The Pareto Principle for Social Media

Social Media in a Modern Age

In today’s world, online marketing can be a very daunting and challenging venture to undertake. No matter if you are running your own personal social media page and want to grow its following or you are running a social media page for a business, understanding digital marketing will help you reach the audience you want to target. That's where the Pareto principle comes in.

Digital media marketing is vastly different from traditional marketing methods. Most traditional marketing – whether local, statewide or nationwide – use the ‘scattergun’ approach; a scattergun approach is a rather broad marketing tactic with little return. When computers and the internet began to be used by businesses for marketing, this ‘scattergun’ style of marketing was popular. While it increased exposure for businesses, it only converted a fraction of the audience exposed to the advertisements into spending customers. As the digital age grew, it also became easier to select target audiences and drive up those sale conversion rates for online marketing.

Various methods within the digital marketing realm can aid business or individual in selling more products. Even if selling products is not your final goal through digital marketing, the principles used for modern digital marketing can be applied to any marketing goal or digital marketing strategy. One such method is the Pareto Principle.

Work Smarter Not Harder

The Pareto Principle is a principle first noted by Joseph M. Juran who named it after Vilfredo Pareto; an Italian economist that first noticed an 80/20 connection in relation to effort and results. The principle is relatively simple to understand. The principle can also be known as the law of the vital view or the principle of factor sparsity. In a nutshell, the principle states that 80% of the effects of an event can be achieved by as little as 20% of the effort put into an event. Pareto showed that in Italy during the late 1800s, 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population. From this baseline, the principle has been applied to many professional fields such as economics, computing and even in sports.

Vifredo Pareto
Vifredo Pareto

The Pareto Principle for Social Media

So how can this principle be useful for internet and digital marketing? This principle can be used to help you manage your social media network accounts and any subsequent internet marketing campaigns you launch. A lot of online businesses and individuals that run companies publish several times a day, every day. While this tactic may increase exposure, it takes a lot of time and effort to implement. Not only that, it takes time away from doing business and, for example, if you are a freelancer, chasing leads. Some people may not be in a position to pay a social media manager, and this is where the Pareto Principle comes in.

Research Your Audience

Conducting in-depth market research on your target audience would be an excellent first step to learn; for example, times where the majority of your target audience will be using the social media channels you use. Then, implementing the Pareto principle, you can gain just as much exposure for your business or page. For example, instead of marketing at multiple and varied set times every day, you can apply your efforts into advertising at specific audience related times. Using this tactic, it is possible to get the same amount of exposure while spending less of your time advertising.


While this principle may seem simplistic to implement, it can be difficult without the appropriate research. At first, the principle appears too good to be true and, in some ways, it can be. While you use less time creating content for your social media pages and arranging for their release, you may tend to spend more time in the initial stages researching your audiences. Not only do you need to research into your current audience to find out their times of social media engagement, but you also need to perform forecast analysis’ to predict when your new followers may engage with you. You may also need to research into what kind of content will resonate with your audience. For example, if your audience has a lower spending budget, there would be no point in advertising your most expensive product.

Final Thoughts

One last thing to consider is the content you will be publishing. The Pareto principle should also be applied to the social media content you produce. People tend to dislike advertisements, even if they are relevant to their interests. To counteract this, you need to adopt the Pareto principle when creating content; has the majority of your content been on topics other than your products. People will not follow an account that consistently publishes advertisements.

Overall, the Pareto principle takes a lot of research and practice to implement. However, once applied correctly, it can allow for much more efficient use of time and resources.

Social Media Manager can help your business with all forms of digital marketing. Get in touch today on 0870 976872.

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