Social Media success stories and case studies are important in that they give us an insight into best practices. Today we look at how Gary Vaynerchuk took his families wine business from $4 Million a year to $45 Million a year in just 3 years using social media marketing primarily through online video.
He promoted his online wine store through his online TV show winelibrary.tv. By educating people about his product, he could gain their trust and therefore their business. He promoted the show and his store through tools like Twitter and Facebook as well. With a lot of hard work and dedication, Gary gained a following around the world and is considered an expert both in his field of wine as well as the use of social media in business.
Curious as to how he achieved his success? Here are some of his key strategies and also his comments to his online success both with his family wine business and consequently also his personal brand.
1. Work Hard
This maybe not what you wanted” to hear.
He says “You have to want it. I say this all the time, there is no easy way to go about it. You have to work hard and hustle… I think people forget that there are more than 8 hours in the day!”
Note: He works 19 hours a day.
Here is what he has to say on on listening
“I think the role of Social Media Director, or as I like to call it, “Chief Listener,” is going to be a popular job description in the coming months. I say “Listener”, because it’s just as important and probably more important to be out there listening to what people are saying about your brand and reacting as it is to pump out good content. When there is an ongoing conversation about your brand or product or service, good or bad, and you aren’t a part of that conversation, that’s a huge blown opportunity”.
3.Be Patient and Persist
“Be patient and stay at it. This doesn’t happen overnight. I was doing Wine Library TV for 6 months every day before anyone cared. This is a sweat equity game. If you keep hustling and doing it right, it will pay off!”
4.Use Tools To Use To Find Online Communities In Your Niche
Two great tools Gary uses.
Tool One: Search.twitter.com (advanced search)
He says “Twitter in many ways is the most important site on the internet today. You can search for any term, whether it’s the name of your product or brand, or just the category like pizza or tattoos or hardware. In the advanced search settings you can even search within a specified geographic area. You’ll find people in your niche pretty quickly.”
Tool Two: Google blog search
Garys comment on this “Search the right buzzwords and you can very quickly identify niche communities and become part of the conversation. But remember when joining the conversation that you are there to talk and forge relationships, so don’t be all “salesy”!
5. Blogger Outreach
Gary sent a personalised email to every blogger he wanted to connect with as Darren Barefoot had done some years ago with the ebook he launched. This has helped him leverage his brand.
For some tips on how to reach out to bloggers here are some basics to get you going from Ogilvy PR to help you promote your product or service
- Identify the right people to reach out to
- Understand why would someone would be interested in your content/product/service and then be inspired to share it with others in their community
- Plan to follow up and maintain a relationship.
And another take on how to reach out to Bloggers is from Krishna’s Blog
- Make sure that you have developed and implemented your blogger outreach policy
- Discover what they are interested in so that you ensure that when you connect it’s relevant to their interests and audience
- Ideally connect with bloggers before pitching them – just as you would get to know journalists and reporters in the traditional media
- Offer something of value to the blogger – writing a blog takes time and if you want to encourage someone to write about your business, product or service, ideally give the blogger something that would be unique to them.
He has been described as “the first wine guru of the YouTube era” and he does it so differently to the normal stuffy wine snob. You often hear him saying things like, “This smells of gasoline…” or, “This tastes like dirt…” Check out and have a look at Wine Library TV and watch at Web 2.0 Expo In New York on YouTube
7. Connects Through Social Media
He says he responds to between 500-1500 people personally and wants to work even harder in connecting with people
8. OnLine Video
He couldn’t write and he was apparentlyso taken when he saw Andy Samberg’s Saturday Night Live video “Lazy Sunday” explode on YouTube, he got himself a video camera and started winelibrarytv.com. We are certainly seeing much more video blogging ocurring and this trend will continue, so it is something that you need to seriously consider as part of your social media marketing mix.
Expect to see more and more people who a couple of years ago might have launched a traditional text blog going the video route or adding it to their content strategy.
You can’t do this unless you are passionate about what you do, otherwise you might as well pack up your bags right now. Gary just wrote a book entitled Crush It! Why NOW is the Time to Cash in on Your Passion. where he writes about his success and why passion is so important.
So are you thinking of using online video as part of your online marketing. What is your story?