I’m sure you’ve all heard of the 80/20 rule, be it in networking circles or coaching conversations.

LISTEN!The rule states that you should allow the other person with whom you are in conversation to talk for 80% of the time while you do the remaining 20% of the talking.  This has many advantages for both people involved in the conversation.  They will feel they have plenty of opportunity to get their point across while not being put off by your domination of the conversation. On the flipside, you will demonstrate your interest in the other person leading them to feel engaged with you.

The same is definitely true of social media.  Too often companies on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn do nothing more than spout their latest offers, what they do, how great they are and why you should use them, rather than listening and taking an interest in what others have to say.  It is those companies and business people who actually listen and respond more to what others have to say that will reap the social media rewards.

So, if you want to implement the 80/20 rule in social media, prick up your ears and try listening.  Make sure that 80% of your messages, updates or Tweets are in response to others.  On Twitter aim for 80% of your tweets being retweets or @mentions.  Use the remaining 20% to get your point of view across (just make sure it’s interesting!).

Don’t underestimate the power of 80/20!