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The Thank You Economy

How social media changed business, and what that means for your company.

By Gary Vaynerchuk
15-minute read
Audio available
The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk

The Thank You Economy (2011) describes how the advent of social media has changed the relationship between companies and their customers. It shows just how critical online engagement is for companies who want to succeed, and offers tips on how companies can use social media to influence their public image along the way.

  • CEOs
  • Anyone in middle management
  • Anyone interested in launching a start-up

Gary Vaynerchuk is a public speaker, wine critic at the video blog WineLibraryTV and author of the bestseller Crush It! (also available in blinks). In addition, he is the founder of the wine retail store Wine Library and co-founder of the social media consulting agency Vaynermedia.

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The Thank You Economy

By Gary Vaynerchuk
  • Read in 15 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 9 key ideas
The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk
Synopsis

The Thank You Economy (2011) describes how the advent of social media has changed the relationship between companies and their customers. It shows just how critical online engagement is for companies who want to succeed, and offers tips on how companies can use social media to influence their public image along the way.

Key idea 1 of 9

Social media brings old-fashioned values back into businesses.

Have your grandparents ever reminisced about the times when businesses were courteous, lamenting that those times have since passed? And did you brush it off the same way you brushed off their telling you they used to have to “walk a mile to school – uphill, both ways”?

While it’s safe to say that they may have exaggerated the arduousness of their trek to school, the courtesy found in small local businesses did indeed exist, but was forgotten in the urban lifestyle of the twentieth century.

In the rural settings of the past, local shop owners had to care about their customers because they depended on a steady customer base. If, for example, the town butcher upset one customer, that customer would tell the whole neighborhood, and the butcher would soon have a real problem.

However, around the mid-twentieth century, people began flocking to the cities and courteous service became less important.

In highly populated cities, the chances of going to the same butcher more than once became slim, so the butcher no longer had to earn your trust to stay in business. If you didn’t like his service, no one would care.

But social media has in some ways brought back the old-fashioned ways of small-town living.

Online networking sites, such as blogs, Facebook and Twitter, allow people to share their thoughts instantly, and if someone isn’t satisfied with your service, they can tell the whole wide world.

Just consider Giorgio Galante, a regular AT&T customer who was unhappy with the company’s service and expressed his dissatisfaction in two emails to AT&T’s CEO, Randall Stephenson. However, instead of sympathy, Galante received a legal threat to cease and desist!

In the recent past, the frustrations of a single customer might not have mattered. But Galante shared the story on his blog, where many other people read and shared it, causing a huge scandal for AT&T.

What does this teach us? If companies want to survive in today’s world, they’ll have to rediscover the courteous ways of their small-town predecessors.

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