Gary Vaynerchuk’s Social Media Do’s and Don’ts

In his new book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, Gary Vaynerchuk presents dozens of examples of ways businesses have used social media to their advantage… or not. He eagerly rips the companies who blow it, with lots of helpful details about how they could do better, and lauds those who get it right. Check out these examples:

Shakespeare’s Pizza: Delicious Local Flavor

I’m happy to praise yet another small business that has made a strong commitment to putting out good micro-content and has a talented writer creating their copy, too. Pay attention—the third tweet seems like a simple response to Earth Day, but… that hashtag shows that this company gets the psyche of a Twitter user, that it understands that it’s those little moments that make consumers go “Ha!” that compel them to retweet to friends and put your brand in their feeds. The second tweet is on point, too…. Heck, it will appeal to anyone with the mentality of a 16–24-year-old—you know who you are; hit me up on Twitter.

[[{“type”:”media”,”view_mode”:”media_large”,”fid”:”17572″,”attributes”:{“alt”:””,”class”:”media-image”,”height”:”480″,”style”:”width: 300px; height: 399px;”,”typeof”:”foaf:Image”,”width”:”361″}}]]

Air Canada: Ruining a Good Idea

When Air Canada’s very first flight attendant, who worked for the airline from 1938 to 1943, died at the age of 102, Air Canada paid her tribute by posting her photograph [to its Facebook page] and a link to an interview their in-flight magazine conducted with her about six months before her death. It should’ve been a successful jab that engaged a large number of their 400,000 fans. Unfortunately, they blew it.


Here’s why:

« It’s not visually compelling.

« It’s burdened with too much text.

« It’s a link post when it should have been a picture post.

The two blocks of text surrounding [the photo] water down [its] impact. It’s too much to expect people to read all that when they’re scrolling through their mobile devices at warp speed. By uploading the photograph as a picture post instead of a link post, however, and overlaying the lines announcing Mrs. Garner Grant’s death onto the picture itself, Air Canada could have emphasized the photo and simultaneously explained why it was relevant. Next to the photo, they should have included nothing but the subhead of the interview, along with a link to the article. Like this post:

[[{“type”:”media”,”view_mode”:”media_large”,”fid”:”17574″,”attributes”:{“alt”:””,”class”:”media-image”,”height”:”480″,”style”:”width: 300px; height: 389px;”,”typeof”:”foaf:Image”,”width”:”370″}}]]

That’s micro-content right there—compact, intriguing, of-the-moment, and native to the platform…. Had Air Canada simply made a few small visual and textual adjustments, they would have had more time to honor one of their employees, and also more time to tell a compelling story about their brand.

From the book   JAB, JAB, JAB, RIGHT HOOK: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World   by Gary Vaynerchuk. Copyright © 2013 by Gary Vaynerchuk. HarperBusiness, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

Read the full feature on Gary Vaynerchuk for his four foolproof steps to making money through social media.


Jessica Krampe is the digital managing editor for A graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism, Jessica has worked for news, entertainment, business and lifestyle publications. Outside of the daily grind, she enjoys happy hours, live music and traveling.

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