Over the holidays, I had a chance to dig in to Gary Vaynerchuk's latest book titled Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How To Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World, or #JJJRH as the Twittersphere has so brilliantly named it. The book is about social media, the obvious ways businesses misuse various platforms, and eventually, how businesses should properly use social media as a marketing tool. The book is a fast read and I encourage anyone and everyone to pick this book up! As a business owner or a marketer, it will help you use the platforms more effectively.

The book's title grabs you right from the beginning, Gary starts the book off with an immediate connection to boxing, calling the sport a brilliant picture of the business world. Like boxing, business takes strategy, preparation, patience, and most importantly, a distinct understanding of your opponent, or in our case, the customer. Jabs in business come in the form of anything a business gives their customers without a "call to action." Jabs don't try and sell anything, or obviously market a product. Jabs give value to customers without expecting anything in return. Ultimately, jabs set up the knock out punch, the "right hook".

Gary drives home a couple of focus points that I thought were absolute gold, but perhaps the most important thought in the entire book came with Gary's explanation of native content. Basically, each social media platform has a specific way its content is best presented. Some social media outlets are text-driven, others support photos and videos, the list goes on. For instance, Instagram is all about the the visual, while Twitter focuses more on news and quick snippets of information. Anyone using these platforms and reading this is probably thinking, "duuuhh.." And honestly, I thought the same until #JJJRH showed me how many businesses clutter these platforms with content that doesn't belong. The marketer who develops the ability to speak fluently on their chosen social media platform, will be the most successful.

Understanding all of this, I took some time to pick out a couple of practical ways you can improve the effectiveness of your social media campaign.

For Facebook, when possible make sure to use a photograph, and make sure to put a logo on the image so that people can quickly tell who is posting. You always want the photo to be high-quality, if it all possible use a professional photographer. Use the barter system to get a professional photographer involved if you have to. But... If you have to make a choice between stock photography and a photo that is lesser quality, opt for the lesser quality photo. Stock photography should never be used. Visually attractive posts are important. Make sure your posts are worth looking at, then they will be worth reading. Speaking of reading, take the time to ensure that your text is not too long when posting to Facebook and also that it's entertaining. Facebook isn't a blog. Keep your content short and simple.

Twitter is a bit different. Gary has some suggestions that can help transform your ideas into effective tweets. Gary refers to Twitter as the cocktail party of the Internet, a place where listening well has tremendous benefits. So Listen! Understand your customers and respond to what is relevant to them. We all remember how quickly Oreo's team responded to the blackout during the Super Bowl. They received enormous coverage all because they were listening and responded almost instantly. If you want to succeed on Twitter you have to be relevant to your audience. When posting, also understand that Twitter's nature is incredibly fast-paced. Your posts should reflect this in every way. Even your calls-to-action should be quick and simple. In the end you should really just ask yourself one question "is this post interesting and engaging" if it's not then why post?

Here's another tip from Gary, unlink your accounts. When sharing a Facebook post, take the time to craft it specifically for Facebook, the same for Instagram and Twitter. Nothing is more sloppy than posting a link to Instagram that you can't click, or posting a username of a mention in Facebook that was a by-product of a tweet. Effective native content starts with native content! It has to be crafted for each unique platform.

From the reviews and posts I read, I think the book has created more fans for Gary V. than educated social media marketers, but that's definitely no fault of the book's content which is outstanding by the way. All in all, the book is a must-read for anyone in business trying to make sense of social media marketing.

I'd love to talk more and hear your thoughts on #JJJRH. Comment below, email me, or shout at me via Twitter.