Gary Vaynerchuk is an excellent speaker, an engaging marketer, and a very, very clever man. So, as you’d expect, The Thank You Economy is engaging, well-written, and has some very good advice.
It’s also a business book, so much of that advice can be boiled down to “act like a human being.” Business people find the detailed instructions useful, possibly because so many of them are sociopaths that they are unsure of how human beings normally act.
In this case, the way we’re supposed to act like humans is by using Facebook and Twitter. Vaynerchuk encourages his readers to expend huge amounts of effort–the exact phrase is “care your face off”—interacting personally with customers and potential customers and former customers, using any and all available media tools.
He’s certainly right that it can work wonders both for brand value and the bottom line. But he dismisses people’s very reasonable objections to the process with a wave of his hand.
For example, people ask him “When do I have time to do my real job, Gary?”
He responds “When did interacting with your customers become not your real job?”
In my case, and I’m sure I’m not alone here, it was when someone other than a customer signed my paycheck.
If you’re in an organization larger than about 20 people, you probably don’t work directly for your customers. You work for your boss. And your boss works for the executive suite. And the execs work for the board. And the board is in it for themselves. So, if I have a limited number of hours in the day, I’m focusing my energy on making the boss happy.
In other words, this is great stuff, but it’s easier to say than implement, and you’ll need to have everyone on board if you want to do it right.
Despite the fact that reality is a lot messier and a lot less revolutionary than Vaynerchuk makes it out to be, “The Thank You Economy” is thought-provoking. I’d recommend it to anyone in the marketing or communications field. In particular, I’d say it’s a great read for anyone in a small business who wants to really take advantage of social media to strengthen their relationships with their customers.