TOP Talk

Something to Punch Up Your Summer Reading: "Jab, Jab, Jab, RIGHT HOOK" by Gary Vaynerchuk

Posted July 01, 2014 By Marian Hughes

Topics: Social Media, Thought Leadership


So what do boxing and managing a social media campaign have in common? According to Gary Vaynerchuk, the social media expert and owner of the well-known digital media agency VaynerMedia---a lot. In fact, it's the premise of his latest book Jab, Jab, Jab, RIGHT HOOK: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World. Being a competitive kinda gal, I was intrigued, and added this book to my summer reading list.

For those of you who are not boxing enthusiasts, a jab and a hook are boxing maneuvers that Vaynerchuk thinks correlate well to a well-run social media campaign. He explains the right hook, “gets all the credit for the win, but it's the ring movement and the series of well-planned jabs that come before it that set up for success.” Vaynerchuk believes you need the perfect set up of jabs to make a target customer receptive to a powerful right hook. Without the jabs, a strong right hook is likely to be a miss.

Jabs are all the things that are valuable to your target customer, “lightweight pieces of content that benefit your consumers by making them laugh, snicker, ponder, play a game, feel appreciated, or escape.” The right hook, on the other hand, is more direct and reflects things that are valuable to you. It's the call to action that will benefit your business, such as the sale of a product, inviting people to an event, etc.

As I read through his book, it occurred to me this would be the perfect read for someone new to managing a social media program. Vaynerchuk goes into depth with examples of jabs and hooks on each social media platform and shows multiple examples of posts done right and wrong, with a detailed explanation of his rationale. This book would get a social media newbie up to fighting weight quickly.

Even for people like me who've been working at social media for years, there are a few points he landed that stuck with me:

Come Out Swinging with Native Content

Every social media platform is different, and it's imperative that content be developed for each individual platform. Vaynerchuk writes, “You can put out good content, but if it ignores the platform on which it appears , it can still fall flat.” This may not be news to many of us, but it amazes me how so many brands don't take the time to adapt their content for each platform. For example, if you're focusing all of your energy on formatting content for Twitter, but then sharing it in the same format on Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn, you're missing out on opportunities to connect with each platform's unique audiences. The brands who are winning in social media understand the audiences and nuances of each platform and develop unique content for each so their posts are considered native and seamlessly blend in on that platform.

Get Micro-Content In Your Corner

Throughout the book, Vaynerchuk gives example after example of how the power of short, sweet, clever and simple wins out. We've all heard the saying “content is king” but, Vaynerchuk advises us to stop thinking about content as content and start thinking about it as micro-content, “tiny, unique nuggets of information, humor, commentary or inspiration that you reimagine everyday” as you respond to the day's events. It's clear a special type of writing talent is needed for great micro-content – someone who can tell a story simply, with only a few words. Someone with a copywriting mentality…and a good sense of humor to boot, when possible. Similarly, the person leading your social media efforts must be great with visuals because so many times it's the visual alone that tells much of your story. The numerous examples that Vaynerchuk shared demonstrated how so many brands still are struggling with simplicity, visuals and getting micro-content right.




Give ‘Em the One-Two Punch: Trendjacking & Interpretation

We've written a lot about the importance of following trends on this blog and Vaynerchuck underscores this message – a skill he calls Trendjacking. Vaynerchuk demonstrates the power of tracking worldwide, national and regional trends on Twitter and learning to use them strategically to jab at your target audiences or when appropriate, using them to throw a hook. But at the same time, he also stressed the importance of interpreting and having a point of view when it comes to Twitter. While it's true Twitter's currency is news and information, sharing news has little value in building meaningful connections without adding some value to it by putting your own spin on it through interpretation and a point of view.

So is Jab, Jab, Jab, RIGHT HOOK worth a read this summer? If you're still building your social media muscle, I think you'll find it a helpful addition to your training. It's full of numerous tips and memorable examples that will help you become a social media contender.

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Marian Hughes

About Marian Hughes

Challenging the status quo. I love stepping back and analyzing a PR program to determine if there’s a better way to move our clients closer to their goals. I'm constantly scouting out innovative new approaches, tools and technology – anything that holds the potential to really deliver. And, when I discover one with merit, there's nothing more rewarding than getting up to speed, putting it into action and generating big results – that, to me, is hitting it out of the park!