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How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World (Book Review)

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Last week I was at Dreamforce. The message of the week was continued grand unification of the internet. No longer just “The Internet of Things”, we are now “The Internet of Customers”. Social interactions on the internet are now ubiquitous. This cannot be ignored, but instead must be harnessed. With all the change, there’s also a lot of noise. A lot of organizations are trying to figure things out and consequently diluting the good content.

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook Book Cover

The timing for reading Gary Vaynerchuk’s latest book, “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook” could not be better. Its tagline: “How to tell your story in a noisy social world” is exactly the question I’ve been asking myself lately. How can we make the content we’re posting into a story that interests and captivates our audience?

Gary took the metaphor of boxing, and aptly applied it to the way marketers and customers “dance” with each other. The book’s thesis revolves around correct placement of “Jabs” and “Hooks”. A Jab is defined as storytelling, sharing, or helping someone. A series of Jabs builds up social capital and trust, at which time, a “Hook” can be placed. The “Hook” is the ask. If every post is an ask, without providing value to your audience, they will quickly see you as irrelevant. But by sharing the right content with the right timing of jabs and hooks, you build a trusted audience who is willing to consider your asks.

To fill out the thesis of Jabs and Hooks, Gary then reviews the top 5 social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr). Not only does he share insight as for what type of content is successful on each network, but then provides examples of real-world posts. Gary Critiques each one, lending his opinions on why a post is successful or not, and tips for improvement. Each chapter concludes with a series of questions that you should ask about any post before sharing. These questions posted give readers immediate, actionable methods to improve their content. If you read this book, and improve one post, once, you’ve probably got the cover price value back already.

If I had any criticism of the book, it’s that it does read a little bit like a monologue. Gary’s style has always been very intense, in your face, and to the point. Although I was a bit surprised that there were no “f-bombs” until page 187, in a chapter appropriately called “Knockout”. Maybe Gary’s getting a little soft. :).

Regardless if you’re a fan of the style or not, there’s too much good information in here to ignore. If you are a fan of Gary Vaynerchuk – you’ll love this. If you don’t agree with Gary, you should still read the book, something will surely resonate. If not, tell him yourself and assuredly you’ll get a passionate response.

Who should read this book? Honestly, everyone. Every company is now a media company whether they like it or not. If you’re an employee, employer, social manager, or even a consumer, there’s something in here for you. Knowing more about the social internet can give anyone an advantage in their respective role. A word of advice though – “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook” is tailored to today’s internet. If you’re going to read it, read it now. Don’t wait until 2015. It’s based on current state of today’s technology, which changes rapidly. Get it while the content is fresh and wholly relevant.

Gary Vaynerchuk is my favorite type of contrarian. He is always pushing the envelope and inspiring his audience to do more, faster, and be bold. This book does a great job of channeling that. It not only helps us understand current challenges, but it also offers practical advice on what to do about it. The beautifully printed book is a quick read packed with tons of great information.

Finally, it’s authentic. Gary is truly living the content of this book. Follow some of his feeds. He is actively sending jabs and hooks right now to get people buying. His meteoric rise and success are due wholly to him consistently executing social strategy over the past 5 years. There’s no reason why you can’t do the same, and many of his plays are outlined in “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook!”

The book is currently available on here for under $20:

Disclaimer – I did not receive any monetary compensation for writing this review, although I did receive a complimentary copy of the book for evaluation purposes.


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