You know who Gary Vaynerchuk is, right? He’s the Wine Library TV guy. He’s an entrepreneur, has written books, and founded a media company.
He’s also pretty big into social media. He tends to jump on the newest social media trend, and turn it into a lesson on how to do social media right.
I’ve been thinking about his “social media experience” in the last year or so. Here’s what I see him do with a new trend: he’ll jump on it (Snapchat and Instagram Stories are big for him lately). Then he’ll announce he’s there on his other social media channels, a ton of people will immediately follow him … and he starts getting a lot of engagement on the new social media channel.
And, I’d guess, he gets business done there, too.
Nothing wrong with that! But he sometimes translates his unique experience into a “you should do this too” scenario. For example, in a Huffington Post article, he said: “And the one simple takeaway is this: if you’re running a business in 2016, you need to be thinking about Snapchat as a channel to grow your customer base. Period.”
I’ll disagree with that quote. I think his experience using Snapchat (or any other new social media tool) is a unique one that has more similarities to what a celebrity experiences than what a business or organization might experience.
What’s the difference? Gary has a large, loyal “tribe” that will readily follow him to the new social media channel. They love his content, they like watching what he does next, so they follow. Gary gets instant followers/feedback/engagement, and then thinks that “this new social media tool is HOT.” So he ends up sharing quotes like the one above.
OK – not completely fair, I know. I’ve never met Gary, but I’d guess he would add a “your mileage may vary” to that quote. For example, should Hospice be on Snapchat? Maybe not.
So – just a reminder. Definitely read what people like Gary think. Read what I think. But then do two other things:
- Try out the new tool – get familiar with it on a personal level.
- After you’re familiar with the new tool, see if it fits within your organization’s strategic plans or short-term goals.
Sometimes, yes – it is definitely what you need to be doing. And sometimes, it’s a great idea … but not where you need to focus at the moment.
And that’s ok!
Image by Adam Tinworth
Scott Monty says
Yes! Thank you. We need more thinking, rather than lemming-like behaviors.
Thanks, Scott! I agree. Take what you hear or read, think about it, and apply it (or not) to your local situation.
This is very true and you make good points. I wrote an article about being original where you can listen to what others like Garyvee says, graft what you can to yourself and always be original.
Ian Cleary says
Hi David, super valid point. People follow celebrities where ever they are and Gary is a celebrity.
Thanks, Ian! He definitely is. Super smart guy, and also a celebrity.
Rick Lawson says
HUSTLE!!!!! (Enjoy my spot-on Gary Vee spoof pic!) EXCELLENT post and definitely SHARED!
Michael Schofield says
Yeah I agree with your take and the other folks below. I am trying to build-up the brand for my own thing and I tend to tough-out different techniques and social media for about a month and then look hard and head-scratchingly at the stats. For me and I think probably for more libraries, available *time* is key to being everywhere when you can’t automate it. Mostly, we can automate it (e.g., buffer), but Snapchat you can’t – nor can you syndicate it easily without having to download your story and then uploading it somewhere else. So, you have to be able to justify that time. I can’t.
Very true – Snapchat is very hands-on for pretty much all aspects. Not a deal breaker, but it is if you’re short on time, or a one-person shop, etc. Available time and audience you want to reach … there’s gotta be a formula there somewhere 🙂
Tom Osman says
Do agree with some of your points but re Snapchat you could think deeper about the value it brings to different businesses.
Sure it brings more value to someone with a large following who engages across all platforms blah blah blah but I’d even make an argument for a Hospice or Care Provider using Snapchat.
Let’s call a Hospice a business. A business needs customers and they are in competition with other businesses. If we are thinking the age group who are able to influence the decision of the individual going into care how would you get their attention.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could get an insight into the day to life in a care home/hospice before putting a loved one there? Anywhere can make pre fabricated pics look glossy! What do you guys think?
I think you miss the reality of Gary, and simplify it. The reality is he built his following, I watched. He gets on a platform and sticks instead of trying it once and declaring it dead. His business is with fortune 500 companies not mom and pops. He knows his target audience, unlike most who change theirs by the week. He actually engages with his audience, unlike those who post a link and then say nothing. I have met Gary, and the thing I remember about him was that he greeted me by name with all the followers he has, he remembered my name. That’s a win. Also, he works hard, none of that four hour work week stuff for him. In this culture of laziness, that’s another win.
Thanks for the comment! Not disagreeing with you. I watched a video of him talking to his team a couple days ago where he said if he walked away from his company today, went across the street to a co-working space, and started a new business, he’d put his current company out of business pretty fast.
That’s partly because of the good work he does, but mostly because of who he is – his popularity/name recognition. He definitely has a willing tribe!
Hey – thanks for the comment! Well, with this example, you’d be attracting people ages 45-55 or so (people with old parents). So you’d most likely use Facebook rather than Snapchat. But – point taken!
Well, if you’ve (or the target group of your article) watched Gary enough, then you wouldn’t do this out of context quotes.
That’s like saying “Oh, Drake raps this or that, please don’t take his words for granted, because you might step on the wrong road in life.”
But the biggest difference between those is pretty obvious, age of the audience. So I think that everybody in business can understand that listening to one “smart celebrity” guy and immediately go and try to make money out of it won’t work.
Gary always repeats “Do you, not me.” This is the #1 thing each and everybody can take from him, the stuff about social media is just tactics which obviously can’t be applied to every business out there.
Good point – thanks for sharing it!
Yep…. And almost anyone can #EngageDirectMeasure with #Call2ACTIONSymbols