This past month I read Gary Vaynerchuk's Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, which addresses the complexities of using social media to promote your business. I am so glad that a friend recommended it to me... I think I have told almost every person I have met to read it!
Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook is not about fighting or boxing, but about how to properly reach your intended customers through the proper use of social media.
For a small business owner, using social media can be overwhelming. There are so many platforms. How do I know which one will work, and how do I use the social media properly? You certainly don't want to appear incompetent and risk making the wrong impression and losing potential clients. Sometimes, we think, it is better do nothing than to do something incorrectly?
While I agree with being safe over being sorry, we can't be too safe because our competition doesn't care how fearful we are of making mistakes.
The good news is that most businesses have not yet figured out how to properly use social media either. If you are quickly able to figure it out, you have so much more of an advantage.
The main point of the book is that you can't constantly be selling (right hooks) to your customer. You need to engage with your audience (jab) and when the time is right, ask for the sale. There are more jabs than right hooks in the title which shows how much more of an investment building relationships with your customer is. One can't simply be asking all the time "please customer, may I have some more?"
What I Learned
Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook is straightforward and is full of examples of what to do and what not to do for each of the social media platforms reviewed. I found that most of the social media platforms out there are not relevant for my business, which takes a lot of the pressure off on wondering if I am missing out. There may be a time that I need to get more involved in Pinterest, Tumblr or Instagram...but just not right now.
The reality is many of my potential clients' companies do not even have websites yet, so time spent on these sites would be a wasted effort. Some of them are beginning to use LinkedIn, some are on Twitter and many are using Facebook. Maybe not as business owners, but as regular people. And this is where I need to find a way to connect the jabs, so eventually they will be ready for the right hooks.
The chapter on Facebook was the most enlightening. I could never understand why such a small percentage of the people who were fans of my page were actually seeing my posts (around 15 - 20%). Gary's explanation of Facebook's algorithms was very helpful.
As an experiment, I thought I would use Gary's suggestion of using a popular hashtag or viral videoes to improve the overall viewing of my posts and joining in on a conversation. Doing this once, I saw an increase to 68% views with more engagements (shares, likes, comments).
I also recently celebrated 1 year in business and posted a #ThrowBackThursday picture of the ribbon cutting ceremony. This post was one of the best performing posts I have had all year. It has the second most views (higher than the number of likes my fan page has) and by far the most number of engagements.
Neither of these posts were asking potential clients or fans to buy anything from me. I was simply trying to engage them – and it worked. I did not pay to boost either of these posts, although I am sure that the time will be coming shortly that I will do this as well.
I don't think I could stress enough how important this book is for any small business owner. If you want to get ahead of your competition, social media is a great tool. This book will help you understand which tool is best for your business, and how to use the tool in the most effective way.