How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy, Social World
By Gary Vaynerchuk
- Kindle, £7.70
- Hardback, £19.99
‘the best book about social media I have ever read’ — MH
Forget paying £100 an hour for a social media consultant right now. Spend £7.70 (Kindle price) on this kick-ass book and you’ve got one of the world’s best experts at your fingertips. Forever.
Gary Vaynerchuk isn’t everybody’s cup of tea. He’s outspoken and loud. But he’s honest and he knows social media like he’s the love child of Biz Stone and Mark Zuckerberg. He tells it like it is and he’s not scared of speaking his mind.
I’ve read both Vaynerchuk’s preceding two books, Crush It! and The Thank You Economy, so I didn’t hesitate in buying this book when I knew it was ready for download, and having read it from cover to cover (or rather swiped it from home screen to flat battery) I wasn’t disappointed. Out in December and already a New York Times bestseller, and that’s no mean feat for a set of niche business books.
It’s a knockout
What’s it got to do with boxing? Gary uses boxing metaphors with the process of using social networks to best advantage. He likens the research a boxer will undertake to get inside his opponent’s head to the study a businessperson should carry out on his/her competitor.
The jabs and right hooks are ‘pieces of content’ and ‘calls to action’ a business will use to engage with customers and sell their wares, but in a way that isn’t intrusive, rewards engagement and is based on value.
At the end of the book, a chapter tells the story of an epic boxing match between heavyweights James Douglas and Evander Holyfield. The chapter is titled simply, ‘Effort’, and then in somewhat of a departure, the chapter is all about boxing and you begin to understand the analogy more deeply.
Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook (JJJRH) should be held up as a concept in modern marketing and, although a lot of smart marketers are already doing it, Vaynerchuk is probably the first to define it so concisely and make it so simple and accessible to read.
He lists dozens of good and bad examples on the seven biggest social networks, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Snapchat, Tumblr and Instagram. In his no-holds-barred manner, Vaynerchuk shows that, shockingly, many top brands are still missing a trick.
But the concept of JJJRH isn’t scientific, you don’t have to count the jabs in order to deliver your right hook once every four blows. It is just a concept, but one that can be loosely interpreted to best suit your online voice and your customer demographic. One size doesn’t fit all.
I bookmarked dozens of quotes I chose for use in this review, but ultimately I have chosen one.
Gary talks about ‘content being king’, a well-used phrase, but he adds, ‘context is God, and then there’s effort’.
“Effort is the great equaliser. It doesn’t matter if your competitor is three times bigger than you and built like a Mack truck, or if it has the marketing budget that matches the GDP of a medium-sized country, or if it has a staff of hundreds and you are alone in your broom closet with two laptops, and iPad and a cellphone.
“What matters is the effort you put into your work,” he says.
“Budgets should have no effect on the amount of effort, heart and sincerity that can go into your conversations with your customers.
“You can’t be everywhere at once, but when the quality of your communication and community-building efforts is better than anyone else’s, it doesn”t really matter.
And on the subject of effort, put some into buying this book. For under a tenner, or £20 if you buy the hardback, it’s the best book about social media I have ever read.