Gary Vaynerchuck's Social Media Advice for Scaredy Cat Corporations

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The Influence Project

On Wednesday night Wine Library TV's Gary Vaynerchuk stopped by Fast Company headquarters for a panel discussion about online influence. In this clip he explains how he moved more bottles than uber-wine critic Robert Parker, how he took the NHL from 500 Twitter followers to 500,000, and how caring more than your competitors is the most effective weapon in building influence on the Internet.

See more of Gary Vaynerchuk at Innovation Uncensored 2011.

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  • Rachel Kaberon

    "if content is king, Context is about to become G-d." In a world where there never was certainty, those who hesitate do get buried. What has made Gary and his work so appealing is the passion that comes through, the honesty. In his sincerity, which may come off as arrogant, is a commitment that is refreshing.
    For those companies and brand wardens who are waiting for others to make the first move, or see what works, something else is more often amiss. Their fears may be associated with their inability to read clear market signals.

    Customers have always been choosing, if the choice was limited then they either sat out or may have settled for less than they wanted. With the increased number of competitors and the overwhelming array of choices now instantly available, social media has become a vital force. Consumers are always looking for signals, signs that reassure them they are making the right choice and so it is no longer the medium per se, but the voice of influence utilizing the medium that matters. The array of vehicles that enable customers to share their enthusiasm or disappointments, provide authentic signals that differentiate what's out there and worthwhile.

    What differentiates one Parker rated 95 wine from another? Gary uses his voice-- language that is readily accessible with a note of aggressiveness that has endeared him to many. He speaks very directly and shares with others his level of committment, and that perhaps is what gives him the edge over Parker and others. He lets you know if he's in or not.

    Can the Brand wardens do the same? If they believe that something is right, then I would expect that before putting something out in the marketplace they have done their due diligence, they are as committed as one can be to what their brand wants to put out in the marketplace. It's not social media they should fear, but the rest of their organization in delivering what the brand has promised. If they are doing the right thing, then social media is an easy extension of what they already know, they just need to share their enthusiasm!

  • Jinno Ordonez

    "The individual cares more about their career than the company." Gary V is a bit arrogant in his statements here, but what he doesn't realize is that he's touching on a very sensitive issue. Why is that start-ups have the ultimate advantage over huge companies like Pepsi? Because they can easily break the rules, with very little cost and have the ability to take those big risks because there's not much at stake. Large corporations on the other hand, have a reputation to consider. These individuals of large corporations are paid a lot of money to take care of that brand image, because when something goes wrong, literally hundreds and even thousands of consumers will be affected by their decision to say, drink Pepsi. Yes, social media is the next wave in marketing, but large corporations cannot move on this as fast as smaller companies. When it comes to marketing the immutable law says, "Marketing is a battle of perception, not product." Risks on big corporations are not even comparable to start-ups and small businesses. This is the biggest leverage internet marketing provides the little guys.

  • Casey Hart

    That's great. You're right. You've got to be willing to be the first sometimes...but...
    but maybe you have to listen more closely to what your client is saying. When they
    ask "who did it already", maybe they really want to know "is there any chance of this working???"
    Maybe the best way to answer is by telling the client about examples of how you've
    helped others "be the first" to do something and how it succeeded. After all,
    it's their reputation and their money you want to spend. They might just need
    some reassurance. Don't be so literal. Don't just listen and respond...listen to

  • Sheena Medina

    Casey- I think that's the point that Gary is trying to make. We all want reassurance that everything is going to work out exactly as planned. Obviously, things don't always work out the way we want them to. The point is, don't be afraid to go out and make mistakes. We learn more from failure than success and there is plenty of research out there which supports that statement. I see nothing wrong with challenging clients to embrace risk and the possibility of failure.