships, it can be an immensely high-­leverage tool that yields endorsements, name drops, top-of-mind awareness, and ultimately – Referrals. It’s also an environment to contribute to, because in doing so you’re engaging with other people, potentially en masse.

If, on the other hand, you depend on social media alone, or use it only as a broadcast mechanism for promotional marketing messages – well, then even spending 20% of your marketing time on it is a waste.

If your relationship building efforts through social media are done well though, you can spend 20% of your networking/marketing time to produce 80% of the results, as Relationships – real ones, valuable ones – are the core of any professional services business. It’s no different for us at

We’ve written several articles about using blogging and social media to foster referrals. Feel free to check them out at

We’d love to hear your feedback,

you can comment or ask questions in the “Leave a Reply” section below!

 Mark Bullock Mark BullockTelephone: (631) 754-0800



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