Saturday, February 6, 2016

Social Media Advice for Small Businesses: Reading Gary Vaynerchuk

I first saw Gary Vaynerchuk when he was interviewed on Marie Forleo's youtube show. Here's the episode:

I found him compelling. So I ordered his latest book, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook to inform my Teachers Pay Teachers social media decisions. It turned out to be a good call, and here's why.

Vaynerchuk breaks down the complex realms of social media effectively in this book. 

One of his main messages is that each category of social media requires a different strategy, and that that strategy can be effectively learned and capitalized on. He goes through the major social media outlets (Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Vine) and shows a variety of examples of how people are marketing there - both effectively and ineffectively. He breaks down each colorful example in a brief analysis. 

His second main message is that in the current sharing economy, you need to share ideas, fun, freebies, comedy, relaxation, etc. via social media WAY more than you market. As a brand, the idea is to become a positive association for people rather than always trying to sell them something. Each joke, meme, link to a great article, freebie, etc. that you share on social media is essentially a "jab" so that when you want to reach people with a really great product, they will actually care about your "right hook."

The book is very readable and has a lot of quick takeaways. It gives you a sense of when to post things, how to post things, what to post, etc. 

It caused me to immediately change my strategy on my Facebook when I realized that their Edgerank system was preventing most of my posts from even being seen by my followers, since I wasn't getting enough shares, comments, and likes. It caused me to immediately change my strategy on my Pinterest, when I realized that my educational brand could support pages about my other interests, like cooking, travel, design, etc. It caused me to start a new Twitter account, which I am actually enjoying now. 

I would definitely recommend this book to those, like me, who are learning how to run a small business through Teachers pay Teachers. 

5 Tips from the many I learned from the book:

1. Focus on getting your posts liked, shared, and commented on on Facebook.
2. Share a lot of ideas and freebies on social media for every time you post a link to a product or tout a sale.
3. Engage others in a meaningful way on social media, showing your expertise in your field.
4. Don't be afraid of new realms of social media. If only teenagers like it now, it may well be the next big thing! Wading into Tumblr, Vine, etc. can only help your brand in the long run.
5. Always caption your Pins with something great, and develop a big variety of boards on Pinterest so you bring in a wider variety of people to your brand. 


  1. I feel I MUST get the book. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks for sharing your insight! I'm going to h ave to check out this book!

  3. I hope you guys like it! I really did find it super helpful. His style is pretty amusing, too.