The rule was originally developed as a guideline for social media platform Twitter by Tipping Labs. The 4-1-1 rule was then popularised by Joe Pulizzi, founder of Junta42 and the Content Marketing Institute.
The rule states:
“For every one self-serving tweet, you should re-tweet one relevant tweet and most importantly share four pieces of relevant content written by others.”– Tipping Labs
What I love about this rule is that it encourages people to move away from the “aren’t I amazing” “Check out how great my company is” mentality. By removing the old-school, pushy “look at me” focused content and replacing it with actual value for their readers, a better relationship can be formed.
So much more than Twitter
More than just a rule for Twitter, you can implement it across all of your social media channels to start getting results. We try very hard to get our clients into the mindset as well, however, that is easier said than done as it is difficult to turn away from an internal focus to an external one!
As social media evolves, so must our strategies, the 4-1-1 rule is a great way to balance the amount of self-serving or self-promotional content marketing, with genuine information that feeds your audience and nourishes the relationship you want to build with them.
Just try focusing on fuelling your your feed with fresh content. The great news is that doesn’t mean you need to create new content from scratch every day! Complement your internal pieces of quality content with infographics, blog posts, videos, links to events, eBooks, and webinars from external sources to keep your feed focused on your audience’s needs, rather than on your organisation.
To sum up
I’m not saying that self-promotion is a bad thing, but when you get to a feed that has nothing but updates about what that company does, how great their product or services are, and how they can do it for/with you… you have to admit that the feed loses its lustre pretty quickly.
I can’t stress this point enough, avoid excess self-promotion, as it will do the opposite of your intention, which is to attract and engage followers!
What are your thoughts on the 4-1-1 rule? Do you agree? If so, what kind of results are you seeing? Do you disagree? If so, talk to us about your strategy and success!