Since the dawn of the social media age, marketers have been working hard to leverage it as a means to communicate with customers and ultimately, sell them product. Often times marketers are trying to use social media as an extension of traditional marketing efforts, broadcasting advertising messages like … “Come in for our latest sale,” or maybe “this product is the best because it can cure cancer, and that’s why you need to head over to our site to purchase it.”
But what is social media actually here to do? Help brands build engaging relationships with their customers. In turn, these customers become truly engaged and involved with your brand.
One of the gods of social media is Gary Vaynerchuk. He was among the original marketing masterminds of the internet and social media, building businesses and creating a personal brand based on his straightforward and entertaining manner of delivering his message. He’s written several books on the topic, and his latest is Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World. I recently had the pleasure of reading this genius and hilarious guide to figuring out the social media phenomena.
The whole book revolves around two basic boxing concepts: a jab and a right hook. Vaynerchuk explains that “Jabs are the lightweight pieces of content that benefit your customers by making them laugh, snicker, ponder, play a game, feel appreciated, or escape; right hooks are calls to action that benefit your business.”
The Importance of the “Jab”
According to Vaynerchuk, a “jab” is what most of a brand’s social media presence should be made up of. The jabs are the consistent little touches – not too tough but touches that the audience can feel nonetheless. This is the part where you simply provide value and constantly work to better understand and interact with your audience. Here, you’re not hitting them over the head. You’re there, they see it, feel it and interact with it. It’s the human stuff, the fun stuff, that may or may not have anything to do with what you’re trying to sell them. Most marketers aren’t initially very excited about this concept. Nevertheless, it is the game changer in attracting and maintaining a community of repeat customers and brand ambassadors, and the key to getting through all the “noise” on social. At Kolbeco, we encourage our clients to devote their social strategy to figuring out what content their customer wants from the company’s social presence. We then craft micro content that provides value to potential customers, and in turn the social profile gains viewer attention. It’s amazing, really.
The “Right Hook”
In the midst of all those jabs, the right hook is the touch you’ve been waiting for. This is the opportunity you finally get to ask for that sale, without really asking for it (because you can’t, or shouldn’t, do that on social media). It has to be perfectly executed, and as native to the platform as possible, lowering your chances as being seen as an interruption. It’s a natural flow that’s not forced, and that fits seamlessly into the dance of the jabs.
Vaynerchuk believes that landing one right hook (making a successful post that asks for conversions = sales) after 6-12 months of jabbing (ONLY providing value and community) should be the strategy, and the realistic expectation of a social media program. Why? Because that consistent jabbing is what builds the audience, and the loyalty and excitement for the brand. In that context, you need only one powerful right hook to be impactful.
Don’t Forget, It’s a Two-Sided Fight
Before the days of social media, marketing was a one-sided fight. The consumer didn’t have a choice about this, because the only place they could go was traditional media – TV, print, radio etc. where they were broadcast to, but not listened to. Social media has since changed the game by giving the consumer a voice and a choice, making it, in Vaynerchuk’s terms, a two-sided boxing match.
Now, marketers have to fight for consumer attention more than ever. Vaynerchuck highlights six parts to mastering content creating great stories:
- The method goes: “Content is king, context is God.” The content must satisfy the people’s needs, which changes depending on the platform they are on. They come to a social platform to be entertained, connected, informed, socialized, and your content must give them the value they came there for.
“It doesn’t interrupt”
- Your content needs to “meld seamlessly” into the valuable content on the platform people are coming to see. If you can establish an emotional connection between your consumer and your brand, the consumer will be much more inclined to purchase.
“It doesn’t make demands – often”
- Consumers don’t want their experience to be interrupted on social media, and they don’t want to be sold to either. And the point of all this giving on social, is that when you FINALLY ask someone to make a purchase, they’ll wholly and completely oblige.
“It leverages pop culture”
- Everyone is consuming pop culture, and they are doing on social platforms. That’s a lot of what they’re there for. Jump on the wagon and talk to your people about what they’re already talking about.
- “Micro content + community management = effective social media marketing.” Micro content is fitting for social platforms, given the speed that everyone is scrolling through their social apps. You only have a very short amount of time to get someone’s attention. Don’t lose it by posting something that no one will ever take the time to read. Micro content must be in real time, and be up with the times/current events.
“It’s consistent and self-aware”
- Your content should always answer “Who are we?” for your business and its identity. It is so crucial that when you are putting out your content, your story, message and identity are the constant variables.
Jab Jab Jab Right Hook, provides a realistic and simple approach to building a great social media presence. It is a great read, and an asset to any social media marketer’s book shelf.