The key to Succes on Social: The VRIN Formula

The key to Succes on Social: The VRIN Formula

~ Average read time: 4 minutes ~

Social Media

There’s no more powerful method to sell your products and services than through Social Media. You know what people look at during TV commercials? Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat. During lunch breaks? Same. Before sleeping? Same. And the same goes for the other 95% of their spare time. We discuss this for forever, but the facts are there: The attention of people is with Social Media in our day and age.

And where the attention is, we are: Entrepreneurs and marketeers. Because we want to reach our customers. We have an idea, product, or service, and we’re looking for as many people as possible  that we can help with that. the first step in the most well-known marketing-formulas is Attention. So we have to get the attention on Social Media by putting messages on there. but that’s what everybody does… So how does your message stand out? Why should people share your message with their friends and followers, so you get even more attention?  of course, there’s a formula for that: VRIN. The VRIN formual is relatively unknown, but essential to understand this problem. This is also the formula that’s important when producing Click Animated videos.


These are the 4 VRIN-factors: Valuable, Rare, Inimitable, and Non-substitutable. Originally this model was created to decide the value of a businesses’ resources, but the relative value of Social Media messages can also be perfectly valued with this methode.

Knowing what the acronyms stand for obviously doesn’t mean much about the actual application of the formula, so let’s get deeper into that.

What makes an online message (or “post”) valuable? That depends on the person viewing it. When customers (or fans) come to you for novel fashion, put messages online about how it the clothing is designed by designers. Is your organisation mostly specialized in making adventure games, then there’s a good chance that customers like to see how the environment in a game is developed, or they like to see how you can do certain tricks. So pay attention to what your market cares about and what they appreciate about your offering. The content that fits with that, is valuable to them. Not only does that create a connection with them, you also get a chance to show you’re an expert. Be sure to test your assumptions however! If you notice your content doesn’t get any engagement with your audience, keep trying something else until something sticks. That’s when you know what content to share and what’s important to them about what you offer.

How rare is your type of post? Een picture of a plate of fries isn’t that special, pictures of food are everywhere (especially online) But imagine your restaurant makes a specific dish in a very beautiful way, that’s nearly unique in your industry, then that’s a much more special and rare picture. Or a 360° picture of the restaurant for example; Even though the camera’s are pretty affordable nowadays and Facebook supports it, it’s very rarely used online. So look at what others are doing online, especially the competition. If they post exactly the same messages online, it’s a good move to see if you can be a bit more unique.

How difficult is it for your competitor to put something similar online? Can they easily copy you, do they possibly have the same kind of knowledge? See what you can offer that your competitor can’t. A hotel owner with a beautiful view from the hotel’s rooms for example, can beat other hotels by focusing on this aspect with panorama pictures. But then again, another hotel might be situated in a beautiful historical building that nobody else can compete with, so for that owner it’s smart to emphasize that aspect. Another example is experience: Have you been working in the industry for decades longer than the competition, you emphasize that as well since your competition can’t. So figure out what the unique aspects of your location, product, process, etc. are. That’s where you’ll often find the value that is hard to imitate, which you can use on your Social Media.

Imagine you have something that’s very valuable, completely unique and impossibly to copy…  But it’s replacable by something else? That means your position on Social Media is still vulnerable and your messages not as interesting. So if you can, make sure your messages provide with a type of value that’s easy to replace. For example: Imagine your business repares furniture and you put a message online that explains how you can perfectly repair a table for a customer, that might seem like good content. But if the company around the corner that produces furniture posts a message online in which they offer a new table for about the same price as your repair job, many potential customers will be probably be more interested in a new table. So keep substitability in mind! It’s a factor that tends to be harder to keep in check, but at least as important as the others.

Value Assessment

The last thing you do is making an assessment of the total value of your post, by giving it a grade for every factor. If all your competitors have already put a certain message online before you, the R-score of that message is 1, but it would be a 10 if you happen to be the first one to ever post that type of message. You repeat this for all the factors (V, R, I and N) and calculate the average of the scores. If you want to get the highest score for all factors, you might be limiting yourself in the amount of messages you can put online, so try to strike a balance between content quality and quantity. A 7 or 8 is usually a good score to strive for. The higher you score for these 4 factors, the faster your potential market will come to your page. That’s how you get the attention, develop a bond with your audience, and eventually increase your revenue.


If you’re noticing that your video marketing isn’t achieving the results you were hoping for, or if you’re looking for advice, contact me at Of course animated videos are my main business, but I work with, and study on general marketing as well and I love talking about it. So I’m always open for a conversation, just hit me up.