How to use the 30-30-30 rule to post social media content

Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff


We live in a tech savvy world. Now that more businesses and customers are online for longer periods of time in the day, it’s time to consider engaging with your community online! For your business to succeed nowadays you must have a social media presence. Content is and always will be King, you just need to find the right balance or combination of what type of content you need to post to grow your brand and business.


Remember the days when newspaper ads or articles were famously successful for businesses? How about the days when flyers and pamphlets were all the rage? Neither do we! Although some of the analog or outbound marketing strategies can work for some specific industries and businesses, this isn't the case for the majority of them in the 21st century.


It can be a bit confusing to figure out what to post, when to post it and why you should do so. There are several strategies to help with posting content on social media, but here we’re going to touch on a less common 30-30-30 content creation method. Here’s the breakdown of what this method is about:


  • 30% of your content talking about your brand
  • 30% talking about others
  • 30% posting fun & engaging content
  • The other 10% is on the fly responses and real-time messaging (not pre-programmed content)

For the skeptics in the room let’s dive into the benefits of having a strong focus on social media for you and your business!

Why use social media

Whether you’re on Facebook, Pinterest, TikTok, or other platforms, the main thing to remember is that any presence is better than no presence. Don’t worry about the plethora of methods and advice you read or hear, the main thing is that you start and you start early on in your brand’s development to get the most out of your content.




Customers often check social media for content created by businesses they want to shop. What they’re looking for is how you engage with other customers and how others view your brand. It’s a common part of a customer’s buying decision process. Social media is where prospective customers will also get first hand impressions and social proof of your business, product and service.


It’s in your best interest to leverage social media as a major part of your marketing strategy. Other than the obvious and simple fact that it’s FREE to post content, you’ll create a loyal customer base that you can tap into!

Here are the big benefits to creating loyalty on social media:


  • Lower marketing/conversion costs
  • Receiving feedback for product improvements or launches
  • Build a community around your brand
  • Create a feeling of belonging for your audience
  • Loyal customers spend more compared to new customers
  • Educate customers on how to use the product
  • Relieve support strain on your business
  • Understanding your audience’s demographics, language and characteristic
  • Build social proof through user generated content (UGC)

Your conversion rates will be much higher when you nurture your audience and will cost far less than consistently trying to convert brand new visitors to your site.


The chance to convert a previous customer can be as high as 70%, compared to the 5-20% chance of converting a brand new visitor.


A social media strategy to engage with those previous customers will not only increase your conversion rate, but will significantly lower your marketing costs long term. More money saved means you can spend that money on scaling your business, developing new product lines, opening new sales channels or other operational growth steps!


Your brand is a big part of what your business is or does, social media helps you tell that story in a more human and genuine way! Remember that a large majority of potential long term customers will buy into the story behind the product. Why try to convert new customers every minute of the day spending thousands of dollars on ads, when you can nurture your audience, get to know them and build a long term business-customer relationship.


How to choose your platforms based on where your audience are:


As a new business, it’s best to choose 1 to 2 social media platforms to get started. Remember that managing these regularly will be vital so start small and work your way up to more platforms if necessary down the road. Trying to be on every new platform will be overwhelming and a lot of work to keep up with unique content in each. Don’t spread yourself thin otherwise it’ll lead to poor quality content, low engagement and missing the target with your prospective customers.




So how do you decide which platforms you should start with? The answer is simple, find where your target customer demographic is! This means that you’ll need to get to know who you’re trying to appeal to. No, your product isn’t going to be useful for all visitors; no, your brand isn’t for everyone; and no, you can’t target everyone for your marketing. This is a common mistake where new business owners will lose money and sometimes close down. Be sure that you know who the customer target is and learn everything you can about them.


Check out various articles and reports on an annual basis to see what the changes and trending demographics are on each social media platform. Here’s a breakdown of some social media platforms to consider to determine where the target customer spends their social media time:

image10.png Facebook

  • 1.66 billion active daily users
  • Popular with older age groups such as Gen X & Boomers
  • A business page & business manager account is needed for paid ads
  • Allows businesses to gain insights on their audience
  • Track page views, post reach and new page likes
  • Great SEO, your business page is likely to rank well on Google before your website
  • Check in on your competitors and see what’s working for them.
  • Sell directly on your Facebook page with the Shopify Facebook Channel.

image9.png Instagram

  • 500 million active daily users and quickly growing
  • Popular with older millennial age groups in Gen Y & Gen Z
  • Owned by Facebook & ad tools are combined with them
  • Large gaining user base will surpass Facebook
  • Very visual platform
  • Allows you to put a face to your brand
  • A visual feed can reflect your brand's uniqueness and personality
  • Partner with Influencers
  • Sell your products directly on your posts using the Facebook Sales Channel.

image4.png Twitter

  • 326 million monthly active users
  • Popular with a largely maie demographic and age groups of Gen X and older Gen Y
  • Community building platform
  • Share updates, industry news and engage rapidly with followers
  • Use trending hashtags to gain more visibility for your brand
  • Requires a higher daily frequency of posting as tweets will quickly pass through feeds


  • 300 million monthly active users
  • Popular among a female demographic and Millenial age groups
  • Vision and ideas board platform
  • Pinterest is one of the biggest website traffic builders in the world
  • 80% more viral and 3X more effective at generating leads than Twitter
  • User engagement is high via pins and re-pins
  • Discover what your audience loves by viewing what they’re pinning.


  • 100 million monthly active users
  • Popular with the Millennial and Gen Z age groups: (16 -30 years old)
  • Easily showcase products or services in a video
  • Great for light-hearted, entertaining brand content
  • Businesses who do best on TikTok are fun, engaging and follow popular trends

image11.png Reddit

  • 11 million daily active users
  • Popular with male demographic within the millennial age groups
  • Speak to your target audience directly and gain valuable feedback with Reddit.
  • Learn what your audience is looking for
  • Reddit is under-utilized as a platform but it’s the 6th most visited website in the US

image1.png YouTube

  • 2 billion monthly active users
  • The second largest “search engine in the world”
  • Owned by Google (the largest search engine worldwide)
  • Popular with all age groups
  • Can be time-consuming to edit videos for YouTube, but worth it when growing a business
  • Create how-to videos, teach your audience how to use your products or services
  • Excellent platform for influencers you’re working with to do unboxing videos & showcase your products.

So, you’ve decided which platforms you’re going to focus on, based on who your target customer is and the needs of your business. Now what? What should you post?


There are different techniques used to help with content creation, but for the purpose of this guide, we’re going to explain the 30/30/30 Rule.


The 30-30-30 Rule for Content Creation


One of the most common mistakes new businesses make with social media is to flood audiences’ feeds with images of their products, sales promotions and nothing else. Big problem with this! Using that approach will lose your audience before you’ve had a chance to show them just how awesome your business is! Remember the goal here is to grow your following and engage them.


People use social media to be entertained and to learn. It’s usually an escape for audiences to get away from stress, hassles and gives them a chance to be creative and engage with people and brands they love. Needless to say they don’t want brands pushing their products and sales to them 100% of the time. For that reason, you should mix up your content to keep your audience engaged, nurture prospective customers and give your audience reasons (beyond your product) to follow you.



Let’s break the strategy down!

Essentially, the 30-30-30 rule is an easy way to brainstorm your content marketing on social media. It can be one of the easier methods to follow for beginners and will save you tons of time in coming up with ideas on what to post!

Here’s what the 30-30-30 stands for:


30% of your content talking about your brand


It’s normal to want to post photos of your products on Social Media, and you can! The key here is to get creative and mix things up! You can include sneak previews of things to come, behind the scenes photos or videos, put a face to the brand by including photos of yourself, staff or even pets (if it’s relevant to your brand). Although, you can make some fun posts here, you must stick to telling your brand story and sharing what your business does and why it’s great. Keep it relevant to your business.


Give your audience the opportunity to get to know who you are and like you! This gets you far ahead of many new businesses and brands out there. The more your prospects get to know and like you, the better they will trust you. Trust goes a long way to making buying decisions. The more your brand puts itself out there in various creative ways the easier it will be for followers to click on that next product link and consider buying from you.


30% talking about others


Seek out brands that complement yours and share them with your audience. If you’re on Instagram, reach out to other brands and suggest sharing each other's posts or products to help each other out. Perhaps you’re selling handmade soap products, you can partner with a spa to provide them with your products and promote the spa on your Instagram. They can also promote the fact they’re providing your products at their spa. If your business is community orientated, you may also promote events in your area on your social media.


Consider featuring UGC here as well. Your best salespeople are your customers. Word of mouth marketing is still and will continue to be the best method to convert new customers. User content gives you a boost in how others perceive your brand and products/services. If someone purchases an item they absolutely love, they’ll likely be posting it on social media or letting their friends and family know about it. Think of it as positive reviews! This user generated content is a great way to build social proof and allow new customers to build trust faster in your business.


Try out a hashtag for your brand and ask customers to post content with the hashtag. This is a fun way for others to find you on social media and also tell your story. Be sure to ask permission before using content created by others.


30% posting fun and engaging content


Ask fun questions that your audience will enjoy answering, giving you the opportunity to chat to them. This is also a great way to get ideas for your future products or services!


Post fun videos! If you sell pet products, post fun videos of dogs or cats, there are millions of these spectacular videos out there. Make sure to get permission to post anything you didn’t create. If you sell sports clothing, videos of snowboarders or waterskiers could go over well with your audience.


Video always gets more engagement on all social media platforms than static images or just text. If you’re not sure how to create a video, try out different tools that can help you create animated slideshows that catch the attention of anyone scrolling through their feed.


What about the other 10%?


The remaining 10% should be on-the-fly, unplanned posts. Engagement works two ways. When your audience comments on your posts, you want to reply to them whenever it is appropriate to do so. It’s fine to ignore negative comments but you want your followers to know you appreciate them so it's great to briefly chat with them and increase your brand's overall engagement in the process. It also gives you a chance to learn about your audience which will then give you ideas for improving your brand.


Twitter and Reddit are excellent for on-the-fly text posts replying to your audience. However, you can also create live videos or stories on many other social media platforms. The idea here is to be relevant and timely with current events, messages, and spontaneous sparks of inspiration.


All-in-all, remember that customers won’t respond to a barrage of promotional posts or sale announcements. They will, however, respond greatly to posts that allow them to discover who you are and what your business is all about.

Customers will buy into the brand story before they ever consider buying the product or service.


Other methods to consider


Keep in mind that the 30-30-30 method isn’t the only strategy out there. Some of the other well-known strategies are the 80-20 rule, wherein you post quantitatively 80% educational/fun/engaging content and 20% promotional. Similarly the 60-30-10 method will have you posting 60% brand story posts, 30% product and 10% UGC.


No matter the method that you choose, put 110% effort into it. The more engagement you receive on social media, the more reach you will have with new audiences and future customers. Social media platforms work on algorithms that benefit those who maintain a consistent posting schedule and those who have high engagement.

Here are a few extra tips to assist:

  • Take the time to schedule your posts if need be using a tool like Hootsuite or Later
  • Stay on top of trends and current events to stay relevant
  • Engage for at least 30 mins of your day with your audience and potential followers
  • Research what engages your target audience the most
  • If you’re an artist, focus on you as an artist and your inspiration
  • If you’re a food related business, consider posting recipes or cooking videos
  • Never ever buy followers, bots won’t be buying from you so don’t buy them

Give the 30-30-30 method a try for at least 30 days before you decide on changing your strategy. Learn, learn and learn some more. Social media evolves quickly and being adaptable is important to your long term business success.


What are your favourite go-to social media strategies for your business?