“Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook”: Facebook

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When Seth Godin recommended Gary Vaynerchuk’s book “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook” it immediately went on my list to read.

Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary Vaynerchuk

The book is about how to get the most out of social media. It covers basic concepts to keep in mind on any social network and has 5 chapters where each chapter is focused on a social network: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr.

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For this post I am only focusing on what I learned from the chapter on Facebook. I wanted to dedicate one whole post on Facebook because I believe it is that important.

Facebook Chapter Overview

EdgeRank: this is the algorithm Facebook uses to measure every post that you or anyone makes. Every post has an ‘edge’ that is rated. The make up of the algorithm is not publicly known and supposedly Facebook is continually tweaking the algorithm, but we do know it measures engagement. Likes, comments, and shares are what you want from the posts you make. If you consistently get this engagement, Facebook makes sure more people see your posts in their feed. Going with Vaynerchuk’s boxing analogy, the right hook, when someone buys something from you, is not measured by EdgeRank. But the jabs, various conversational posts and engagements, are measured.

So what this means is that ads in the traditional sense that are written to motivate you to make a purchase are not as valuable on Facebook. But an example from the book of a boot company posting “So long, 30 Rock! Thanks for seven hilarious years!” is a valuable post because more people are likely to engage with it.

He explains how you get more reach on Facebook than any other current medium, and how marketing on Facebook is so much more cost effective than older choices like ads on televison.

Vaynerchuk addresses how the ads on the right side of the page on Facebook are becoming obsolete because of mobile and that instead we must learn to make posts that engage within the newsfeed.

Sponsored stories: you can pay to have a post ‘sponsored’ and Facebook is extremely helpful in making these effective. Facebook determines how much attention your post is likely to get and boosts it accordingly, and if it’s a post that is not likely to do well, Facebook backs off of it so you don’t waste money on a bad post.

This chapter concludes with a critique of almost 30 Facebook posts from major corporations such as Twix, Mercedes, Victoria’s Secret, and Subaru. There is a lot of great info in this section. Here is some of what I learned:

  • Post a picture instead of a link because a link results in a small thumbnail image (photo example below)
  • Use text laid out in the photo to get your message across
  • Always post your logo in a photo
  • Don’t bog a post down with too much text
  • Make sure your links work and send users to a page that is connected in some way to the post
  • Keep the wording down to earth and conversational
  • Clear out the spam from your posts, this shows users you are involved with the engagement
  • Excellent photography goes a long way

Vaynerchuk sums up the Facebook chapter with “Questions to Ask When Creating Facebook Micro-Content.” The questions are:

  • Is the text too long? Is it provocative, entertaining, or surprising?
  • Is the photo striking and high-quality?
  • Is the logo visible?
  • Have we chosen the right format for the post?
  • Is the call to action in the right place?
  • Are we asking too much of the person consuming the content?


Overall this book is really helpful and am learning many things I did not know. If you are at all interested in more details of the summary I wrote, I highly recommend reading the book.

One way I wish the chapter was different is I wish the critique section were not so focused on major corporations. I wish there were more examples from small businesses or entrepreneurs. My favorite one was Cone Palace and I feel I learned the most from that one.

One unanswered question is when posting a link, sometimes it shows up as a thumbnail:

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Whereas other times it shows up as a larger photo:

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I don’t know why this is but all I can figure is it has to do with the orientation and dimensions of the photo, or it could be Facebook’s algorithm judging the post and giving a more prominent photo to a link that is more promising(?). That is just speculation.

I disagree with his advice on posting a logo in every photo. For a major corporation this might be good advice, but from a direct response marketing standpoint, this is not an ideal strategy.

Finally I will share I was discouraged when I visited Gary Vaynerchuk’s Facebook page to discover he has a lot of the links with just a thumbnail image. This made me question just how important is the advice he is giving? Or is this just something you should do on more important posts?

Still I highly recommend “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook” and believe it is a necessary read to stay current.