Digital Media

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World



At a time when more and more companies are banning their employees from accessing social media in the office, New York Times bestselling author and social media expert Gary Vaynerchuk takes the other side:

“Just because your teenage daughter and her friends are excited about a new platform does not mean that that platform is irrelevant to you or your brand… Do not put your principles above the reality of the market. Do not be a snob.”

Rather than seeing websites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr, or apps like Vine and Instagram as purely social distractions, Gary considers them a booming and vital marketing tactic. One that is constantly evolving as new technologies surface, and fresh audiences take priority.

In his latest book, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World, Gary creates an elaborate parallel between boxing and the use of social media. In boxing, the final “right hook” – the big move that defeats your opponent in the ring – is only going to work if all prior “jabs” are aligned properly. Maybe they tire out your challenger or allow you to find his weak spot. Either way, that right hook would be nothing without the jabs. Similarly, in social media you can only ask your audience to do something, like make a purchase or visit a website – and expect they will – if all previous interactions are supported. One must give, give, and give before they can successfully ask.

Gary attributes his 1,011,532 Twitter followers to the fact that he practices what he preaches. For the social media guru, this means making people chuckle with an Instagram of his senior photo, publicly praising Netflix for a strong marketing tweet, and offering insights in a convincing LinkedIn post. Only AFTER all of this can he ask for his followers to purchase his latest book, and expect them to do it.


What differentiates Gary’s method from many other social media guidebooks is that he understands how the medium has evolved. As an early adopter of many platforms (and even an investor in some) he sees how they have matured, found their niche audiences, and developed an explicit language. What might work for on the artsy, creative, and indie Tumblr platform, would not translate well to the professional and refined nature of LinkedIn. Unlike a few years ago, when social media marketing meant brands posting as many times a day as they could, Gary points out that content is still king, but the medium is queen. 

Though marketed as a How To for business professionals, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook is just as appealing for the average social media user as well. It includes business case studies, acutely analyzed in Gary’s critical and entrepreneurial understanding, but also has personal accounts. Gary knows he has amassed a great following for both himself and his clients, and he makes it clear that all readers should be able to do the same. Everyone can, and should communicate on social media with the vigor and skill of someone like Gary Vaynerchuk. It’s easier than you think, once you get the hang of it.

Through the use of analogies, examples, case studies, and explanations of important techniques – all portrayed in Gary’s infamous comical tone – what could have been a boring textbook is transformed into a can’t-put-it-down must-read book for the 21st Century.

Amy Rosenberg is the Marketing Manager for Namely, the cloud-based people management platform for high-growth companies, and the editor of The Makegood. She is an avid user of personal social media and has run social media marketing campaigns for multiple startups and The New York State Governor’s Office of Motion Picture and Television Development. Look for her posts on The Makegood.