Not so cool anymore! They’re quickly becoming a thing of the past, deemed not effective and sometimes downright annoying, according to Gary Vaynerchuk, bestselling author, entrepreneur and owner of VaynerMedia, a consulting firm specializing in digital and social media.
Business is Like Boxing
In his book, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook – How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World, Gary Vaynerchuk likens the business world to boxing, cleverly breaking sections of the book into Rounds instead of Chapters. He says both activities are “Fast-paced, competitive and aggressive.” Continuing with the boxing metaphor, he also says that those seeking to market a product, event, or themselves, are always eager to “knock out” their competitors. The “jabs” and “right hook” in the book’s title are explained as business techniques, in this case as they apply to the increasingly popular world of social media.
Jabs are comments, conversations and a way of relaying information or entertainment in order to build trust and brand awareness. They are valuable to the customer, he says, for what they give to them. The right hook is the sales pitch. After enough jabs, it’s deemed appropriate to ask for something (a purchase) from the potential customer. Right hooks, then, are the most valuable to the marketer.
“Content is King, but Context is God”
Open a Facebook or Twitter account and business success is just moments away, right? Not so fast, according to Jab, Jab, Jab… Merely having a presence on social media outlets means little if you don’t know how to properly manage it and make it work for you.
Native content is key, the book explains, meaning content specifically tailored toward a particular social media site. Boxers analyze their own technique, but also spend time finding the strengths and weaknesses of their competition. In the same way, business owners should change their content (posts, photos or stories) to fit the mood, tone and audience of a social media location. What works on Facebook may not work well at all on Twitter or Pinterest.
This becomes crucial because 1 in 4 people say they rely on social media to help inform their purchasing decisions. But if you’re not speaking their language or fitting in with them, you won’t get noticed or accepted.
Secrets to Appealing to the Top Social Media Outlets
Jab, Jab, Jab… excels as a source of information, by giving an inside look at the do’s and don’ts for posting to media outlets such as Facebook (71% of those in the U.S. have an account), Twitter (more than ½ billion people globally Tweet and follow) and Pinterest (rapidly growing, with a 68% female audience). It also explores trends for the future of social media, with up-and-coming outlets to watch for.
Details are revealed about the average user of each site as well as how to maximize the opportunities there. In a brilliant “show and tell” format, Vaynerchuk shows examples of ads and posts that succeeded or failed. He’s not afraid to name names in either case – Mercedes Benz, Victoria’s Secret, Dunkin’ Donuts, Adidas, Selena Gomez and Shakira are among those praised or skewered for their efforts, with specific reasons why.
The book gives marketing advice tailor made for social media. It may seem basic but it’s often overlooked. One example is the act of providing a link to a specific call to action – a sale, an app – rather than showing a general website where potential customers have to hunt for the payoff, clicking through on yet another link to arrive at a coupon or offer.
Vaynerchuk gives ambitious readers some advance expertise on trends in social media for the near future, so they can jump in early and successfully. He predicts a rosy future for Instagram, Tumblr, Vine and Snapchat, even though some of them are just now being used by most people. His highest praise for an up-and-coming social media outlet is for LinkedIn. Though it’s been in use for some time now, he says it will continue to grow and be a force to be reckoned with, and he offers tips for making the most of it. Within the next two years, media expert Vaynerchuk says Facebook will still be popular but considered more like the dining room, where people gather for casual chat or entertainment, while LinkedIn will be the most important outlet for connecting with people to get serious deals done.
The book is well worth reading, and delivers a successful “punch” in the field of using social media not only for fun, but for profit.