|Title:||Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World|
|Page count:||256 pages|
The general topic of this book is to challenge companies, whether large or small as to what their activity truly represents on social media. Using boxing terminology, it looks at the concept of a ’jab’, essentially a way in which to gain engagement with its publics or customers. Engagement has historically been that of driving sales however, with an ever evolving social media space, engagement is now considered far more expansive and can often mean simply that you are conversing with the public to gain stronger connections, brand loyalty which then ultimately turns into the ‘Right-hook’…the delivery of transactions.
Vaynerchuk has quickly become a notable expert within the social media landscape, offering no-nonsense advice about what works and what doesn’t and his refreshing style of writing has awarded him many accolades including a ‘New York Times best seller’. A relative newcomer to the industry, Gary runs VaynerMedia, a company that helps the likes of PepsiCo and Hasbro with their social media voice. It is apparent that his style of writing emulates from real-life experience and cuts across the grain of traditional social media academic writing.
The book in many ways challenges the existing scholarly writings of social media and the wider field of PR and marketing. It moves away from the ideals of the models of academic study, particularly those that put an emphasis on consistency of brand messaging. The book brings into questions whether consistency is in fact relevant, advising that organic changes should be made to social media messaging to ensure they are relevant to an ever evolving audience.
It also encourages development of sub-branding on different social media platforms which although is advised in earlier marketing and PR books to focus on different audiences, it now works in conjunction with one another, delivering tailored messaging for the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
It is evident that this book is written for a far-reaching group of audiences, as a PR student I found it relevant to the development on my own personal brand on social media however; the lessons indicated are just as relevant for the largest of corporations. It sets about a movable model of content and context that is essentially an idealistic framework of how one should operate on the relevant platforms.
The key themes within the book are simple in that, when using social media, it must be done with consideration and planning. It gives examples as to how businesses can often just arrive on social media because of obligation, rather than with good reason. It illustrates that without such forethought; companies can in fact get it entirely wrong and in turn can damage their brand.
It is true to say however that it encourages all businesses to be on social media as without a presence, the public will still talk about them and without a channel in which to respond, this can have even further detrimental consequences.
The underlying lesson is that social media is now a noisy space with a multitude of companies trying to be heard. In order to get above the parapet, a company must be able to provide compelling content in the right context on the right platforms to be noticed.
The layout of the book is simple yet effective, outlining each social media channel in a concise chapter giving key facts about each platform, giving advice on how to develop compelling content and then giving real-life examples on how some companies got it spot on and where others fell flat. These examples are particularly helpful, especially when there are so many different ways in which messaging, particularly in 140 characters or less can go incredibly wrong.
There are apparent potential issues within the book, no more so that of existing platforms having a shelf life of 3 – 5 years. It is true that social media platforms in the past have come and gone, notably the likes of MySpace and Bebo however, with developing technology and a huge increase in private investment into existing platforms, these are now evolving with the users. Although they may look and feel entirely different in five years, I believe we will still be using adaptations of Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Tumblr.
Overall this book is a compelling read and this is down to the style in which Vaynerchuk adopts. It is easy to understand and quickly makes you aware that academic models posed by marketers in years gone by are becoming irrelevant as the oldest and most crucial methods of message delivery returns, word of mouth. The light-hearted style coupled with the real-life examples make this book one that can be read, lessons applied and returned to in months to come. With all social media books it will also have a shelf life as the industry and technology develops however I believe that the underlying methodology of this book will be applicable for years to come.