Conquering Social Media’s Rule of Thirds

If you’re an independent or self-published writer, you’re most likely relying on Social Media to drive a large part of your marketing plan. However, with so many voices in the indie artist game, it can be difficult to create engaging content that lures potential readers.

If you want your social media presence to stand out against the crowd, you need to foster a presence that encourages quality engagement. The easiest way to do that is to take the pulse of what your audience cares about and create content that they want.

This can be a daunting task, especially if you’re an indie artist who is managing your marketing plan alone. There is good news though, a ‘golden rule’ of social media marketing exists that has proven to be effective for businesses of all sizes:

The Rule of Thirds

What is the rule of thirds? Generally speaking, the rule of thirds is a best practice that encourages social media accounts to share 1/3 promotions, 1/3 interaction, and 1/3 sharing industry news.

Sound simple? That’s because it is. Social media, at its core, is designed to be a tool for communication, which works best when everyone involved participates.

We’ve all been part of a conversation where one person does the talking and doesn’t allow others to speak, or worse, doesn’t listen when they do. This sucks in real life and on social media. So, while it’s important to get your message out into the world, it’s equally important to listen to others and acknowledge what others have done.

Let’s break it down.


I’m a firm believer that 90% of marketing is about brand awareness and 10% is about sales. This is important to consider when developing your marketing plan. If you want to be successful with that last 10%, you need to invest time and money into the other 90%.

When promoting, it’s important to include links to your books, website, or other outlets where you offer goods and services, but if that’s the majority of your posts, your customers will become overwhelmed and tune you out.

Consider posting material that doesn’t have a sales call-to-action. Write a blog, tell stories about you that people can relate to, or ask questions that pertain to your industry.


As mentioned previously, communication is a two-way street. People like it when they’re acknowledged. If someone comments on a post, send a reply. This shows the person you care about their input and if a potential client feels like the company (you) care about them, they’re more likely to further engage, share your content, and potentially purchase from you.

But don’t rely only on replies to your own content, every conversation needs two or more people. Scroll your feed for something that interests you and do a search for a hashtag relevant to your own product to find other people who are interested in what you’re selling and jump into their conversation.


Many independent authors don’t write books for a living. Many of us have day jobs that occupy the majority of our time. Some of us have families. The point being, we don’t always have time to create content for social media, but that’s okay.

The good news is, there are a lot of experts in our field who do write for a living or have the time to create engaging contents such as articles (like this) and blogs. Sharing content from industry leaders and experts to your own social media helps you strike up conversation, provides a resource for your followers, and if you tag the original author or organization, could boost the reach of your profile.

Finding balance

When starting you social media marketing plan, it can be difficult to find a balance of content to share. That’s okay. You’re not going to fail if you post something that doesn’t gain attraction. You’re also not going to find instant success if something goes viral.

The important thing is to experiment with content and posting times. Use your social media platform’s analytical tools to find the best posting times and what kinds of posts work best for your audience.

It takes time, but you can use social media as an effective marketing tool.

Have questions or comments? Leave them in the comments below and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get more articles like this sent directly to your email

This article was written by Tim Koster, a self-published author The Probability of Time and longtime marketing professional. He is the owner of 46 Series Entertainment, an Indie Company for Indie Writers, and publisher of The Indie Voice Review.
Follow Tim: Twitter | Facebook | Website

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