5-3-2: A Method to the Social Media Marketing Madness

By Stacey Piper

Recently some of my friends started playing Wordle, just a few of the more than 300,000 people playing it daily! My Facebook and Twitter feeds are filled with their obscure-looking results on, which look a bit like Sudoku on the side of a Rubik’s cube. I’m supposed to be impressed…and insiders certainly are, with comments like, “Good job! “It’s a word I should have gotten. ☹” “Smarty pants!”

The online word game was launched last November and acquired by The New York Times Company at the end of January 2022. Every day a new five-letter mystery word is posted. Individuals receive six tries to guess the word. Colored boxes indicate a correct or incorrect letter, as well as whether the letter’s placement is right or wrong. It’s like a highly condensed version of Wheel of Fortune with a methodical formula, rather than a hint, and it’s easily sharable without giving away the daily answer. I suspect I will be an addict soon too.

Social Media Starters

Simple, methodical, social—if only we could boil down our marketing strategies to a definitive formula for content planning, development, and dissemination. In fact, there’s an easy-to-follow equation for social media marketing that works particularly well for B2G marketing. The rigorous content approval process and cautious oversight of government agencies beg for an approach of balanced engagement.

Getting the balance right starts with a healthy mix of variety and straightforward realism to build your brand reputation and garner trust:

  1. Focus on engagement—serve, don’t sell
  2. Develop awareness of your expertise as an insider
  3. Share your insights as helpful tips
  4. Be human

Sounds easy enough, but it’s a big world out there. Deciding which platform to use, what topic or angle to cover, and how often to post can seem daunting.

The Magic Social Equation & the 3 Cs

I always start with a theme for my set of posts, something that will resonate with my audience and their needs. For example, if you’re targeting government agencies that need to modernize their IT infrastructure, you can share meaningful information about containerization in the cloud.

Break down your posts into manageable, varied pieces with the 5-3-2 Rule. You can use numbers or percentages, depending on how many posts you’re making. It’s a no-brainer when you start with 10 posts and spread them across Curated, Created, and Connected content.

  • Curated Content—5 posts or 50%
    These posts should be relevant news and/or articles that illustrate your awareness of the market, community issues, technology trends, whatever your niche. How many times do you read an article and wish your clients or prospects understood this like you do? Here’s your opportunity to share what’s useful while looking like you’ve got a backstage pass to what’s really going on in your industry. Most likely, they’re not reading the same journals and online newsletters that you are because they’re busy fighting fires. You’re not only the messenger of meaningful information. Your viewers and followers will begin to see you as a valuable resource and not someone who is always trying to sell your solutions and services.
  • Created Content—3 posts or 30%
    This is where you get to toot your own horn by sharing company news, utility content, and thought leadership: press releases, blogs, infographics, case studies, videos, and more. You can freely share your company’s expertise in a measured way so you’re not bombarding your audience with too much self-promotion. You’ve shown that you’re “in the know,” now show them how you put that knowledge to work for your clients by demonstrating your capability.
  • Connected Content—2 posts or 20%
    I call this “connected” because this is the type of content that brings your brand to life and helps you form a connection with your audience. You’re now at ground level. You’re not speaking to them, you’re with them in the trenches…which is real, everyday life. Your company is a group of humans with passion for their work, their families, their lives. Who knew? Well, only you, until you opened this door to the human element. Use these posts to highlight your team, company values, community relationships, whatever provides a peek into your personality. Be transparent. If you’re a government agency, this is an opportunity to start conversations with your constituents, share informal polls, interact. Authenticity, humor, fun…this 20% can create a sense of belonging that is the tipping point in converting a prospect to a client.

Once you have your method in place, you can map it out on social media management platforms like Hootsuite, using the 5-3-2 algorithm to schedule your posts.

Contact Piper Strategies

Ready to start calculating your social media strategy? Contact me for a consultation with your leadership team.

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