6 Lessons from Vaynerchuk’s “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook”
“Your story isn’t powerful enough if all it does is lead the horse to water; it has to inspire the horse to drink, too.”
– Gary Vaynerchuk, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook
I have just finished re-reading Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk for the second time. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook is not only the book’s name, but Vaynerchuk’s formula for social media success. When it came out in 2013 it rattled the social media world.
This book is the third in a trilogy of the evolution of social media – the other two Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion and The Thank You Economy are a great read too. This book just builds on the fundamentals discusses in those books.
The 6 Lessons from Vaynerchuk’s “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook”
This list is not organized in order of importance since that depends on the needs of the reader. Also, this is not my “top 6″ lessons from the book overall either. It’s just 6 nuggets of wisdom that I picked up about social media marketing.
If you’re not getting the most out of your social media game yet (trust me, you aren’t), then this is for you.
1. What’s Needed is Less ‘Right-Hooking’ and More ‘Jabbing’
In short, a right hook’s content aims to sell and self-promote. While a jab’s content aims to engage and trigger an emotional response.
Vaynerchuk reveals that brands are throwing far, far too many right hooks that annoy their online fanbase and kill any engagement potential. The book has a long list of examles of this as proof.
He emphasizes over and over the need for well-timed jabs that resonate with followers on an emotional level. Thus developing a relationship to create brand loyalists by making them ready for when you do want to throw that right hook to actually make a sale.
Less right hooks. More jabs. That’s the secret sauce.
“There is no sale without the story; no knockout without the setup.”
2. Most Brands has Content really SUCKS because we really still don’t Understand Social Media
I’m constantly amazed at how some of even the most iconic and successful brands in the world could produce such crappy content for social media.
Vaynerchuk provides noteworthy examples that are inspiring and enlightening, but after seeing it all, it’s hard not to walk away feeling like most of it is just…bad.
This happens partly because brands still don’t know how to tell their story in each social platform’s native language, which results in poor content that looks out of place and drives away fans.
However, this provides an opportunity for marketers. This is because most content online is still just low-quality noise, it’s the creative and emotionally engaging content that will rise through the clutter and get noticed.
Marketers need to make this kind of content happen.
“The content you’re putting out there sucks. You know why? Because even though consumers are now spending 10 percent of their time with mobile (a number that is soon going to be much higher), you’re only investing 1 percent of your ad budget there.”
3. Facebook, despite its popularity, is still one of the least understood social platforms
Modern social media marketing practically had its genesis along with the rise of Facebook, and the vast majority of brands and marketers claim it’s a critical part of their online marketing strategy. And yet they still don’t know how to use it properly.
They still struggle to speak the network’s native language and fail to adapt to Facebook’s regular algorithmic changes.
Jabbing is critical on Facebook so as to keep engagement high and ensure you stay in follower’s news feeds. It’s also explained that almost no one takes advantage of the power of Facebook Analytics.
“The majority of brands and businesses still haven’t realized the unprecedented insight Facebook gives us into people’s lives and psychology, insight that allows marketers to optimize every piece of micro-content, and every right hook”
4. It’s all about brevity and super-micro-content
Vaynerchuk realizes something glaringly obvious that marketers easily forget: People use social media by rapidly scrolling through their feeds at the speed of light, especially while on their phones.
That means, a brand’s content to really needs to stick out. It’s got to be different, eye-catching and compelling enough to quickly grab that user’s attention. This is insanely hard.
You only have about 2 or 3 seconds to do this.
Then, even if you get them to slow down just barely enough to have a closer look, you only have a few seconds more to get them to read, watch, click or whatever it is you want them to do with your content.
It’s almost impossible, but it can be done. And the way you do it is with micro-content that is easily read on the fly. This means brief text — something that far too few brands do on Facebook.
It means very simple, concise copy that gets right to the point and clearly points out its purpose, links or calls to action, making it as easy as possible for followers to engage. It means no more long-form videos.
Marketers need to save those for Youtube and keep their videos consumed elsewhere very Vine-like and Instagram-like with a duration of just 6-15 seconds. When it comes to social media content, less is more.
“Stop thinking about your content as content. Think about it, rather, as micro-content — tiny, unique nuggets of information, humor, commentary, or inspiration that you reimagine every day.”
5. “Content may be King, but context is God”
This is a quote that Vaynerchuk likes to throw around in his speeches and is a lesson that he emphasizes over and over in his book.
Sharing content with the proper context involves communicating with followers in the social media platform’s own unique language.
That means that a form of content that worked well on one platform may not work so well on another.
It means like on Twitter short form text does well while Facebook encourages big, high-quality images. Instagram is all about pictures and video taken with your phone that appear real and authentic, while Pinterest favors bright, glossy photos that look as though a professional took them.
It gets even more detailed than that…
Twitter users only like seeing a few clever hashtags while Instagram users are ok with you going crazy with them, using maybe even 10 or twelve. Short videos on Facebook, longer videos on Youtube. GIFs on Tumblr still images everywhere else. You get the idea.
Learn how to share content in the proper context and you’ll start to see engagement.
“You can put out good content, but if it ignores the context of the platform on which it appears, it can still fall flat.”
6. Brands are fatally thinking of social media as a distribution channel
Too many brands are using social media the same way they used email marketing or banner advertising back in the day. That means it’s being used as a distribution channel where you self-promote and push uncompelling content in people’s faces.
By distributing sales material it gets you ignored and forgotten. It’s the wrong thing to do in Social Media Marketing.
Social media is something so, so much better than those older ways of digital marketing because it provides marketers with the opportunity to creatively share content that tells your story, sparks engagement and conversations and strikes an emotional chord.
That’s storytelling. When sharing content this way it what creates brand loyalty and returning customers.
“Marketers are on social media to sell stuff. Consumers, however, are not. They are there for value.”
I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the book, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. I’m confident that you’d agree that the list above summarises the 6 major lessons in Vaynerchuk’s book.
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