January 01, 2014

My favourite 3 analogies from Gary Vaynerchuk’s new book

Over the holidays I’ve been reading Gary V’s new book “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook”. I’ve heard this phrase before in his previous books and not a stranger to implementing his theories when working with clients. This new book focuses even more deeply on the art of social media marketing using the analogy of ‘boxing’ (“marketers are going to have to spend a lot more time jabbing at their consumers before landing a right hook”). Essentially he feels storytelling is the same as boxing: the punch line or climax of a story has no power without the exposition and action that comes before it.


It’s a refreshing take on the industry as it stands and how we need to take great care in the content we publish to ensure we are always remain relevant and interesting. He doesn’t hold back in criticising some of the biggest brands in the world in his book for doing social media ‘no-nos’, big or small, with fantastic visual examples and summaries throughout the book.

He is also, along with Seth Godin, one of my favourite authors who use a lot of analogies in his work.

So I thought I’d share my favourite three:

1. Jabs vs hooks

In his book, Gary V describes the ‘jab’ as a piece of social media content that is something the brand is offering the consumer, you are sharing a moment together whether it’s a joke, or a heartwarming moment. This is the storytelling piece from the brand, giving the customer something they want to engage with. A “hook” is the sales post – it is the conversion. The theory is that after a certain amount of jabs, you can hook the customer into a sale or into ‘doing’ or agreeing to your call to action.


“Remember when you were a kid, and you’d go to your mum and ask her to take you out for an ice-cream cone or to the video arcade? Nine times out of 10, she said no. But then, every now and then, out of the blue, she would say yes. Why? In the days or weeks prior, something about how you interacted with your mother before the unexpected outing to the ice cream shop of arcade made your mum feel like she wanted to do something for you. You made her happy, or even proud, by giving her something she valued, whether it was doing extra chores or good grades or just one day of peace with your sibling. You gave so much that when you asked, she was emotionally primed to say yes”.

2. Platform fluency

Any social media marketer will know that you have speak the native language of a platform. I.e don’t post something that looks like an advert on Facebook, you’ll be ignored. Don’t post something that is text-only on Tumblr, etc. You catch the drift. In Gary’s book he really hammers home the importance of context over content. He believes that you can put out really good content, but if it ignores the context of the platform on which it appears, it can still be a big fail. Content must work seamlessly within the platform and offer the same sort of entertainment and values that the user came to the platform to actually see or do.


“It’s like the difference between someone who learns a new language well enough to order meals in restaurants and talk about their day, and someone who is so fluent he dreams, curses, and makes love in that language. Marketers who understand platforms at that fluent level are the ones whose businesses will be most noticed and appreciated”.

3. Tone of voice

Every brand or business must have an online identity, that manifests through every comment, post or tweet. It much be established and consistent. However Gary believes there is a myth that we must have just ONE voice across all platforms. He believes that our micro content should vary depending on the platform we use. He has a point – as long as the core story remains consistent and the personality must remain the same. So in a nutshell, brand personality must be consistent but brand tone can differ slightly depending on what is native to the platform.


“You’re going to wear a different outfit and use different vocabulary when you’re sitting down for tea with your grandmothers in her home than when you’re living it up in a night club. At least you will if you have nice manners. Creating micro content is simply a way for your brand to adapt according to circumstances and the whims of your audience.”

Anyone else read the book yet?

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