New York—“I love social media because it sells stuff; otherwise, it really doesn't matter in the context of business,” said marketing consultant and social evangelist Gary Vaynerchuk, kicking off BtoB's Digital Edge Live NYC, a daylong conference on digital marketing held Wednesday.
Vaynerchuk, delivering the morning keynote address, stressed that social selling often falls prey to two phenomena: the increasing difficulty of gaining attention in the social sphere, coupled with the persistent practice of overselling in what should be a subtle, conversational medium.
“We're living in the noisiest world ever,” he said. “If we don't apply today's massive cultural shifts to our businesses, we won't gain the attention of our customers to tell them our story and communicate our value proposition about why they should buy our stuff.”
Vaynerchuk stressed the need to “give, give, give—then ask” on social media as a means of gaining that attention. The theme is taken from his latest book, “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World” (HarperBusiness, 2013).
According to Vaynerchuk's boxing analogy, social self-promoters are constantly asking for business first—throwing right hooks—instead of listening to the social conversation and focusing on adding value to it.
“When people know a right hook is coming, they duck—which is what customers are doing,” he said. “Marketers are not doing enough jabbing and counterpunching, bringing value to their social interactions. So counterpunch, and respect the context of where you're trying to tell your story.”