Gary Vaynerchuk: Bringing the thunder to a computer near you

Practically everyone who’s online has heard of Gary Vaynerchuk, the successful entrepeneur who started Wine Library TV and has grown it into the “empire” that it has become. And just how did he do this? Through practicing what he preaches and also taking advantage of the Internet. Many people will say that President Obama exploited the advantages of the World Wide Web during his historic campaign to the presidency, but in fact, it was Vaynerchuk who may have taught President Obama a few things on how to reach out and build a winning and influencial fan base.

But just who is Gary Vaynerchuk and why should businesses examine what he does on a daily basis to see how to interact with people online? This madman of the Internet airwaves has reached out to the masses to bring wine tasting to a whole new generation. From a platform as co-owner and Director of Operations of Wine Library, a wine retail shop in Springfield, New Jersey, Gary Vaynerchuk has gained his internet celebrity fame as the host of Wine Library TV, a daily internet webcast on the subject of wine (more info can be found on the Wikipedia entry).

Every day, he goes to work putting together an outstanding performance online to help promote his product. That’s the selling. But frequently you can find him doing sneaky giveaways and online chat sessions on Ustream where you can talk about things from the weather to your favorite wine or probably even nonsensical gibberish. There’s your customer service. But what is probably the most profound is that during my time watching his livestreaming sessions, he has never once not answered someone’s question. Sure, there are hundreds of people watching these shows and the chat room is filled with various individuals (supporters & haters), but when something “hateful” appears in the chat, Vaynerchuk doesn’t ban them from the room. No, rather he confronts them then and there and asks to hear them out and offer a polite rebuttal. That’s a conversation.

I’ve said before that companies and brands can’t use all the forms of social media or online marketing programs to attract visitors and encourage active participation. However, these companies SHOULD use any interactive means at their disposal. What does that mean, exactly? Well let’s look at Gary Vaynerchuk’s example:

  • He promotes his product and engages in conversation using Twitter.
  • His main avenue of promotion is through online video.
  • You can purchase his book and other merchandise through an online store (e-commerce).
  • Websites are setup to help drive more information out to the public.

But these seem to be simple and straightforward things that anyone can do. The true key to making your strategy work is tying it all together. Mr. Vaynerchuk links to his videos on Twitter, promotes certain Twitter contests on his online chat sessions, puts together marketing advice in videos that can be cross-promoted, and much more. Best of all, Gary believes in his brand and you can actively see it everytime he speaks either online or in person. That type of authenticity will guarantee success with your audience.

So as Gary Vaynerchuk would say…bring on the thunder. What are you doing to make yourself the next Gary Vaynerchuk?

By Ken Yeung

Ken Yeung is a journalist fascinated with the stories of the tech industry and internet culture. He's currently the Technology Editor at Flipboard, where he observes what's happening in the space while also identifying new topics of interest. In addition, he co-hosts the weekly internet show "The Created Economy," which focuses on what's happening to creators and influencers. Previously, he was a reporter for VentureBeat and The Next Web, covering tech startups, the industry's innovations and funding. Ken also has a newsletter you should also subscribe to called "Filed."