Tippingpoint labs first introduced us to the idea of the 4-1-1 Rule for Twitter. In an effort to help all of us better manage our time on Twitter and to help guide us in the right content to be publishing, they suggest tweeting “4 pieces of relevant original content from others and re-tweeting 1 relevant tweet for every 1 self-promoting tweet.”

This rule hits at the core purpose of social media: to be social. It’s common knowledge that social media is not meant to be a self-promotion machine, but rather it is a tool to help us build relationships between people. One of the best ways to build relationships is to lift others up; something the 4-1-1 rule helps you stay focused on.
I came up with a few other ways we could use the 4-1-1 tool to help improve other aspects of our online communication:

On Blogs:
For each blog that is about you, write one review of another person’s work or thoughts and four that contain links to other articles or website on the topic you are discussing.

On Email:
If your e-newsletter or e-blast is headlined by an article you wrote, be sure to include summaries and links to four articles that other people wrote. Alternate between headlining your articles and someone else’s.

On Facebook:
Comment on 4 pieces of content posted by others and share 1 piece of content from another person or page for every new thing you post.

By now I think you get the idea. If it’s a social platform, be social. Promote others more than you promote yourself. And remember that promoting others doesn’t necessarily mean promoting other companies. It can (and should) mean celebrating your customers; promoting those people you want to connect with the most.

Are you using the 4-1-1 rule on Twitter? Have you found other uses for it that work well? Leave your comments below.