Over the past decade, Gary Vaynerchuk has risen to prominence as perhaps the world’s most famous social media expert. With over 4 million Facebook followers, he is reputed to be worth $160 million, and as the CEO of Vaynermedia his client list includes Pepsico, Budweiser, and 20th Century Fox.
But what is it about his marketing tactics and techniques that make him so well-regarded?
We took a deep dive into his social media posts to find out.
Around 80% of his Facebook and Instagram content is video. This is a clever move for two reasons – videos are known to have some of the highest average click through rates on social media, and in 2019 it was announced that the Facebook algorithm will prioritise original video content.
Gary also ensures that all his videos have subtitles…
Why is this important?
By using subtitles, the audience is aware of the video topic even if they are browsing through their feed with the sound down. This increases the likelihood of people clicking on the video.
Also, 1 in 8 people in the United States has some hearing loss in both ears. This equates to millions of people who may prefer to watch videos with subtitles!
Platform Specific Content
While many companies churn out the same content simultaneously to all their media channels, Gary Vee does things differently. Much of his content is platform specific.
With the realisation that each platform has different demographics, he mostly formulates content tailored to each audience. Even on the occasions when he does share the same content, it tends to be days apart – definitely not an automated bulk send!
Things like copy length, and use of images vary by the platform.
On LinkedIn, he often uses text only posts – the reliance on videos is much less. Again, this is a savvy move based on evidence. Past studies have shown that text only posts achieve higher audience engagement on LinkedIn.
As discussed earlier, much of Gary’s Facebook and Instagram posts are video based, but another tactic is to create his own image quotes (again a highly shareable type of content).
His Twitter posts tend to be less predictable – a wide variation of text only, image posts, website links and videos. It seems to be the channel where he experiments the most.
On many of his social media posts he explicitly asks the audience to perform an action that will help to boost the popularity of the post. In the example above it’s “Drop a like or ❤️”, but he also asks people to “share” or “tag” others on his posts.
If you are not regularly using call to action’s on your social media content like Gary Vee then you should be – Twitter found that retweets and follows increased significantly when a relevant CTA was included on a tweet.
Occasional Product Promotion
Social media consultants usually advise that around 80% of your social media posts should be designed to educate and entertain your audience, while 20% should directly promote your business. In the world of Gary Vaynerchuk, direct product promotion happens much less than 20%.
Most of his content is focused on advice and inspiring other entrepreneurs, while less than 10% directly plugs a product or service he is offering. However, when he does ask people to buy from him, he makes it clear what he wants from his followers.
When it comes to posting frequency, Gary Vee turns the social media rulebook on its head. Forget posting 1 or 2 times a day to your favourite platform, Gary consistently exceeds this number:
- Twitter: 5-10 posts daily
- LinkedIn: 1-5 posts per day
- Facebook: Up to 10 posts daily
- Instagram: 3 or 4 posts a day
How can you copy this strategy without spending hours on content creation?
Share your thoughts and activities as they arise. In Gary’s own words – “Document. Don’t create.”
Cross Platform Sharing
A major part of Gary’s social media strategy is to share content from one platform to another in order to create a social loop of followers. He regularly screenshots his Twitter posts and shares them on Instagram or Facebook. Likewise he will share his Instagram posts to Twitter.
This creates an awareness of his alternative social media channels and subtly encourages his followers on one platform to check out content on another.
Social media is also likely to be an important source of traffic for his podcast – when a new episode drops he will always share the link on Twitter, and upload a video clip to Facebook and Instagram.
Social media in combination with a personal touch can take post engagement and relationship building to the next level. It creates an authenticity which shows your audience that you value them.
In this example from LinkedIn, Gary builds trust by involving himself in the responses to his post and then offering his personal email address.
On Twitter he takes things a step further by asking his followers to text him.
This is quite unusual behaviour for the chairman of a multi-million dollar company, yet this approach proves why he remains head and shoulders above his social media competitors.
Another technique Gary uses is to incorporate popular memes into his social posts.
The whole idea behind memes is that they are created to be shared and have the ability to evoke emotion and humour. Adding your own image and message onto the meme is a great idea – when people share the meme with friends they spread your message and act as brand advocates.
Using memes also makes your brand or business seem more human, relatable, and aware of the latest trends.
If you want to follow Gary Vaynerchuck’s social media strategy, your business should concentrate on the following tactics:
- Use platform specific content
- Focus on video for Facebook and Instagram
- Increase posting frequency
- Utilise cross platform sharing to create a social loop
- Interact consistently with your audience
- Personalise your responses
- Use explicit CTA’s
- Adapt and share popular memes
- Post promotional product posts less than 10% of the time
Above all, focus on providing useful advice, entertaining content, and adding value for your followers.
Or, in the words of the man himself…