If content is king, context is God, said Gary Vaynerchuk yesterday at a talk on social media. If you have never seen him, make sure you do – in person or on video. I first saw him at Social Media Week last year and caught him at NYXPO yesterday. He grew his family’s wine business from $4 million to $60 million annually using social media, started his own branding consultancy, and he is generous with sharing how he did it with in-your-face advice. Here are the highlights:
Trends to Watch
He asked the audience “Who used to say ‘I will NEVER have a Facebook page. Why would I want to share my information with people? That’s dumb! I don’t need to do that’?” “Truthfully now,” he admonished. Tons of raised hands. “OK, now who said that and now HAS a Facebook page?” Lots.
“Who said they would never get a cell phone because ‘I don’t want people to be able to reach me 24/7, why would I want that?!!’” Tons of hands. “OK, now who said that and doesn’t have a cell phone with them right now?” Only one brave hand.
Context is Key
“Most people use Twitter like a 19-yr-old dude – do not try to close too early,” he said. He described how he built his business: He would search Twitter 15 hours a day for keywords, such as “Merlot” and “Pinot Grigio” (and says he still does). If he found someone asking “What Merlot should I have for this dinner?” he would suggest something, give free advice, but NOT SELL. Then if someone wanted to buy, they’d know he was an expert, he’d have a relationship with them, and they would end up buying from him.
“People say that ‘content is king,’” he said. “If content is king, context is God.” Social media gives you the context – you have built yourself up as an expert and made relationships with people.
Out-Care the Competition
“You can defeat much bigger businesses by out-caring them,” said Vaynerchuk. “Amazon bought Zappos out of fear, they were winning a war not based on price.” He said customer service is what can differentiate you, and he’s written a new book about it called The Thank You Economy. He advised a woman who wanted to start a lingerie company to write hand-written thank you notes after each order. “Wouldn’t you delight your customer if you drove to their house to give them a hug? That’s the kind of sh** you need to do!” he said.
- The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk (laughingsquid.com)
- Gary Vaynerchuk gives personal brand top billing (theglobeandmail.com)