Book Review: "Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook" by Gary Vaynerchuck

Cover shot of the book "Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook" by Gary Vaynerchuk
I've been following Gary Vaynerchuck online for several years now, but I hadn't yet read any of his books. It wasn't until I heard an interview with him by Chris Hogan on the EntreLeadership podcast about his newest book that I decided to give him a read. I'm glad I did.

The first part of Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook covers some basics of getting online and telling your story in a compelling way. The key, according to Vaynerchuck, is not to shout your "right hooks," or calls to action, over and over. Rather, he describes looking at the art of adding value to your customers over and over again without asking for anything. He compares this "jabbing" to the strategy boxers use in order to get their opponents to drop their guards. When the time is right, they come in with the right hook and, hopefully, knock them out. You, as a marketing storyteller, need to time your jabs (informational value adds) and your right hooks (calls to action for purchases or whatever) at the right points in order to be most effective.

In addition to this strategic overview, Gary goes into some details into how to best use the 5 currently-popular social media sites with examples of the bad, good and excellent ways brands are using these platforms:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • Tumblr
He also touches on some emerging social media properties. These may pan out to be very popular, or they may die out. The main lesson here is that the social media practitioner needs to be aware of new sites because you never know what might become the next big thing.
Here are some quotes from the book along with my thoughts on them:
And now that your consumer is mobile, you’d better be, too.
I'm tired to saying, "The time of mobile is coming." It's here now and has been for quite some time. This applies to all online activity by brands. Mobile web browsing is growing exponentially. You MUST be mobile.
Whatever story you tell, you must remain true to your brand. Native storytelling doesn’t require you to alter your identity to suit a given platform; your identity remains the same no matter what. I’ll behave one way when I’m giving a presentation to a client in Washington, D.C., another way while I’m standing on the train platform waiting to head home, and yet another way when I’m watching football with my friends that night. But I’m always the same guy. Different platforms allow you to highlight different aspects of your brand identity, and each jab you make can tell a different part of your story. Have fun with that. One of the biggest mistakes big brands make is to insist that their tone remain exactly the same no matter what platform they’re using. In clinging to this outdated model, they’re missing out on one of the greatest benefits of social media—always having more than one option.
This is genius! It is very hard for big brands, especially, to be this flexible. Maybe it's time for different managers for different platforms. Instead of one social media manager, there could be an overall strategist to help maintain that brand identity and several platform admins to be the proper voice of the brand on different channels.
No way is a consumer going to say yes if you ambush him with a giant pop-up that blacks out the middle of the Web page he’s reading. The only thing he’ll feel is irritation as he frantically hunts for that little X in the corner that will make you go away.
Isn’t this the truth. Pop-up ads, pop-under ads, interstitials and the like are nothing if not irritating.
Funny thing, though, sometimes those popups asking for people to subscribe to a website’s updates convert rather well - or so say some.
Unfortunately, the engagement that marketers most want to see—purchases—is not the engagement that Facebook’s algorithm measures, and therefore not the engagement that ultimately affects visibility. More than anything else, marketers want users to respond to their right hooks. That’s why they put so many out there. What they don’t realize, however, is that on Facebook, it’s the user’s response to a jab that matters most. ... All of a sudden your brand is talking like a human being, not a [product or service].
You need to think of this as a two-fold issue. 1. You have to create content that gets engagement on Facebook. 2. As you get more impressions, you’ll get more conversions when you do the right hooks. Content that is considered valuable from the consumer point of view is going to win more than a bunch of yelling, "Buy now!" Find a way to correlate Facebook engagement with conversions on your website and you have a pot of gold.
My advice to marketers is to quit complaining and start creating micro-content worth the money it will take you to successfully reach the customers Facebook is now guarding so carefully.
It’s amazing how much outcry there is from marketers (and users) every time Facebook changes something. It’s their platform and they can do what they want. Every time something changes on Facebook people in my social stream call for boycotts and threaten to delete their profiles. There has been only 1 friend I know of who actually did this (though there may be 1 or 2 more that I don’t remember). Get with the program - either like it or leave it - but quit complaining!
Yes, it will be frustrating when Facebook once again makes changes to its algorithm and newsfeeds, and Twitter and Pinterest will probably make tweaks and redesign. But if you don’t give in to the frustration, and do persist in staying alert and figuring out how to use these changes to your advantage, you’ll instantly be leagues ahead of most of the marketing pack.
This is along similar lines as the quote above. You’re not a victim. You have control as to what you do on platforms when they change. Instead of whining about it, poke around and learn how it works and stay ahead of competitors.

I enjoyed this book very much. If you're into any aspect of online marketing, I think you'll find quite a bit of valuable information inside. Check it out.

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuck - Easy to read and digest while offering up some very valuable information.

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