To Sell or Not to Sell: What is the Right Ratio on Social Media

To sell or not to sell: that is the question. What is the right ratio on social media of selling vs. non-selling posts?

I hate to break it to you, but, it’s not all about you!

HubSpot came up with the 10-4-1 rule:

To Sell or Not to Sell: What is the Right Ratio on Social Media

Out of 15 posts in any given network…

  • 10 are other peoples’ quality, relevant content of interest to your target market — even relevant news
  • 4 are your original content — blog posts or tips
  • only 1 is a direct sales or promotional post

Others say 80/20; 90/10 even 95/5. Today I read that on Facebook, it’s 70-20-10. I liked the way they explained it. I couldn’t have written it better myself:

In other words, only one out of every ten posts should be one of your own blog posts. This may seem dramatic, but think about it from the perspective of your followers. If you’re only sharing your own content, then you look desperate and selfish. However, if you’re also sharing other content that your followers will find helpful, then you appear genuinely interested. And when you do share one of your own links, it holds more value. – How to Effectively Drive More Facebook Traffic to Your Blog by Stacy Roberts on

More of them less of you.

Put yourself in your target’s shoes. What are they interested in? Do a survey. Do some research. Once you’ve got a following on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and/or Pinterest, the analytics on these sites tell you a lot about your followers. Check them monthly. See which of your posts got the most reactions: likes, comments and/or shares. Note the type and share more of those.

They are thinking, “What’s in it for me?”

Analytics and Insights tell you about your audience. What other things are they interested in? Who else do they follow? Who do they trust for information and advice?

Serve and Share — Don’t Sell – Don’t be a Spammer

“Social Selling” is about sharing and serving NOT SELLING. People will unfollow you fast if all you’re posting is about yourself and how great you are. There has to be a balance and it may take some trial and error to find the right one.

So, what is the right ratio on social media?

These are guidelines. Again, your analytics will give you a more definitive ratio as to what your specific target audience responds to and likes. Based on your analytics, you can more clearly determine what are good, trusted sources of content; what to blog about and the right call-to-action posts that are more likely to convert a follower into a sale.

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To Sell or Not to Sell: What is the Right Ratio on Social Media
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Giselle Aguiar

Giselle Aguiar is a social media, inbound and content marketing specialist and trainer helping business owners learn how to leverage the power of social media marketing, increase traffic to their websites, generate leads, increase brand awareness and establish themselves as experts in their fields.