Some Wonderful Social Media and Life Insight I Learned From #AskGaryVee

Gary Vaynerchuk, better known as Gary Vee, is truly an interesting and inspiring entrepreneur who has made a name for himself as a true genius and marketing guru. In UF’s Social Media Management class, we have had the opportunity to hear from a variety of guest speakers who are extremely knowledgeable when it comes to social media communication. In my opinion, however, none are as unconventional as Gary Vee. As his book #AskGaryVee states, “Gary had the foresight to go beyond traditional methods and use social media tools such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube to build a millions-strong fan base that continues to grow.” His book has certainly provided me with much insight into the new business world of social communications, and I surely feel I can learn from his own personal stories and lessons and apply his knowledge to my life as I move forward in my career.

At the start of the book, Gary begins talking about the fact he started one of the world’s first business Q&A video blogs. He mentions how lots of what he is asked has to do with launching start-ups and building personal brands as well as public speaking and the ins and outs of mixing family and business, referring to the role he played in growing his family’s wine business. One quote stood out to me in this introduction, in which Gary said, “I’ve been stunned at people’s appetite for this content, especially the Millennials” (Vaynerchuk XV). I, myself, am considered a millennial. It was interesting to read how he is increasingly reaching a young audience because as a millennial, I am definitely interested in learning about these topics. As a public relations student, I think it is of the utmost importance to gain knowledge about building your own personal brand. As I have learned in school, it is essential to be able to effectively market yourself and ultimately know how to stand out amongst others. In addition, I aim to one day start my own business, so hearing from someone who has already accomplished and achieved this is extremely useful.

Chapter 7 of #AskGaryVee is entitled “Content and Context.” This chapter starts off by explaining how despite the ever-changing social media platforms and distribution channels, the idea of good storytelling has stayed the same. “The quality of a brand’s storytelling is directly proportional to the quality of its content” (Vaynerchuk, 97). Furthermore, he explains what constitutes quality content in today’s day and age. He breaks it down into four aspects: it appeals to the heart, it’s shareable, it’s native to the platform on which it appears, and it breaks through the noise. I found this to be incredibly useful. In my own personal experience, I have always wondered what exactly defines good content. Even more, what can I post to my own social channels that will engage my audience? What types of content will make my readers want to interact and share this? Gary easily breaks it down, and I really took a lot of what he said and was able to incorporate his advice into my own social world. Now, when I am posting to my professional platforms such as Twitter and my personal brand Facebook page, I constantly ask myself, is this posted content going to be liked by others, will it be shared or retweeted, and will it appeal to my audience?

Chapter 9, “The Platforms,” was another chapter that stood out to me. Today, there are a multitude of social media platforms that are accessible to everyone, and that list continues to grow. Each social platform is different, with each presenting their own benefits while still posing their individual challenges. I have always wondered, though, what social platforms are best for specific things. It is clear that Facebook is the number one platform. As stated in the reading, video content is exploding, and it has already become a rival for YouTube as a monetized video platform. It seems to Gary that Facebook will continue to dominate the social world. With everything I have seen Facebook do in the last couple of years, I certainly agree with him. On the other hand, Twitter, a once very popular social platform is slowly becoming less utilized among many. Changes to Twitter are making it hard to follow conversations. Also, Gary believes that both Tumblr and Google+ are two platforms that are the most vulnerable and therefore could go extinct by the year 2020. Instagram and Snapchat continue to evolve and will be around in the future.

Lastly, Chapter 14 entitled “Leadership” talks all about Gary’s biggest lessons he has learned. When asked what were the biggest lessons his father taught him in relation to running a business, he answered with commitment. When you commit to something, you stick to it. I think that is a great lesson and is something that I can apply to my life, both personally and professionally. Additionally, he was asked about mentors and others who he has looked up to over the years. It made me stop and think abut my own mentors and people who have helped guide me in my life. I enjoyed reading that part about how it is important to constantly stay motivated and to always surround yourself with people who motivate and lift you up. He also talked about how making mistakes can sometimes be a good thing because it allows you to improve upon things and get stronger.

I am glad that #AskGaryVee was a reading in my course. I certainly learned many lessons from him and many of them are applicable in the real world. I found #AskGaryVee to be inspirational in his messaging, and I am definitely happy that I had the opportunity to read such an insightful and encouraging personal story. It is always nice to hear from someone who has achieved something great because it goes to show that with hard work and perseverance, you are able to accomplish big things.