Using the Rule of Thirds to Build a Robust Online Community [TUTORIAL]

This previous blog post about cringeworthly things businesses are doing on social media might have left you wondering exactly how to avoid these offenses while you build your community. It’s fairly easy if you follow the rule of thirds.

In photography, the rule of thirds refers to the division of an image into nine equal parts (that is, you divide the image into thirds both horizontally and vertically). Important compositional elements should be placed along the intersections of the lines that divide the image. This creates a composition that has more energy and interest.

The main reason for observing the rule of thirds is to discourage placement of the subject at the center — just as your company shouldn’t be the main focus on your social media profiles.


When building your online community and voice on social media, follow the rule of thirds to make sure you keep what you share equally divided so that your business isn’t the absolute center.

Here’s how it works:

  1. One-third of your social sharing should be about your business. This can include sharing your own blog posts, posting updates about you or your business and sharing new products, services and office activities.
  2. One-third should be about industry topics and trends. Here’s where you congregate and share outside information and sources pertaining to your industry to showcase your knowledge and industry expertise. The easiest way to stay in the know about your industry is to subscribe to blogs and websites using Feedly or another RSS feed organizer to keep all your topics and subscriptions accessible and organized.
  3. One-third should be about you or other relevant, interesting, funny news or events. This is where you can create a unique voice. Interact with people, ask questions, reply to your followers and repost interesting things people are sharing in your network (be sure to add your own commentary).


Buffer is a great way to schedule updates in Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn ahead of time so you don’t have to worry about keeping up with your business’s social accounts every waking moment. It also helps you see firsthand that your social shares are dynamic and evenly spread out according to the rule of thirds so that your community finds you interesting and engaging.

People follow your company because you’re interesting and helpful, but interesting and helpful don’t happen by accident. Applying the rule of thirds to your social media posts can help you maintain that interest while still getting your brand message out to your audience.

Image Source: Cassie Gray

Join The Relevance Community

Get our top articles delivered straight to your inbox each week.

    You might also like

    Leave A Reply

    Your email address will not be published.