Recently, our content team was asked by a client, “Should we be tweeting about things outside of company news, products and stories?” Our answer? Absolutely.

Your social strategy should really include both. A social media strategy is more than announcements and direct marketing of your products. It is an exercise in communicating your brand through showing your knowledge and expertise.

We’ve talked about content marketing before and how content marketing is a vehicle that doesn’t directly mention your products. Instead, it tells a story to your prospects that reflects your brand.

Translating content marketing to social media means that you will be sharing industry news, participating in events and conferences and sharing other industry organizations’ updates. You get to communicate your brand through the knowledge your share. And your followers and future customers will thank you for it — if you're lucky, they may do this by responding to one of your posts and keeping the conversation flowing.

Through our work at the intersection of B2B branding, social media management and content marketing we’ve found that there is a golden ratio of content. We call it the 80/20 rule.

It means that 80 percent of the time, you should be sharing updates that are not directly related to your company. The other 20 percent of the time, you should aim to be informative and direct about what is going on in your organization.

Why the 80/20 ratio? Frankly, unless you are a celebrity, no one wants to hear about every detail of your existence. So when approaching social media content your followers will appreciate if you talk about the context of your work, the wider industry and the regulatory landscape. And when you post about your new product launch or a promotion your followers will take note.

It’s about establishing thought leadership and trust over the hard sell.

In practicing the 80/20 approach to social media you demonstrate that you are a leader in your field. It shows you have the perspective to discuss issues wider than your own operations. Your followers are more engaged in all of your posts and become more of a captive audience to your company announcements.