What is the 4 1 1 rule on LinkedIn?

The 4-1-1 Rule on LinkedIn is a content sharing strategy that suggests for every one self-promotional post, share one relevant post from another source and four pieces of content from others.


The 4-1-1 Rule on LinkedIn
4 Content Shares (Educational/Entertaining) 1 Soft Promotion (Company News/Events) 1 Hard Promotion (Direct CTA/Product Offer)
  • Articles from industry leaders
  • Relevant news and updates
  • Insightful blog posts
  • Inspirational quotes or stories
  • Podcast episodes or videos
  • Sharing a company update
  • Highlighting team achievements
  • Discussing attendance at events
  • Providing industry insights
  • New product or service launches
  • Invitations to webinars or seminars
  • Exclusive offers or discounts
  • Newsletter sign-up requests
Key Objectives: Provide value, establish authority, engage network, promote when appropriate.


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The concept of the 4-1-1 rule has actually been around for some time and was originally intended for Twitter. As social networks evolved, digital marketers were quick to adapt the rule to other platforms, including LinkedIn.

Understanding the 4-1-1 Rule on LinkedIn

So, what exactly is the 4-1-1 rule? In simple terms, it's a system for sharing content that allows you to provide value to your audience while still promoting your brand and products. For every six posts, four should be content from others that your audience may find interesting or educational, one should be a soft promotion such as company news or events, and one should be a hard promotion with a clear call-to-action, like a contest or a product offer.

This structure helps ensure that you are not constantly promoting your own content, which could lead to your audience tuning out or even unfollowing you. Instead, you are providing a balance of valuable information and self-promotion that keeps your audience engaged.

The Origin of the 4-1-1 Rule

The 4-1-1 rule was first introduced by Andrew Davis, author of "Brandscaping," and Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute. They proposed this rule as a way for brands to avoid being overly promotional on social media, thus keeping their audience engaged. Over time, marketers adapted this rule for various social platforms, including LinkedIn.

Why the 4-1-1 Rule is Beneficial for LinkedIn Users

When it comes to LinkedIn, this rule can be tremendously beneficial for building a strong and respected personal brand. By sharing relevant industry content from others, you're able to position yourself as an authority figure within your field and engage with your network in a way that's not overly self-promotional. This, alongside sparingly sharing promotional material, increases the likelihood of building more genuine and meaningful professional relationships.

Applying the 4-1-1 Rule on LinkedIn

Now that we understand the whats and whys of the 4-1-1 rule, let's move on to the hows.

Creating Content That Adheres to the 4-1-1 Rule

Types of Shares & Posts for the "4" Component

The "4" component in the 4-1-1 rule primarily focuses on sharing educational or entertaining content from other sources that your LinkedIn network would find valuable. This could be a thought-provoking article you read online, or an interesting podcast episode related to your industry.

Types of Shares & Posts for the "1" Components

When it comes to the "1" components, it's important to differentiate between soft promotion and hard promotion.

  • Soft promotion: This could be some insight on a recent event you attended, a shout out to a colleague who achieved something significant, or even sharing a valuable piece of content someone else in your network has created.

  • Hard promotion: This is a straightforward promotional post aiming to directly benefit your business or career, such as an announcement about a new product release or a call-to-action for users to subscribe to your newsletter.

Timing & Frequency: When to Post on LinkedIn

Optimal LinkedIn engagement times tend to bookend the traditional workday, with peak periods occurring around the start and end of the day, i.e., morning (7.30-8.30 AM) and late afternoon (5-6 PM). However, track your posts' success and adjust your timings accordingly.

Measuring the Impact of the 4-1-1 Rule

As with any strategy, measurement is crucial. By using LinkedIn's built-in analytics tools, you can keep track of the engagement on your posts, measure the effectiveness of the 4-1-1 rule, and make necessary adjustments to optimize your content sharing strategy.

Common Pitfalls and Best Practices

The 4-1-1 rule offers a balanced strategy for content sharing. However, be cautious of over-promotion and ensure each content piece offers some form of value to your audience. This strategy is more about building relationships and providing value than immediate sales.

Case Studies & Examples of the 4-1-1 Rule in Action

Finding the correct balance might feel challenging initially. However, several professionals and companies have successfully implemented the 4-1-1 rule on LinkedIn. For instance, HubSpot, a marketing software company, consistently applies this principle in their LinkedIn content strategy and has seen significant growth in their follower count and engagement levels.

In conclusion, starting with the 4-1-1 rule on LinkedIn can truly enhance your networking and content strategy. This will make you an active part of your professional community while tastefully promoting your own initiatives.

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Additional Questions

What is the 4-1-1 strategy?

**The 4-1-1 strategy** is a content mix formula for social media sharing. **It suggests that for every six posts, four should entertain or educate, one should be a soft promotion, and one a hard promotion**, which I’ve found keeps followers engaged while still driving business goals.

What is the 5 3 2 rule LinkedIn?

**The 5 3 2 rule on LinkedIn** is a guideline for a balanced content sharing strategy. **You should share five educational posts, three from others, and two personal insights or stories for every ten posts**, a tactic I’ve seen work well for creating a professional but approachable LinkedIn presence.

What is the 411 content rule?

**The 411 content rule** is a strategy for managing and dividing your social media content. **You curate four items from external sources, create one original piece, and have one as a promotional post**, a balanced approach I’ve applied effectively to maintain audience interest while promoting my brand.

What is the 411 rule?

**The 411 rule** is a guideline to help determine the right time to go to the hospital during labor. **It specifies going to the hospital when contractions are four minutes apart, lasting one minute each, for at least one hour**, which many expectant mothers find helpful for timing their hospital arrival.

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