This year, I’ve renewed my love for reading and decided to tackle my “to read” list that’s been growing over the past few months. Therefore, I spent much of January reading (and tweeting about!) a variety of PR/social media/leadership books. If you’re looking for a great book to read and learn from, I’ll be posting regular book reviews, so check back!
First up, “The Thank You Economy” by Gary Vaynerchuk…
Author background: Vaynerchuk describes himself as a “serial entrepreneur” and helped turn his family’s local liquor store into a nationally-recognized brand with a strong online presence. Previously, he wrote the New York Times bestseller, “Crush It! Why NOW is the time to cash in on your passion.”
Who should add it to their reading list: Anyone interested in social media, consumer marketing, public relations, entrepreneurship, or business
The premise: With the advent of the digital revolution, the “thank you economy” is back. Providing quality, memorable customer service experiences should be at the forefront of every company and organization’s mind. Social media provides the perfect platform for engaging with target markets, and Vaynerchuk identifies ways brands can use social networks to create long-term customer relationships.
The Cliff Notes:
- Social media is here to stay, so either learn it or learn to be out of a job.
- Social media isn’t about knowing how to use the platform; it’s about knowing how to engage with customers and create a culture of reciprocal relationships.
- There is no such thing as social media ROI — and that’s okay. Businesses love to quantify everything, but Vaynerchuk asks, “Is there a formula that calculates how many positive interactions it takes to pay off in a sale or in a recommendation?” The answer, my friends, is no.
- The quality of your fans matters more than your quantity. No one cares that you have 50,000 fans if you don’t talk to any of them. Invest, invest, invest in interpersonal relationships.
- Employees matter. The idea that employees are your best brand ambassador isn’t new, but Vaynerchuk makes a persuasive case for the importance of instilling a positive culture. He cites the work of Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh and Boloco’s burritos CEO John Pepper as examples of strong leaders who invest in their employees who, in turn, invest in their customers.
- Have good intentions. In today’s bottom line-driven world, many will say it doesn’t matter what you intended to do, it matters what your results were. In some ways, that’s accurate. However, Vaynerchuk shows how organizational authenticity and genuineness can help create a strong relationship with customers. Build up that trust in the “trust bank” and they’ll forgive you if you mess up.
And one more thing: This guy is the real deal. I challenged one of his suggestions that PR should not “own” social media in a tweet and received an immediate response via Twitter! So, Gary, thank you for your engagement.
Have you read the “The Thank You Economy” and have anything to add? If so, comment below. (And feel free to share suggestions for other books I should add to my reading list!)