Over the Christmas break I got a chance to read Gary Vaynerchuk’s latest book on social media: Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World. Gary V has written a few books (CRUSH IT!) and I wouldn’t say he’s a literary marvel, it’s more like a he’s spoken into a dictaphone and gotten someone to turn that into text. That said, he’s a social media genius.

Who is Gary V?

Gary V made a name for himself by turning his fathers wine business into a $50 million success by using Youtube. He’d review wines for the common man with a brash and honest personal touch. Criticised and scoffed at in the beginning when Youtube was in its infancy, his reputation grew with his success. His latest endeavour is  Vaynermedia, which is a social media company for fortune 500 companies which currently has something like 300 staff and costs $80,000 a month to be part of. So think Mad Men in the era of social media.

Quick overview of the book

The book basically outlines the major social media networks currently in play such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumbler and Pinterest. It also touches on up and coming social networks like Linkedin, Google plus, Vine, and Snapchat. Unlike other books though it’s not a superficial description of how the average joe uses social media. It’s all about strategy and how businesses can use social media, including (probably too many) examples of good and bad updates, tweets and posts.

Take aways

Jab, jab, jab, right hook.

“Jabs are lightweight pieces of content that benefit your customers by making them laugh, snicker, ponder, play a game, feel appreciated, or escape; right hooks are calls to action that benefit your business.” Or in other words, give, give, give and once you’ve earned social capital then ask for something.

Content is king, but context is god.

Gary makes the point that social media isn’t just about making and pumping content out to people, it’s actually about engaging with an audience, speaking their language and responding on the spot. It’s more like a cocktail party and knowing what the hot topics of today are. Understand that social piece of the puzzle, create content and discussion around that subject and you’ve got yourself a very smart and relevant marketing strategy.

Every social media platform has it’s own language.

What you share and how you ask for things on Twitter is very different to Tumbler, and what content you can share on Instagram is vastly different to Facebook. Ignore this language and you’ll look like a parent trying to be “cool,” and in marketing terms you’ll miss the mark, if not waste your time entirely.

Don’t discount any platform when there’s millions of people using it.

When you look at a new social media network like Vine, which allows you to share 6 second videos, don’t just dismiss it because it doesn’t initially make sense. Time and time again Garry shows how different restraints on a medium, or different social structure or nuances, creates an entirely new sub culture. And once an audience reaches a critical mass (eg, millions, or hundreds of millions of users) then it doesn’t really matter what the “vessel” for that communication is, the fact remains that people are communicating there and that’s whats powerful. He also points out that demographics on social media platforms change over time, so while Snapchat is skewed towards teenagers now, in 18 months it will inevitably change.

If you’re too lazy to read the book, then watch this.

Check out Gary V on Chase Jarvis Live. A really good over view of what the books about. And if you want a digital copy of the book itself (I read everything on my ipad / iphone nowadays) you can find it on kindle here. enjoy.