Takeaways from Gary Vaynerchuck's Book, Jab Jab Jab Right Hook

I've heard a few people conclude that Gary Vaynerchuck is a social media charlatan, and a "bullshitter". It's easy to conclude this if you're hard-wired to be cynical and skeptical, but I think he's on to something. Let's rally against our culture of meh and embrace Gary, because he's not a dime a dozen.

I want to talk about the current state of Social Media Marketing, and why this topic is more important than ever. If you're a digital marketer, you've probably heard of Gary Vaynerchuck , read his book(s), or listened to one of his talks. Some of us have probably done courses on social media marketing, and know how to approach social media from the right angle. But for those of us who are averse to attending courses, or dislike Gary's sometimes frenetic pace of teaching - then I have outlined some of the key points he made in his talks here.

I'm a highly visual learner, and would rather watch one of Gary's talks. Gary understands that people rarely have time for reading books, and he is good at distilling the bare minimum we need to get good at social media. His new book is short enough, and are written as a small manual to carry around with us.


👑 Authenticity is king 👑

A big takeaway from Gary's recent talks is the notion of authenticity and 'caring'. Gary is quick to mention the "audacity" of brands thinking they can get social media right first time. By itself, caring is obvious, and a no-brainer. If you saw a half-baked tweet in your Twitter stream that was clearly posted just to fill up space, you would quickly ignore it, and move on; yet brands seem to love tweets with no apparent effort put into them.

If a brand posts a meme that everyone else has seen before, or sends an automated tweet that their audience has read before, then this is uncool. Brands are either sharing, creating value, or playing it safe by tweeting more of the same boring content.

Tweeting at peak times is uncool, and the real secret is allowing yourself to tweet when you want, regardless of methodologies and other such charlatanism. Gary is relentless in this approach, and posts all day, everyday, regardless of who is having dinner and when.

Working for free does pay

Another take-away from Gary's recent talks is the notion of providing a lot of upfront value, with the subtle motive of getting that value to convert into paying customers. Hence the title of his book, "jab jab jab, right hook". The premise is simple: give give give, and when the time is right, you close a deal somewhere down the line. That business deal could mean anything from a book contract, commission, to a life-long paying client.


Careful much?

The reason why brands are only starting to understand social media is because the 'social' part of the term 'social media' is usually left out. I am part of the Twitter generation, and Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, et al, are not a marketers dream. This is why I routinely block brands who follow me on Twitter. I don't want the hard sell for every product out there. Brands are doing a hard sell for their products and polluting social media. Here's what brands should do:

  • Sometimes I want a story, even if I know the story merely exists to sell me something. I want to feel like I have inside knowledge and that the products are made by elves in Iceland. A brand rarely achieves this with Hootsuite links, and Bitly spam.

  • I want brands to stop posting like the whole world's watching, and to stop being super careful about what they say on social media. (Don't take liberties here though). If you want to be authentic, you have to slip up like the rest of us. I sometimes use Twitter, and I sometimes say regrettable things; but I learn from those posts and move on. I learned not to be controversial for the sake of it.
  • Brands must be aware that social media is a level playing field. It's not a game of who can shout the loudest, and who can get the most likes/faves for their posts. It's about near real-time replies, story telling, and having peripheral vision. You want to be first to know when somebody mentions you in a social channel. And in Gary's terms, you better be jabbing and not going for the right hook at every given opportunity.