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Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook

By: Gary Vaynerchuk

Reviewed By: Ramona Sukhraj

Just like his first two works, Crush It! and The Thank You Economy, Gary Vaynerchuk shares his secrets for building relationships on social media and delivering a marketing message that people want to hear in the best-selling, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook.

In a nutshell, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook is a mashup of the best elements from the first two books with a modern-day spin. Vaynerchuk outlines a simple formula that’s easy to follow and offers practical advice that you can actually put to use right away.

This isn’t just another marketing theory book that leaves you with a warm feeling, but no clear direction; it’s extremely actionable. Let’s talk about some of his most useful social media advice.

Business is Like Boxing...

“There is no sale without the story; no knockout without the setup.” - Gary Vaynerchuk

According to Vaynerchuk, marketers should take a similar approach in their strategies as boxers do in the ring: who wear down their opponents with light jabs until they find the perfect opening to deliver the knockout punch (aka go in for the sale).

But there’s one main difference; for marketers, “Jab, jab, jab” really means give, give, give.

When someone meets your brand for the first time, you want to give as much value as you can, before going in for the right hook by delivering a call-to-action.

Vaynerchuk says the perfect right hook consists three characteristics:

  1. The call-to-action is simple and easy to understand.
  2. It’s perfectly crafted for mobile, as well as all digital services.
  3. It respects the nuances of the social network for which you are making the content.

Following this formula, you will lay the foundation for a trusting relationship and ultimately, a more successful transaction.

The 5 Traits of Great Social Media Content

As outlined in Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, the greatest social media content is native, doesn’t interrupt, doesn’t make demands, is concise, and is consistent and aware.

Trait #1: It’s Native

“Content is king, but context is God” -Gary Vaynerchuk

One of the major points that Vaynerchuk stresses is the power of context. You can create the best content, but if it’s not relevant to the platform you’re sharing it on it can still fall flat.

Here are his suggested rules-of-thumb for truly resonating with your audience on the major social media platforms (which we’ll get into later):

  1. Storytell on Facebook
  2. Listen Well on Twitter
  3. Glam It Up on Pinterest
  4. Create Art on Instagram

Trait #2: It Doesn't Interrupt

As opposed to marketing from the past, today’s marketers don’t have to rely on interrupting consumers to get their attention. In fact, it’s crucial that you don’t.

People don’t have the patience for disruptive marketing anymore. Vaynerchuk cites the rapid adoption of DVRs and other devices that allow us to skip commercials as evidence.

Rather than trying to interrupt the experience people are looking for (i.e. entertainment, connecting with friends/family, education, etc), we have to become part of that experience.

Coming between your audience and what they’re actually looking for will only lead to resentment and dreaded “unlike.”

Trait #3: It Doesn’t Make Demands -- Often

“Make it simple. Make it memorable. Make it inviting to look at. Make it fun to read.” -Leo Burnett

The majority of your content should be for your persona, not for yourself.

When you deliver promotional content on social media, it will take your persona a split-second to realize that the story they’re engaging with is being told by a brand and not just an individual.

If you’re providing quality content that actually benefits them, however, they won’t be mad about it.

Trait #4: It’s Micro

When it comes to social media, a safe guideline is that less is more.

With so much noise on social networks, you don’t have much time to grab your audience’s attention so aim to deliver your message as quickly or in as few words as possible.

A great way to do that on most platforms is by incorporating images, videos, gifs, or of course, including a link.

Trait #5: It’s Consistent and Self-Aware

Every post on social media is a representation of your brand’s identity.

Even though the type of content you post will vary, all of your behavior on social media should be a constant reminder of what your brand is all about.

It doesn’t matter how you tell your story, as long as your personality and brand identity remain constant.

Straying too far from your known brand may lead to confusion amongst your loyal fan base.

Storytell on Facebook

"On Facebook, the definition of great content is not the content that makes the most sales, but the content that people most want to share with others." -Gary Vaynerchuk

Facebook rose to fame as a platform that was all about connecting with other people near and far; your loved ones, old friends, people with similar interests.

In order to make an impact here, you need to strike a human chord with your content. The best way to do this is through storytelling.

Vaynerchuk suggests that brands constantly jab with stories that are likeable, shareable, and that generate a lot of comments, and now reactions.

Things to Consider Before Posting on Facebook:

  • Is the text concise? Is it provocative, surprising, or entertaining?
  • Is the photo high-quality and attention-grabbing?
  • Is your brand’s logo visible in the photo?
  • Is the content genuinely interesting?
  • Are you asking too much of your persona?

But Don’t Forget Facebook Ads

According to Vaynerchuk, Ads and Sponsored Posts on Facebook are a great bang for your buck and one of the best ad opportunities available.

His reasoning is that it won’t let you spend more than your content is worth and with the wide array of targeting options, it’s hard not to see results.

Listen Well on Twitter

"There’s a lot of talking and selling on Twitter, but not enough engagement, and that’s a travesty, because Twitter is the cocktail party of the Internet – a place where listening well has tremendous benefits." -Gary Vaynerchuk

The average person values entertainment and escapism above everything else when it comes to their online behavior. Although people are looking for information, what they really want is “infotainment.”

They want to consume information that is wrapped in a story.

Bland, “news reporting” is common, especially on Twitter, but unique infotainment is rare and worth sharing.

When it comes to creating content on Twitter, don’t just settle for reporting the obvious. Strive to put a unique twist on existing conversations.

Look at the hashtags and topics that are trending (and are relevant to your industry) and add to the conversation with a unique perspective or put a creative take on it.

Things to Consider Before Posting on Twitter:

  • Is the message concise?
  • Are you using a hashtag that is relevant to your persona and memorable?
  • Is there a high-quality image attached?
  • Does the brand voice sound authentic?
  • Will this message resonate specifically with your Twitter audience?

Glam It Up on Pinterest

Unless you sell a product that no woman in a million years would want for herself or any person in her life [...] you’re a dope if your brand isn’t on Pinterest” -Gary Vaynerchuk

Pinterest is all about aspirations so you want to put your best foot forward here using visuals (primarily high-quality images.)

Too many brands are missing out on a great opportunity with Pinterest Marketing because they either underestimate its value or they don’t think their brand is a good fit for its audience.

In reality, there are very few brands who wouldn’t benefit from being on Pinterest.

Women outnumber men five to one on Pinterest, so if they are your key demographic, you need to establish a presence. At the same time, however, the male market on Pinterest is severely under-served, presenting an opportunity to connect with males on a platform where there is significantly less competition.

Things to Consider Before Posting on Pinterest:

  • Do your boards all have clever, creative titles?
  • Are the images you share all dream-worthy?
  • Does each photo include a hyperlink?
  • Is the image easy to categorize so Pinterest users know exactly which board to pin it to?
  • Would this image meet the standards of a top-tier magazine?
  • Have you included a price where appropriate?

Create Art on Instagram

“It took Flickr two years to reach the milestone of 100 million uploaded pictures; it took Instagram eight months.” -Gary Vaynerchuk

Like Pinterest, Instagram is also visual-centric, but it is also one of the most difficult platforms for marketers as you can’t embed hyperlinks in your posts and users don’t have a retweet or re-pin function for sharing your posts (at least not natively).

Despite the fact that driving traffic to your website from Instagram is challenging, the platform’s immense popularity is reason enough for brands to be active on it. 

It might take a few more jabs than other social media outlets, but this is a platform where the jab approach pays off in the long run.

Considerations to Make Before Posting on Instagram:

  • Is the image creative enough for the Instagram audience?
  • Does your post include enough relevant and descriptive hashtags?
  • Is the story appealing to the younger audience that dominates Instagram?
  • Does your profile include a strong CTA with a relevant hyperlink?

Want to learn more about Instagram marketing? Our free guide here can help you get started on it for your business! 

Key Takeaway: Focus on Content and Context

The point is mentioned repeatedly by Vaynerchuk, but it’s worth repeating.

No matter what social media platform you’re creating content for, always focus on creating pieces that fit the context of that social channel; that make sense there and capitalizes on each platform’s strengths. (i.e. High-quality visuals on Facebook vs short quips and hashtags on Twitter.)

When you obey “the culture” of the platform, so to speak, your content is more likely to be well-received.

Yes, this may take more time and effort than copying and pasting posts from one network to the other or letting each new blog article automatically publish across the board, but it’s a small price to pay when you consider how much more engaging your posts become, and how much easier it will be to go in for a right hook.