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Businesses Need to Use Social Media More Than Ever

Businesses Need to Use Social Media More Than Ever

Gary Vaynerchuck's new books says business need to get on the social web fast.

Jeff Houck/Tampa Tribune

February 10, 2010

TAMPA – Gary Vaynerchuk wants business owners to know something about how they’re using social media: They’re doing it wrong.

Too many use electronic platforms, like billboards, he says.

Vaynerchuk leveraged online tools in recent years to grow his family’s Internet wine business into a multimillion-dollar success. Along the way, he amassed hundreds of thousands of followers and fans on platforms including Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Social media is exactly what the term implies, he told 150 attendees at a Wealth Building Annex seminar Wednesday at The Westshore Hotel. The tools are designed for conversation.

Vaynerchuk, who started online in 2006 as a video blogger at Wine Library TV,, was promoting his new book, “Crush It!: Why Now Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion,” (HarperStudio, $19.99).

Business owners lack creativity in using online tools, he said.

“A restaurant, instead of going online and talking about food, is blasting out coupons for lunch menus,” he said. “They’re selling instead of being involved. This isn’t the Yellow Pages.”

He advised attendees to spend 30 minutes a day creating content and as much time as possible the rest of the day engaging people online. Customers gravitate to stories on an emotional level far more than they do advertising, he said.

“Storytelling is the No. 1 thing businesses should do for themselves and their products,” he said.

More from Vaynerchuk on mistakes made by entrepreneurs who try to harness social media tools:

– Businesses worry too much about what they’re going to say instead of listening.

– Business owners lack patience. They think it’s all going to happen for them in five minutes.

– “People are into doing video online for the sake of it. I care about content, not platform. If I could write my butt off, I’d write more often.”

– “Legacy is more important than currency. Businesses aren’t willing to invest the sweat equity long term.”

– “Every answer you’ll get from me on most questions is ‘content.’ Anyone who says they do Twitter instead of blogging is an idiot. Your story needs a home.”

– “Location-based mobile (like Foursquare) is going to be ginormous.”

– “Business owners don’t recognize how much of social media is customer service.”

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