Why you Should use the 5-3-2 Rule for your Social Media Posts.

Find out why the 5 3 2 rule is important to keep in mind when it comes to doing social media and how it can help you with your business' online presence.
social media post 5 3 2 rule
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While navigating the complex world of social media, it’s crucial to balance your content to maintain a genuine connection with your audience. However, as we’ve explored in our recent piece on the importance of real impact beyond the digital applause, Beyond the Hashtags: Why Real Impact Doesn’t Always Need a Social Media Spotlight, it’s clear that authenticity and thoughtful engagement hold more value than constant self-promotion.

Building on this philosophy, the 5-3-2 rule for social media posts can serve as a strategic approach to not only preserve authenticity but also foster meaningful engagement with your audience.

What is the 5-3-2 Rule for Social Media?

Social media has changed the way that internet users communicate with one another. The popularity of these networks can be seen in the increased number of people joining these networks. However, the quantity of posts is growing faster than the numbers on social media networks; consequently, many experts feel like it’s challenging to be heard in this environment.

Achieving a balance between the tone of voice for social media channels is critical! That’s why the 5-3-2 rule is so important.

When it comes to managing any business’s Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn profile, there needs to be an equal mix of informative and promotional content. Because people spend an average of 2.7 hours on social media daily, you need to choose your content wisely. Focus too much on the hard sell, and you risk alienating a growing customer base.

Informative posts that provide value and benefit to your audience will help grow your following on social media networks by providing them with the information they need to make better decisions; this satisfaction is what they want from their engagement with you.

On the other hand, promotional posts based on sales messaging or enticing offers get tired quickly.

Nobody likes to be sold to on social media, even if they already follow you! If you are seen as too salesy or promotional, followers will likely ignore you and disengage from what you are saying.

A balance between promotion and information is vital.

Both informative and promotional content is essential. It’s critical to have a balance between informative value and promotional messaging.

If you’re only sharing entirely self-promotional content, you will likely lose followers very quickly, as they’ve been exposed to your feed for long enough to know what your brand is about.

On the other hand, if you are only sharing valuable information, followers are likely to assume you have no personality and possibly even give up following your brand.

For every ten (10) posts, provide:

Content from Others that is Relevant to Your Audience

Five (5) should be content from other sources that are relevant to your audience. This technique is known as curation. By presenting your followers with valuable curated content, they will find that you’re willing to put the time in to share this information.

Although you’re providing value for free, this positions you as an expert within your industry – and more importantly, it starts conversations about topics related to your niche.

Every now and then, you should share content directly from your own website or blog. This is known as self-created content.

Content relevant to your niche creates a bond with your audience and positions you as an expert giving followers the information they need to make better decisions about their purchase decisions.

Some examples of content from other sources that you could post on your brand’s profiles are:

  • An important article or infographic from a high-traffic blog in your industry,
  • News articles from reputable online news sources,
  • Infographics from reputable sources
  • Links to blogs in your industry
  • Information about high-profile events with an impact on your company.

Various curation tools are available, but some of our favorites are:

Feedly , which has a simple and intuitive interface.

SocialFlow is a fantastic tool that allows you to schedule when your content will post to various networks.

Buzzsumo, an incredible tool for searching for high-performing content, is based on any topic you want to investigate.

Using Curation Tools like these will help you build your brand and increase engagement with your followers over time. But at the end of the day, remember that good curation also requires a certain level of personality; this could take the form of a comment about the article or even your own opinion.

Let’s face it, in today’s world, people like to share and talk about things that make them laugh. And search engines take note, too.

emoji social media posts statistic sproutsocial

A study by Sproutsocial showed that Using an emoji in your Facebook posts can increase shares by 33% and interactions with your post by 57%.

Emojis also help to increase engagement with your audience much easier. People are more likely to comment, share, and like content when they see an emoji within the text.

Tasteful images and videos are also a great way to attract attention from your followers. It’s essential, though, not to go overboard with just pictures or videos!

By providing this additional response, you help create a more personal brand, and as a result, it enables you to build trust with your audience.

Promotion should be balanced with valuable information, even though it’s important to have a balance between informative value and promotional messaging.

Add your own commentary.

Personal commentary is essential to demonstrate who created it and why they chose to share it with followers.

People enjoy hearing from real people posting things that are relevant, so be sure to add your commentary to all posts created and shared from other profiles.

Your friends and followers will appreciate getting the information in a way that includes you as a person, giving them additional ways to connect with you. 

Content That You Create

Three (3) Posts of your own content are a great way to share information about what you are doing as a brand and, more importantly, what you’re going to do, effectively positioning your brand to create anticipation.

Here is where you have more freedom to include more promotional information and links to your products and services. To make these posts work, you need to give followers an idea of what’s going on in your business to feel connected to you; this gives them a reason to check back in again.

By providing information or links to two (2) pages on your website, you automatically show followers that you have something else to offer. So when it is time for them to make a purchase decision, they will come back and check out the other content as well.

If you only include one (1) link, followers are often left wondering where that second link is and if there’s something more on offer. By having two (2) links to valuable content on your website, 

you’re positioning yourself as a trusted source of information while simultaneously increasing the odds that they’ll check out another page within your brand’s online ecosystem.

As you create the content for your posts, think about how people who come to your website can be served better with other information on your site. Think about creating content related to these questions;

  • Why might someone want to check out this page? 
  • How is this page related to the one they just came from (or will go to next)?
  • How does this information or link serve them? 
  • Why would they find value in the content that’s linked to on this page?
  • What makes it a valuable resource for them?

As you begin scheduling posts, be sure to include these questions as part of your planning. Try using these questions:

  • “This is why you should.”
  • “Visit this page for more information about.”
  • “Learn more about…”

Make sure to use one of these statements at the beginning of your post. This way, people are going into it with some context and reasoning for being there, increasing the odds that they’ll stick around longer on your page. 

Some examples of self-created content posts that you can create are:

  • Announce your upcoming sales, special pricing or promotions,
  • Publish a photo or video of the product that you’re featuring in this sale. 
  • Highlight something specific about how great the deal is and why someone should take advantage of it right away. Add a link to see more details about the offer on your site (or another URL if you’re running a special promotion with a partner).
  • Create an announcement of when and where your next event will occur, inviting them to join you. 

Add links to your other profiles where they can follow you for updates about the event 30 days out, or even better, link to sale products if there’s something specific in which they’re interested.

Be sure to include a solid call to action at the end, either asking them to take action or inviting them to check out the product you’re highlighting in the sale. Letting them know what they can do with that information is yet another way that you position yourself as a respected business provider in their mind.  

If someone follows your profile because they are interested in your industry, being a little self-serving is perfectly acceptable and will help keep them engaged!

This is precisely how you start conversations about your products and services!

Personal and Fun Content

Two (2) should be personal, fun content that gives character to your brand and adds a human touch so your audience relates to you. This is also known as branded content.

Show that your brand isn’t all work and no play.

Branded content is also beneficial for building your brand and building a community around it.

When people see a post from you in their feed, they know that you’re speaking to them instead of just pushing for the hard sell or promoting yourself.

Don’t be afraid to post personal stuff. Your followers will enjoy getting to know you on a more personal level, as well as connecting with your sense of humor and the passion behind the products or services you recommend. 

For example, personal and kind of fun content that you can create are:

  • Photos of your team and partial office view,
  • Employee quotes about the company or how much they love working there,
  • Short videos featuring employees telling an interesting story, 
  • A series of short funny videos from individual team members,
  • ‘Behind-the-scenes’ photos and info about new products or services.
  • Infographics and images can help explain how your product or service works for your customers.
  • Contests and Polls
  • Anything where you talk about your life (and not your business)

Your followers will appreciate getting the information in a way that includes you as a person, giving them additional ways to connect with you.  

If you’re not sure what to post, ask a friend or message your followers. They might share their ideas with you!

Remember, the 2 rule for social media posts is about how you treat your audience and how they feel after reading them.


Rules for social media are often a matter of opinion, but this is one that you should make sure to follow. If all your posts are about yourself and not what interests the people reading them, they’re likely to get ignored or unfollowed quickly. The best thing about this rule, though? It focuses on the reader instead – which will inevitably lead to more followers as well!

Frequently Asked Questions About Posting on Social Media

Here are some frequently asked questions that small business owners have about the 5 3 2 rule for business social media:

What is the 5:3:2 Rule for posting on social media?

When you post content, five (5) should be informative and relevant to your audience. Three (3) of the posts should come from others but not overly selling your products, while two are personal or non-work-related items for fun that lets people know who your business is.

What are some examples of personal and fun content that I can post?

Here are a few examples of the personal and fun content that you can post:
•Pictures of your pet/family,
•A funny video leaving the office for lunch,
•Photos or videos from team parties/outings.  

Will this strategy work if I’m a new business?

Absolutely! It is one of the best strategies for growing your business online. If your current strategy isn’t working, then it’s time to try something new.

How should I use the 5:3:2 Rule when posting on social media?

The 5:3:2 Rule is a simple guideline for posting on social media. Use it to help you determine what posts will be appropriate for your business and show followers that you’re human! By following this rule in the way described above, make sure that you keep all your posts relevant to your niche while also demonstrating that you’re a person that is not only interested in what your brand is doing but also shows people who you are as an individual too.

Bear in mind. This rule is only a guideline; you can adjust it to best fit your social media strategy. What is important is that you use this rule as a starting point for creating the content for your posts.

How do I get more followers?

Your number of followers on a social media channel has less to do with how many posts you have and more about how engaged your audience is. 

Posting consistently is an excellent way to get people involved, but make sure that you follow the 5:3:2 Rule and acknowledge people in your posts regularly.

Resist the urge to invite your entire friends list to like your page. It’s no Bueno.

Remember, audience likes aren’t necessarily a good indicator of how engaged people are with your company, and instead, you need to think about what they’re saying.

•Are they talking about your brand?
•Are they telling others about your content?
•How often are you responding to their questions?
•What type of questions do they have that make it difficult for them to convert into customers or leads?

What are the best times to post on social media?

The best time to post on social media is when your following is online. The easiest way to determine that is by looking at when they are most active on social media. For example, if you know that your audience is more active in the mornings, you should post content later in the afternoon and early evening to reach maximum people.

One way to do this is to use a tool such as SEMRush to see which hours people from your niche are most active on social media. You can get more detailed information by breaking it down to days of the week too.

Another strategy is looking at when other brands in your industry and market post their content. With that information, you should create a schedule for yourself so that you know when you’ll be posting throughout the week.
Whatever you do, just make sure to be consistent with it so that your audience knows when to expect new content from you and can share your posts with their followers.

Why Limit It To 2 Personal, Fun Updates Per Week?

The 5-3-2 rule specifically refers to the number of personal and fun posts that you should be posting per week. As a new business in a saturated market, it’s important to post consistently without overwhelming your audience with too much self-promotion. This will make people unfriendly and turn them off from liking what you have to say.

“The point of social media is not to sell. No, that is what your website is for, or your Amazon or eBay pages. Social media is much more subtle and should be treated as a way to build an audience that in time may buy your products.” – We Do Stories.

Regarding social sharing, people are more likely to engage with a post when it is relevant and has something funny or exciting. Remember that social media is about engaging with people, not just pushing out advertisements.

If you’re posting too frequently on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Linked In, and other sites, then you’re likely to find that people are unfriendly and unresponsive.

How do I sell my products if only three are sales-related?

The 5:3:2 Rule of thumb for posting on social media is designed to focus your attention on more ‘professional’ content. However, you still want to be clear about who you are and what you do.

The 5-3-2 Rule is a simple guideline for posting on social media. Use it to help you determine what type of content is appropriate for your business and to show people that you’re human!

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Picture of Tonya Sanchez

Tonya Sanchez

Tonya has always been a creative soul. Her passion for creativity and an endless supply of patience (she’s married to Clint) make her an incredible art director. Prior to co-launching BlakSheep Creative, Tonya co-established a parent’s day out program at a local church, which through her marketing direction, is now one of the leading programs in Livingston Parish.
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