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Your profile and the Rule of Three

Updated: May 7, 2019

How to use the Rule of Three in your professional profile and how dividing your social media sharing into thirds can help you build a more authentic and engaging profile.

Increasing brand profile and communicating brand authenticity are often high on the priority list for an organisation’s brand strategy and the company’s online brand presence is a major party of that story.

The same can be said for our personal profile. Whether it is our own business or on behalf of our employer brand, we are often looking to ensure we have a visible profile in the market and an authentic and engaging presence. Again, our online footprint forms a big part of that reputation and one of the most readily available and cost effective tools we use is social media.

It’s true that, across the varied social media channels and different functionality, there are a wealth of reasons for using social. However when it comes to focussing on making better use of social media for your own personal profile it is helpful to think in thirds.

Why the rule of three?

Upping your game or pulling yourself out of a social media rut? Whether you want more engagement on LinkedIn or want to increase the impact of your tweets, people can often hit a bit of a 'sharers block' when it comes to personal profile. One of my most frequently asked questions is 'What should I share?'

Here’s where it is helpful to think in thirds. An approach you may have come across years ago that still holds true today, the rule of three is a simple way of rethinking how you use your social media accounts. And the beauty is in the simplicity - breaking down your activity for your personal profile on social media into thirds can help improve;

  • Frequency and consistency of your social media content

  • Engagement with your profile and posts

  • Profile of your work and services

  • Authenticity and personal brand reputation

Ultimately you can move away from going through the motions and make your social media feel more like the real you!

Using ‘the rule of thirds’

Like any good recipe it is a simple concept that you can mix up to suit you. Whatever social media channels you are on, when it comes to your professional personal profile, look at breaking down what you share into three areas:

One third work: Your business blogs, your services, products, corporate brand content, the firm's news. This is your content and you should be promoting it and using it. Most of us who are using social media for their professional profile are most familiar with this advice.

One third professional interest: News relevant to your specialism, your client's sector or your firm, national news, client news, reports and research. Don’t shy away from sharing others’ content, in fact use your sharing to celebrate client and contact’s news, and help sign-post peers to industry updates.

One third personality: news, media, sports, events, gigs, podcasts, books - if you'd talk about it at a networking event then it isn’t out of the ordinary to talk about it online. Or at least engage with others who are already sharing and posting about all these things you are interested and passionate about.

“Work out who you are and do it on purpose”

There is a reason why the ‘Rule of Thirds’ in social media fits neatly alongside Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle.

“Simon Sinek uses a model called The Golden Circle to explain how legendary leaders like Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King Jr., and the Wright brothers were able to inspire, rather than manipulate, in order to motivate people. It is the framework for the WHY.”

The Golden Circle looks at communicating what we do, how we do it and why we do it. The rule of thirds is a way to help you develop that approach to your social media profile. The thing to keep in mind is to be authentic. Think about the things you talk about with colleagues, contacts and clients when you meet face to face. Share things of interest, add value and keep your audience in mind.

So if you find you are asking yourself the following questions; how do I get more out of social media? What should I be sharing? How to I build my profile? Remember the rule of three and bring your insights, interests and personality online.


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