Book Review: The Thank You Economy

"Our morning social media browse to check in on what everyone has been up to became the equivalent of the old-timers' early morning stroll to the diner for pancakes and coffee. We check Facebook and comment on a friend's photo of her new shoes (which we know without asking are Kate Spades and were bought at Nordstrom's because she said so in her status update) the same way we once would have remarked, 'You look lovely in that hat, Margie,' as we passed our neighbor."

For those that don't understand the draw of social media, the excerpt above can help put it into a context they may understand. In "The Thank You Economy," Gary Vaynerchuk does a fantastic job of clearly explaining the significance social media can have on a business and its customer relationships.  For those that are still wondering if and why they should engage with customers through social media, Vaynerchuk knocks down the arguments. The book is bursting with real examples of brands that have used social media to make a difference in the business engagements and the brands range in size, awareness and business type. Vaynerchuk shows that you can be a dentist and use social media with successes to show for the efforts.Some quotes from the book that hit home for me:

"When given the choice, people will always spend their time around people they like. When it's expedient and practical, they's also rather do business with and buy stuff from people they like. And now, they can. Social media has made it possible for consumers to interact with businesses in a way that is often similar to how they interact with their friends and family.""Social media has transformed our world into one great big small town, dominated, as all vibrant towns used to be, by the strength of relationships, the currency of caring, and the power of word of mouth.""People thought they had seen a massive cultural shift when the public adopted the Internet into their daily lives, but the bigger shift occurred when the Internet began to allow for two-way conversation. Learn how to implement a culture of caring and communication into your business, scale your one-to-one relationships, and watch your customers reward your efforts by using their new and massively powerful word of mouth to market your business and brand for you.""The drawback to resisting social media engagement is clear: the longer you wait, the farther the competition can pull ahead.""Some people try to use social media...by pushing sales pitches and gimmicks. Their efforts might get brief attention, but the message will fade and it certainly won't have long-term value; it's just not worth thinking about. If you're going to launch a campaign, it has to be one that evokes an emotion--positive or negative--so that people feel compelled to share. Give them something to talk about, unleash the power of word of mouth, and allow them to pull you into their consciousness.""The Thank You Economy works when you build a sense of community around your brand, not when you simply sell to it."

I heard Vaynerchuk speak at SXSW this year where he enthusiastically revved up the audience with his passion for social media. You can feel his personality, enthusiasm and passion come through in this book.  This book can make a believer out of the biggest skeptics to social media.Recommendation: read it.