Stop Doing These 3 Things on Social Media, says Gary Vaynerchuk


Want to get attention for your brand? Here’s the most important thing you need to understand, according to Gary Vaynerchuk:

“Actualized attention versus potential attention,” he says.

Vaynerchuk is in the business of attention. His company, VaynerMedia, works with the largest brands in the world, helping them gain attention through advertising and social media campaigns. And of course, he’s built an enormous following himself.

Here’s the big problem he sees: Most brands chase potential attention — spending tons of money on advertising, even though most people ignore the ads. That’s why Vaynerchuk says brands should focus on actualized attention, to engage people who are actually engaged.

How to do that? Vaynerchuk’s new book, Day Trading Attention, breaks down a strategic process of getting attention. He shared that strategy on my podcast, which you can listen to here.

Below, we break down six social media trends we discussed on the show — three that Vaynerchuk says you should do, and three you must stop right now.

6 Social Strategies to Stop and Start

STOP: Pouring your heart out on LinkedIn

A company lays people off. Then its CEO posts a weepy video on LinkedIn, explaining how hard the decision was.

Versions of this story have played out many times on LinkedIn, as executives seek to humanize the difficult decisions they’ve made. Sometimes it’s an action they took, like a layoff. Other times it’s a mea culpa for a mistake.

Stop it, Vaynerchuk says. The performative emotion will always come off as disingenuous. “You’re not tricking anyone,” he says.

Instead, he suggests that CEOs be brutally honest about the unpopular decisions they make. Just be upfront and say something like, “I had to fire these people because I want to hit a certain profit margin,” he says. It may sound cold, but it’s at least the truth.

START: Dancing on social media, even if you’re the boss.

TikTok is full of dancing, so should company leaders join in? Many have, and many have been mocked for it — like when Microsoft’s then-CEO Steve BALLMER DID IT.

But Vaynerchuk sees nothing wrong here. Have fun and let the haters hate.

“Dancing is always the right decision, even if you suck at it,” he says.

STOP: Doing giveaway campaigns to drive audience growth.

How do you build your social media or newsletter following? Many people run a giveaway — saying, essentially, “If you follow my page, you’ll have a chance to win this MacBook!”

“This is a tricky one,” Vaynerchuk. “Perception is reality, so I get why people want more followers because it makes them feel like the brand is stronger.”

But even though a free MacBook might lure in a lot of new followers, Vaynerchuk says you shouldn’t do it — because those followers don’t care about you, and almost certainly won’t stick around.

“The kind of user you get that came for like a free Tesla isn’t staying for you anyway. So there’s, the lifetime value of that user is very low,” he says.

START: Using AI chatbots

Yes, AI chatbots are everywhere. Yes, they’re very imperfect. But according to Vaynerchuk, they’re still worth the effort — if not for their value today, then at least in building towards value tomorrow.

“AI is oxygen, it is the internet, it is one of the most profound technologies,” he says. “You’ve gotta start getting used to it, because it’s going to eat up most of the rest of your life.”

START: Posting longform content on social

Did you know you can post 10-minute videos to TikTok? Most people don’t — but Vaynerchuk thinks they should.

“Go with anything long-form,” he says.

First of all, it can help you cut through the noise — sharing deep and thoughtful content in a sea of quick hits.

But more importantly, social media success isn’t about length, he says. It’s about quality. If you create something excellent and compelling, the length doesn’t matter.

Twitter threads are another great example. (“I’m always going to call it Twitter,” Vaynerchuk says.) “Some of the best stuff I’ve ever consumed was a 40-tweet rant from someone who really knows something about something and we’re able to articulate it in written form. Though, obviously a lot of people stink at it.”

There’s also a long-term reason to post long-form content, Vaynerchuk says: He believes it’s where social media is going next. “My prediction is that one of the major social networks will become one of the most important streaming services in the next decade,” he says. “The attention’s there. Why wouldn’t they?”

STOP: Having lousy workplaces

Is this a social media thing? Yes, Vaynerchuk says — because great offices are showcased on social media, and facility tours make for great content.

But, a word of caution: Don’t be cliché. A foosball table in the corner won’t cut it.

“There’s plenty of great businesses doing the right thing,” he says. “Something unique or clever will capture a lot of people’s attention.”

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