Monthly Archives: January 2014
Posted by Ed Carpenter
Get thee to Instagram
Gary Vaynerchuk goes out of his way to say that early adoption of new social media platforms is in our own interest, in “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook.” True, he doesn’t explain how to do that on a shoestring budget or if you’re a team of one, but that’s where strategy and priorities come in. Right? Right.
Marketers should be on new social media platforms determining what works and what doesn’t before the masses arrive. Remember when companies had no interest in Facebook? They didn’t understand that things had changed. “The days of stopping people from what they’re doing to look at your ad are, at best, diminishing …” Marketing 2.0 is about integrating “your content into the stream where people can consumer it along with all their other pop culture,” @Garyvee says.
Instagram is a good example. With 130 million monthly users and 40 million photos uploaded everyday, the platform has taken off.
↑Upside: Like Pinterest, it’s visually compelling and doesn’t require much time (compared to reading). You can connect Instagram to other social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
↓Downside: Unlike Pinterest, you can’t share others’ images i.e. curate. You can’t hyperlink images; all roads lead back to Instagram, which is good for Instagram but not so good for marketers.
- Native Instagram content is artistic, not commercial. No ads or stock photos.
- Instagram is where the young generation is, even more so than Facebook these days.
- Multiple #hashtags are encouraged.
- The best content is picked up by Instagram Explorer where it is shared beyond those who follow you.
Comedy Central is not only in the game but shows it’s ahead of most with this simple pic. The image gets the most out of a solo hashtag, “#shelfie”, which plays off the most ubiquitous Instagram hashtag of all “#selfie”.
Tumblr (because the “e” made it too long? or did it get lost?)
If you find Instagram to be too artsy, then you’ll want to weigh whether Tumblr’s for you. It’s dominated by young people and used by artists, photographers, musicians, and graphic designers to showcase their work.
@Garyvee admits to having a soft spot for Tumblr. He’s swears it’s not because he’s an investor. I don’t know, I suppose he’s looking at what it could become for marketers down the road. Tumblr is customizable to a degree few, if any, existing social media platforms are. There are tons of themes to choose from and you can change just about anything and everything to brand your Tumblr your own.
Unlike Facebook or Twitter, Tumblr is about your interests not your network. “Produce the right eye candy for your audience, and they will find you,” @Garyvee says. Curation is also a major part of the platform. But what @Garyvee really likes about Tumblr is that it’s GIF friendly. Those are the 2-3 second looping videos that have started showing up everywhere. The best ones are funny. The lame ones are of some poor sap staring into a pool of water while and animated waterfall does its thing in the background.
On this one, I have to disagree with @Garyvee. I know he’s a marketing god and all but I think he’s screwed the pooch. Even he acknowledges Tumblr is about publishing and not purchasing (at present). It’s not like Pinterest. People don’t go there to shop, and it’s not a platform filled with “storefronts.” This could change, of course. My take, as if you cared, is that the artists who populate the platform would flee if that happened? But it’s a bigger miscalculation by @Garyvee, I’m most concerned about. Google+.
“Aside from Google+, there is no social media site that allows you to take advantage of this gorgeous, powerful storytelling format the way Tumblr does,” @Garyvee says of GIFs. Overlooking his obsession with GIFs (what GIFs, anyway?), isn’t Google+ a rather large “aside”? Sure it’s only getting its legs but people go to Google to shop millions even billions of times a day. It’s built. And it’s already were you are.
A great post that anyone who’s going get ready to Tumblr (yeah, I did it) should emulate is one by GQ magazine that throws its hands in the air for “Mad Men’s” season six premier. Great photo. Great pop culture reference. Simple yet affective text. An embed link in the text and the photo itself to “The GQ Guide to ‘Mad Men.’” Plenty of appropriate tags: “Don Draper,” “Mad Men,” “television” … Lookin’ good GQ.
When Vaynerchuk looks to the horizon, he sees a social world everywhere. What he says is hard to argue against. “That’s why it’s smart to consider the jab-and-right-hook potential of platforms that aren’t particularly social … Whatever isn’t a social experience now soon will be,” @Garyvee says.
LinkedIn — is on the verge of great leap forward and will soon be a daily check-in for most folks, @Garyvee says. He predicts that different social networks will serve different functions in our lives: Facebook will be the dining room, for entertaining; LinkedIn the library for getting deals done. That’s an interesting way to think about it. (Except that I’ve just summarized a book about how to make Facebook, LinkedIn, and all other social networks the center of your “get the deal done” businesses. Hmmm).
Google+ — doesn’t get any love from @Garyvee. It’s a question mark when it comes to being a marketing tool and it’s numbers, 500 million, according to Google, are inflated because users automatically get an account if they use other Google services like YouTube. He’s right about the latter but, if Google can figure out how to allow people to manage multiple accounts from a single sign-in or tab, then the game will change. Right now, the biggest impediment to using Google + for marketing is that marketers and businesses generally have separate accounts and separate Google + pages. Wrangle those cat into the same barrel and no one will be able to hear over the ensuing cat fight of marketers rushing in.
Vine — Snapped up recently by Twitter, Vine’s promise of six second videos encourages more people to watch video. “This platform could do to YouTube what Twitter did to Facebook,” @Garyvee says.
Snapchat — Oh, snap. It’s too early to say how Snapchat, the photo- and video-sharing network that kills it’s content seconds after it’s created, will fair. Vaynerchuk admits he hasn’t figured it out. How modest of him. But he says he might. Of course, I might too.
E is for effort (I found the ‘e’)
This chapter is about boxing and how Buster Douglas beat Evander Holyfield in a famous fight that many people reading the book won’t know or care about. The point is: If you are big or if you are small, putting in the effort to know your client base and jab natively on social media makes all the difference. Also, don’t go into a heavyweight title boxing match looking like you’re smuggling four pounds of meatloaf in your gut.
I’m a media company, you’re a media company, wouldn’t you like to be a media company too?
This chapter is two pages. But to my way of thinking, it’s one of the most important. @Garyvee illustrates his point in a way that brings it home. All companies are now media companies. And if all companies produce their own stories, videos, photos, and so on, is there a need for the media? Is there a need for, gasp, marketers?
When Micheline started reviewing restaurants to encourage people to drive more and wear out their tires, there was little hint that the Micheline Guide would become the yardstick of fine dining that it is today. The same can be said of the Guinness Book of World Records, although it doesn’t apply to fine dining so much.
Conclusion, Round 11 & Knockout, Round 12
There’s not a lot to these chapters. @Garyvee mostly wraps things up by recognizing how much time is required to go native on the seven major social media platforms but argues that it’s time well spent in the long run. When he’s turned in the final edit of #JJJRH and is busy pressing the flesh at the Cannes Film Festival, Instagram opens up to 15-second videos. It’s big enough that he’s on it that night for four hours and his team is working to figure out the best way to tell stories on it. Oh, and he added a chapter on it in his latest book.
Next up? Google Glass, @Garyvee says.
by Ed Carpenter — He’s a bad mutha … shut yer mouth.
Posted by Ed Carpenter
If you hit snooze around Thanksgiving, you might have missed the release of social media marketing guru Gary Vaynerchuk’s new book — “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook.” It sounds like a scat jazz intro, am I right?
Anyway, for those who did peace out with their families over the holidays (and who can blame you?), you’re in for a treat because I’m about to carve it up like a butter ball ham and serve it on a platter — well, three platters actually (each with four meaty chapters).
Social media god?
But first, I’m required to answer the burning question posed in the title of this piece, “Is Gary Vaynerchuk the #Socialmedia God He Thinks He Is?” Ha! Impossible! He’s a New York Jets fan, after all. Try pushing that bolder up a hill! So, he’s hardly omnipotent. Bid deal. He’s a helluva social media marketer and his new book is full of snarky insights and chastising critiques of how the rest of us are screwing up as social media marketers. Let’s get to it.
Are you behind the times?
In the first of 12 chapters, or Round 1, as @Garyvee dubs it to reinforce his boxing theme, he sets us up with some background that can be summed up:
— Back in the day, there was television, radio, outdoor advertising. Marketers hit potential customers over the head with how and why and by how much their product was the best at every opportunity. Right hook, right hook, right hook, all day long.
— Social media has changed the landscape. True, many don’t know it yet. But, the shift is huge and soon everyone will know it and it will be everywhere. The next generation of customers are demanding more of a brand’s time interacting with them on social media. The next generation wants the brands they support to pay attention to them to respond to their questions and concerns to entertain them, all before the hard sell.
— Finally, the social media landscape is crowded even convoluted. Throwing the same weak content jabs out on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest has ever diminishing returns. Marketers must learn to pay attention to context and timing, and learn to play to each platforms’ strengths because potential customers on those platforms know them in and out. They know a fake when they see it, and they’ll unlike or unfollow your brand as soon as they think you have nothing to offer them.
Oreo, so dunkable
Chapter 2 is short. So let me save you some time. It’s all about tips for making your content compelling. You really don’t have to ready more than the section titles: It’s Native (to the platform), It Doesn’t Interrupt, It Doesn’t Make Demands — Often, It Leverages Pop Culture, It’s Micro, It’s Consistent and Self-Aware.
The most interesting part of the chapter focuses on a brilliant tweet by Oreo that happened when the night the lights went in Superbowl XLVII (2013). In case you don’t remember, @Garyvee, that was the San Francisco 49ers v. Baltimore Ravens (woot #49ers!). Image you’re sitting in the dark wonder WTH is with the #fail lights? You turn to Twitter, of course. (After all, it’s the tool million of Egyptians used to fuel a revolution. And if there’s anything in America the might start a revolution it would be the cancelling of the Superbowl in the middle of the GD game. Am I right?) There it is. The tweet that Gary Vaynerchuk is carping about a year later in her NYT Best Sellers List book: “Power out? No problem. You can still dunk in the dark?” A photo of an Orea cookie was attached, or course.
I know what you’re thinking, “Genius.” But that’s not the genius part. The genius part, the part that is social media through and through is that there was no sale pitch. It didn’t tell people to jump up off the couch and run to the kitchen or the corner convenience store.
It didn’t need to.
That’s the point. Tens of thousands like and re-posted it on Twitter and Facebook. “That was a first for such a mass-marketing brand within the context of such a mainstream event,” @Garyvee says.
BONUS!: Free video of Gary Vaynerchuk and the Oreo team talking about social media strategy http://bit.ly/1cbKdAS
Here is where the rubber hits the road. “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook” is full of case studies of what works and what doesn’t. The nature of social media is “social,” right? It’s not about sales. It’s about engagement based on comments and sharing with others. “You have to jab enough times o build huge visibility, so that the day you do throw a right hood — the day you do try to make a sale, with a post that’s not particularly sharable but where the link takes people to your product — it will show up in the maximum number of News Feeds,” @Garyvee says.
The chapter breaks down almost 30 examples. @Garyvee raves about Victoria’s Secret on Facebook, calling it fluent in Facebook’s language. The example post uses a dramatic photo with incorporated branding, short and pithy text, and links that lead readers to take action.
This chapter offers examples from my favorite social media platform. What sets Twitter apart from other social media is its public nature. Its not just friends in your email contacts lists. It’s the whole world talking about what they think is important at that moment. The key to Twitter is to listen to what people are saying, listen carefully to what’s trending — then insert yourself in the conversation. You’ve heard of it. It’s called trendjacking.
This is done with #hashtags. But don’t just throw hashtags out. In fact, most of us shouldn’t try making up our own at all. The chances of it catching on are small and the resources needed to make that happen are large. Look for opportunities to springboard of popular hashtags that are already in the twittersphere.
@Garyvee offers more than 20 breakdowns both positive and negative. Here is one of my favorites, probably because I’m an “Arrested Development” fan. Vaynerchuk also liked it. “This is a perfectly executed jab, launch just days after Netflix announced that fifteen episodes …” It’s simple. It capitalizes on a tending hashtag. The text cleverly quotes a frequently heard line from the series.
Vaynerchuk does bad case studies too. About 30 percent are panned, I guesstimate. In this review, he let’s Bulgari Jewels have it for besmirched his beloved Elizabeth Taylor’s online brand with content that’s only designed to garner more @BulgariJewels followers, something it had a hard time doing judging by the 4 favorite and 9 retweets.
“The picture is so weak, an intern hiding behind a potted plant could have taken it,” he vipes. He’s right, of course. You can hardly see a thing in the photo, let along the “Dinner atmosphere.”
In other words, where is Taylor? Where are the stars in attendance? Where is the stunning jewelry? Where is a behind-the-scenes moment or any semblance of an emotional connection? Instead, we’re lost in a dark room.
@Garyvee loves him some Pinterest. Way more than I do. But, then again, I’m not the 68 percent of women the platform caters to — a.k.a. the people making decisions about what to buy for the home. That’s one reason for Vaynerchuk’s enthusiasm. The popularity of image driven platform has exploded recently, with almost 49 million users.
Why does Vaynerchuk love it? Let me count the ways.
- It’s filled with pictures that feed consumers’ dreams. Think of them as ads or feature-article photos for Vanity Fair.
- It’s not just a place to publish content you create. Like @mentions and #hashtags on Twitter, “re-pins” allow you to like and share others’ content, it’s called content curation, ya’ll! “Who’s going to sue a company for pinning a picture of her product because it rocks, especially when the pin includes a link that takes consumers directly back to that product’s retail page?” @Garyvee asks.
- Eh hem. Let me repeat. Pinterest etiquette dictates that re-pined images link back to their source. (Make sure to link the image itself!)
- Creating pin boards (groups of pinned objects) that tangentially related to your company or product is a great way to be viewed as an expert and build community. Do you sell motorcycles? What about a pin board with images of the best Pacific Coast Highway towns? Don’t forget to ask your customers about their favorites.
Put a bow on it. Remember, this is about sharing
This glorified book report is almost 1/2 way through JJJRH, if you’re count the chapters. It’s about 2/3 through, if you count the pages. That’s a perfect place for me to regroup and for you to review the highlights. Believe me, there are many in the book and I hope some of these examples convey that. Check out my next post (coming early next week for summaries on what @Garyvee thinks about Instagram, Tumblr, emerging platforms, and more. And oh, please share this article and tweet me with your questions and comments about JJJRH.
by Ed Carpenter — He’s a bad mutha … shut yer mouth.