Do you use storytelling in your business?

Are you wondering how to use stories in your social strategy?

To learn how you can use stories to sell, I interview Gary Vaynerchuk for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast.

More About This Show

Social Media Marketing Podcast w/ Michael Stelzner

The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner.

It’s designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing.

The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting).

In this episode, I interview Gary Vaynerchuk, author of Crush It! and The Thank You Economy. He’s also the CEO of VaynerMedia. His newest book is Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy World.

Gary shares why storytelling is important for your business.

You’ll learn how to discover deeper data and why analytics are an essential part of your social strategy.

Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below!

Listen Now

You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, Stitcher or Blackberry.

Here are some of the things you’ll discover in this show:

Story as Strategy

The story behind Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook

Gary explains how he had an epiphany that he might have let people down by over-indexing the act of giving in The Thank You Economy. Although he knew his readers would understand that to give is great, they wouldn’t necessarily understand that at some stage you have to ask.

The book title, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, stands for Give, Give, Give, Ask. You have to remember to give value, which eventually leads to putting out a good call to action, which leads to business. Gary says that even some of the best social media people don’t know how to ask for business.

jab jab jab right hook

Gary's new book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy World.

The idea behind the book was for it to be a utility for people. It looks at individual pieces of content as case studies.

You’ll hear why Gary wanted to write a how-to book and why the title is a boxing metaphor.

Listen to the show to find out why Gary looks at social media as a science.

What boxing teaches us about social media marketing

Gary explains that it’s the crossroads of the analytics and being creative to create business results.

He feels like a lot of social media experts don’t put enough effort into analyzing data. Gary didn’t put in the effort either until he started VaynerMedia. Now he has seven full-time analysts. This has given him a much deeper insight into the black-and-white of it all.

vayner media on facebook

VaynerMedia on Facebook.

There are also people who think it’s all algorithmic. They underestimate the value of the human touch and creative, which is the art. Analysis is the science. It’s the crossroads of the two.

Most social media marketers don’t look deep into their analytics because of time or capacity. Most are consumed by speaking, consulting and selling content. Gary feels that it’s time and money that hold most people back. This is why he wanted to share his ideas.

Gary recommends that you use Facebook analytics to test for deeper data. It’s a great tool that has a ton of uses.

You need to think about and test what you put on your Facebook page and Twitter.

Listen to the show to find out why Gary likes to isolate himself into ‘doing’ versus ‘consuming.’

Common traps marketers fall into when it comes to social media

Gary advises that you need to be careful and be able to back up what you say.

He believes that he gets away with a lot of stuff because of the huge success he has had with Wine Library TV. Plus VaynerMedia is an eight-figure business already, where the number of employees has grown from 25 to 300.

wine library tv

Gary has had huge success with Wine Library TV.

You’ll find out why self-awareness is important and what else you need to consider when you want to help people.

Listen to the show to find out why execution matters.

Why storytelling is important

Gary says that storytelling matters because stories are powerful and everlasting and they are what turn a commodity into a business. He believes that a story matters more than anything else.

It’s brand equity. It’s why we buy name-brand products. It’s why fashion works. It’s what cool is about. It’s our sense of place in the world.

The best way to do it is contextually. His book includes 86 case studies that show individual pieces of content that are good and bad. Gary’s biggest goal for the new book is for it to be on everyone’s desk as a reference for when they want to put content out there.

You’ll hear why Gary always starts his talks with his own personal story and why YouTube and Twitter were the two platforms that became important to him.

A recent New York Times article talks about how Gary and his team at VaynerMedia helped Nilla Wafers exponentially grow their business results with content only on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

new york times riding the hashtag

The New York Times recently featured Gary and his team at VaynerMedia.

You’ll learn about what type of content works best for each platform and the importance of having respect for the context of the platform you tell your story on.

Listen to the show to find out what you need to ask yourself to turn a boring product into an interesting one.

What is micro-content? 

When it comes to storytelling, Gary explains that “micro” means fast. When you think about how quickly content is consumed on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram from a mobile device, then you need to put content out there that can capture attention in about 1/100th of a second.

It has to be lightweight and can include memes, animated GIFs and Vines.

You’ll learn about the different types of stories you can tell and why it’s important to talk about your value proposition.

In Gary’s book, he talks about the formula, micro-content + community management = effective social media marketing. When it comes to the community management component, Gary says it’s the proudest aspect of who he is in the social media space. He says that 90% of his tweets are @replies. You don’t just throw your content out there, you have to engage.

gary vaynerchuk twitter

You have to engage with your audience.

You’ll discover why Gary chooses engagement over consumption and entertainment.

Listen to the show to find out why Gary believes that Twitter is the one true social network.

How to use a story effectively to drive conversions and sales

Gary says it’s important to engage, engage, engage and create context, so when you ask someone to buy from you, they feel like they owe you something.

Listen to the show to find out why it’s important to continue to deliver.

The importance of effort

You have to put in the effort and the time. A lot of people know what to do, but don’t follow through and actually implement. Gary believes there are a lot of thought leaders who put out blueprint without doing what they are teaching.

It’s part of the opportunity for these leaders to separate themselves from the pack.

Listen to the show to find out why Gary’s latest book is still gaining momentum in presales.

This Week’s Social Media Question

Doug, who is starting a social media strategy company helping small businesses in the Orlando, Florida area, asks, “What is the most effective way to manage usernames, passwords and logins for my clients?”

The good news for the most part is that there’s no need for your clients to give away their passwords to all of their social media accounts for you to manage. For example, with a Facebook page, LinkedIn account or a Google+ account, it will allow you to add administrators.

However, Twitter is slightly different. You’ll need a management app such as SocialOomph or HootSuite, where within the app you can delegate control. Twitter doesn’t make it easy for multiple people to manage accounts because they have a single email address tied to every account.

With Pinterest, I don’t think they have as robust of a management strategy.

If you’re in a position where you need to share (or a client needs to share with you) an ID and password for a social network, I strongly recommend that you make sure whoever is managing your account uses a secure password management tool such as 1Password.

one password homepage

1Password is a great password storage system for managing multiple accounts for clients.

Whatever you do, don’t use your web browser to store IDs and passwords. If your laptop gets stolen, someone can pull up the web browser and essentially take over your accounts.

If you have given away your ID and password, then change them. If there are quite a few of you who share the same ID and password, then 1Password is a robust password storage system that works great across every platform.

Call in and leave your social media–related questions for us and we may include them in a future show.

Listen to the show to learn more and let us know how this works for you.

Other Show Mentions

SMMW logoSocial Media Marketing World 2014 is our physical mega-conference, which is set to return to San Diego, California on March 26, 27 and 28.

The conference is an incredible opportunity for small business owners and marketers who work for corporations. It features more than 60 sessions across four major tracks, including social tactics, social strategy, community management and content marketing.

There are a lot of big brands that will be presenting, so if you work for a brand, you can go nonstop from brand panel to brand panel. There is also plenty of non-brand stuff for those of you who are not part of a big brand.

Representatives from IBM, Whole Foods, Century 21, SAP, Citrix, Aetna, Experian, Intercontinental Hotels and Kelly Services PLUS moderators from Cisco and Price Waterhouse Coopers will be speaking or participating in the conference.

The list of brands is growing on a regular basis, so be sure to check it out.

Key takeaways mentioned in this episode:

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What do you think? What are your thoughts on social storytelling? Please leave your comments below.

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  • George Smolinski, MD

    Great podcast Michael but quick tip: Lastpass allows you to share secure logins and passwords with people without having to give them the login and password. It’s an extremely effective tool plus it pushes password changes to your sharees.

  • That’s cool! Thanks for sharing, George.

  • treb072410

    I really had a great read Michael! Definitely a great tip being shared here.. Thanks for sharing the post!…

  • 🙂

  • appreciate it

  • Thanks for stopping in Gary, appreciate your time on this interview

  • Lenzie O. Winstead

    gary is a cool cat he a hard worker in general we give him 7 stars…keep up the good work.!!!

  • Lenzie O. Winstead

    Learning: This is a lifelong, never-ending commitment …. thank Gray

  • Lenzie O. Winstead

    Thank Michael for haveing wonderful platform to learn.!!

  • I’ve watched the Wine Library before! That’s awesome. It’s a shame I didn’t know the guy was a marketing genius, too. I really like the “micro-content” idea. An immediate grapple that hooks your audience right away goes a long way for sure!

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Maggie Patterson

    Seriously loved Gary’s insights into thought leaders not walking the walk and the fact that engagement is a choice. Amen.

  • Mike, this was another great podcast. I saw Gary on a Hangout with Mary Smith, and he is so full of energy that I would have want to slow him down at times 🙂 But his words are full of knowledge, and you can tell he knows what he’s talking about.

  • Stephen

    In my opinion this podcast didn’t reveal very much. I could tel you were trying to ask questions to get the guest to give specific examples of how we can do the same thing, but he avoided any real answers. To me it was all fluff and no concrete tips and acted pompous.

  • 😉 thnx James

  • Thnx Maggie 🙂

  • Appreciate it Jose!

  • Stephen I am Soooooooo Sorry u felt that way 🙁

    Is there anything I can answer specifically?

    gary at vaynermedia com

  • Thanks much Jose!

  • Yep, I fully agree with that Maggie

  • Hey James, yep Gary has leveraged that Wine Library TV experience to build himself a huge following and a nice agency

  • Indeed it is Lenzie and so often I find myself forgetting that

  • stephen

    Mike asked you what are some tips on how to do storytelling well.
    And, to give examples of what you’ve done or done for yourself or other
    brands. But no concrete examples were given. Can you give some to us here?

  • I would say more than Nice Michael 😉 up to 300 employees 🙂

  • Gary is incredibly genius when it comes to social media and storytelling. Jab,
    Jab, Jab, Right Hook is PACKED with actionable advice for anyone looking
    to up their social game. Thank you Mike and Gary – rockstar episode!

  • Nancy Badillo

    Great post! Thank you for sharing this informative post!

  • great article. I have shared this as well 🙂

  • Hi Michael,

    Excellent! Gary Vee is the master story teller; as real a guy as there is….which is why he is so successful.

    I like to work my story into each one of my blog blogs. The key is to connect by showing your human experience. I was a fired ex-security guard who has traveled the world for 33 months and running, living the internet lifestyle.

    Other fired – or employed guards, or workers, who want to travel the world, or live the internet lifestyle vibe with this message…other people outside of my niche vibe with it too, because it is a story of victory, and if I tie it into my mistakes, and victories, online, I succeed. Which I have 😉

    Thanks guys, power share!


  • Glad you enjoyed it John

  • Thanks Nancy

  • Appreciate that Saket

  • Thanks for your feedback and sharing your story Ryan

  • Guest

    Terrible POdcast – learnt nothing apart from how much Gary rates himself! Was I the only one that cringed when he said he’d been responding to his twitter whilst being interviewed? Gary hate to break it to you but you can’t do two things at once – your interview was poor.

  • Jenny Peake

    I completely agree – unfortunately. But it doesn’t happen very often so all good!

  • Jenny Peake

    It was a disappointing podcast but hey its one of very few. Keep up the good work and thank you!!

  • Thanks for your feedback Jenny

  • Appreciate your feedback

  • jimsignorelli

    A lot of good points throughout this webcast. By his own admission, Gary is audacious. And nobody would ever accuse this guy of not having an opinion. That said, he does provide a lot of good advice based on his hard-earned success. He deserves both a congratulations as well as a thank-you for the help he provides. However, like most who discuss the application of storytelling to marketing, there’s a void that remains only partially filled.
    Storytelling is all the rage in marketing. However, what many advocates of storytelling fail to mention is that every brand, whether it’s a person, place or thing, whether it’s global, local or personal, good or bad, interesting or sad…. from the first day it comes in contact with its audience, it is telling a story. The problem, as I see it, is that many of us are straining to come up with “stories” while not realizing that we are all telling stories all of the time, either accidentally or on purpose. If I post a picture, tell a joke, or share something inspiring on Facebook, I’m telling a story….about myself, who I am, my worldviews and what I value as important.

    The best brands, like Apple, Nike, Disney, Harley Davidson and others have figured out that everything they do is part of their story plot. And their plot is supported by a consistent theme, one that is defined by some shared belief or value that resonates with audience members.

    Our brands are like story protagonists who have both the capabilities and beliefs that can overcome obstacles to achieve goals….IF we serve them up properly. “Once -upon- a -time histories stories can help communicate brand stories . But so can a picture, a word, someone’s voice quality….or even a comment reply to a webcast.

    Personally, I think there is a lot more to be said of story “thinking” than storytelling.

  • Well said Jim! Thanks for adding your thoughts here.

  • Dan

    I’m still catching up on your podcasts, Michael.
    Great episode and I liked your in-depth questions for Gary, who couldn’t have answered them better.

    Keep up the great work. I’ve already learned a ton thanks to both of you.

  • Thanks Dan

  • Carrie

    Hey there!

    Just recently saw this podcasts after not knowing that social media examiner had a podcast link! Anyways have seen about a ton of podcasts in the past couple of days, and this was by far my favorite! (not that the other havent been good, they’ve all been great). I love the concept of working hard, because that’s what has motivated me. Thanks so much again Gary , you rock and your book was awesome as well. Michael, You rock as well- and I’m onto the next podcast! Keep up the awesome work 🙂 🙂


  • Thanks so much for your kind words Carrie!