Los Angeles Content Critiques

Posted by | December 06, 2013 | Uncategorized | 17 Comments

So I was in LA yesterday, and I couldn’t help but be inspired to pull together some micro-content examples from local businesses.  Huge thanks to the VaynerMedia people who helped do the work on these audits. Enjoy!


Hollywood Bowl and Greek Theatre: Dueling Venues

Hollywood Bowl, I want you to meet Greek Theatre. Greek Theatre., this is Hollywood Bowl. You two have a lot in common. You’re both live venues, you both book a wide variety of acts, and you’re both pretty active on social. These two accounts have basically the same business KPI – butts in seats – but they’re taking dramatically different approaches.

Hollywood BowlHollywood Bowl is straight-to-the-point, and follows a pretty set format: “Come see @band and @band on this date.” There are some jabs in the form of set lists, and manually retweeting partner artists, but the stream is relatively uniform, and fan interaction, while it’s there, is sparing. (One note: In the example tweet to the left, they didn’t @tag Steve Martin, one of the most obnoxiously recognizable celebs on Twitter. Don’t do stuff like this. He could have seen the notification and retweeted it to his 4.4 million followers.)

Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 10.57.11 AMGreek Theatre’s feed, on the other hand, is a party. They’re posting photos, and retweeting fans all over the place in addition to promotional posts in a generally similar style to Hollywood Bowl’s. The result is a much more dynamic presence, and a feeling of community. Now to be fair, both brands aren’t great about engaging with their fans outside of retweets, but I honestly think that Hollywood Bowl could take a tip from Greek Theatre when it comes to their Jabs. And the proof is in the pudding. At the time of writing this, the Bowl is averaging about 3-4 retweets and 1-2 favorites per tweet. The Greek, on the other hand, is averaging around 10 of each, with some posts over-indexing by as much as 3x that (all with half as many followers). This stuff works, guys.



LA Philharmonic: Use What You Have

Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 11.02.31 AMThe LA Philharmonic’s Instagram account is an interesting case. Judging by the gallery, they’re not allowed to show any photos of performances, and if that really is the case, they’re doing a tremendous job given the constraints. Obviously high-end creative over-indexes on Instagram, so they took an incredible asset, their Frank Gehry designed building, and made it the star of the account. Play to your strengths. Now is it valuable, as a music organization, to attract fans of the (surprisingly active) #FrankGehry tag? It’s an interesting hedge, and one that I’m sure has grown their community, but I’m not sure it’s going to help them sell any tickets.

Speaking of which, they’re doing a great job using hashtags to increase their reach. If you look at this post you can see them doing a pro-move adding additional hashtags in the first comment. This serves dual purposes of pumping the image to the top of those hashtag searches while keeping the caption text clean. Finally, they do a great job integrating CTAs into their images in a way that feels native and natural. Good job, guys.

The Grove: Department of Redundancy Department

Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 11.07.17 AMFor the most part, The Grove (a mall) actually does a great job engaging with their own stores as well as their customers, but this tweet is a really good example of something I’ve seen a lot of brands do lately, and so I wanted to take this opportunity to call it out. There is really no reason to include your own @handle in a tweet. It’s already there. Doing it is like putting a nametag on your nametag so people know who your nametag belongs to. You’ve only got 140 characters. Use them wisely.

Pink’s Hot Dogs: Delicious

Screen Shot 2013-12-04 at 2.25.42 PM

Writing this piece really drove home one point for me: L.A. gets Instagram. Just look at this post from Pink’s Hot Dogs. If this post were any more Instagrammy it would literally be wearing Wayfarers and a wool cap. You have product, you have amazing image copy, you have branding, you even have the @handle of the account spelled out in case the image gets copied anywhere. Just a really really solid effort here. The hashtags and @tags are appropriate to the show that the content is referencing, and to be honest, there isn’t really any need for copy; the picture says it all. If their dogs are half as good as their Instagram content, I really really hope I have a chance to visit next time I’m in town!

Bootsy Bellows: Keep em’ Squinting

BootsyBellows_FacebookTwo big issues with this piece. First off, there’s no link to the event. No way to RSVP. This could be perfect for someone, but now they have to go and Google more info about the event, and you could very possibly lose them during that process. If you’re going to go in for the right hook like this, always present a clear path to purchase. Second, and maybe less obvious, is that this image doesn’t work on mobile. It’s not that it’s totally unreadable; you’re free to tap it and zoom in, but even scaled down to fit this post, you’re losing a ton of detail. On mobile, and zooming by at the speed of the stream, this image only has a fraction of a second to tell its story, and the way this image is laid out, you’re likely to just get a black and white blur with no discernible value.

If you think these studies are great, there are almost 80 more in my new book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. Grab your copy today!




  • Deli Fresh Threads

    All great points. Love this. Will really help me and my brand. Thank you for all your books. Huge fan!

    • http://www.garyvaynerchuk.com garyvaynerchuk

      Thnx Deli ;)

  • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylereed

    As someone who works in social media, I have noticed that some of the deficiencies for agencies is lack of tools.
    What I have seen is most “social media managers” dont have abilities in photoshop, video, etc…so they use the images they are given which are not optimized for social media. It seems that a huge asset for anyone running social media accounts is to be a content generator but also a content creator.


    • http://www.garyvaynerchuk.com garyvaynerchuk

      agree in a huge way!

    • simplyvallarta

      Agree as well. I find a lot of “social media managers” can’t write either. Social is much more relaxed, of course, but you’ve really got to be able to write, edit, and even know your way around html/css if you’re really going to get creative.

  • http://facebook.com/salvatorefiteni Salvatore Fiteni

    Thank you for this! Do you feel the same rule applies to facebook posts, when linking to your own page in a post (@yourpagename)? I get that with twitter you are limited to 140 characters, but with facebook there is, seemingly, no limit. I always figured it couldn’t hurt to link back to your back in a post, however, I get that it’s redundant considering it’s your post so there’s already a link back to the page. I guess I’m just wondering if you think it serves as an eye sore or just doesn’t matter at all. Thank you again and loving Jab Jab Jab.

    • http://www.statesmanties.com/ Rob Caldwell

      I can’t speak for Gary, but look for his article in Inc Magazine about facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. Gary says, “think about print and magazine advertising.” It’s about the image and being original and keeping the copy short. More polished versus the quick, what-I-am-doing-now kind of thing on Instagram.

      • http://facebook.com/salvatorefiteni Salvatore

        Thank you! I will look for the article.

        • http://www.statesmanties.com/ Rob Caldwell

          No problem! Good luck.

  • http://www.drawingforkidsinfo.com/ Art Mom

    Great post! Looking forward to reading Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook! You picked my image on Pat Flynn’s site as one of the winners- I’m so excited! Thanks for the great inspiration!

    • http://www.garyvaynerchuk.com garyvaynerchuk

      Thnx Art Mom :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/SocialMediaAgents Anthony Galeano

    you need to be smart and web savvy, yes you need everything tools, know how, otherwise why even post something?

    • http://www.garyvaynerchuk.com garyvaynerchuk


  • chotheamazing

    As someone living in LA, it’s always nice to see someone’s perspective on content. Everyone is oversaturing their products or services so much, it constantly feels like the entire city is in a screaming match.. Or quite possibly.. I feel sometimes LA is becoming like half of the youtube videos about people fighting in Mcdonalds. No one is winning if all you can say is the same thing over and over again.

  • Trey Shields

    Great stuff Gary, i always enjoy your critiques. Bought JJJRH this weekend. Love it.

  • LaserGlow Golf of KY

    This is like the book that keeps on writing. Thanks for the post and I will be watching Reggie on the 16th hint, hint, for all those that have not read the book read it and you will know about Reggie and the 16th

  • Jesse Bern

    love it Gary! as an LA native I can definitely resonate with these brands good and bad (in terms of social media game). I think I’ll focus my efforts on blogging (tumblr)/google+/twitter for my fitness web conversion agency ;)

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