The book “The Thank You Economy” describes how the advent of social networks has changed the relationship between companies and customers.
It shows how important it is for companies that want to succeed, be present on the Internet, and offer chips that enable companies to use social networks in order to influence their reputation.
Gary Vaynerchuk – speaker, author of the video blog about winemaking WineLibraryTV and the bestseller “Passion is a business!” In addition, he is the founder of the retail wine company Wine Library and co-founder of the social media consulting agency Vaynermedia.
This book is available as:
How to Turn Your Sincere Interest in Customers Into Consumer Loyalty
There is more competition than ever in the business world today. And the advent of the Internet means that enterprises now have another arena in which they can compete.
Today’s successful companies must navigate not only in the world of print media, television, and radio but also in the complex and highly controversial world of Internet marketing and social networks.
But this book will help to overcome these difficulties. She introduces you to the approach to attracting a client that was used back in the “good old days,” when companies were personally involved in the lives of their customers and were sincerely interested in their well-being.
But the appeal to this approach is not just a tribute to nostalgia or sentimentality: social networks basically changed the picture of doing any business, and the “old” approach is absolutely necessary to adapt to the current situation in order to achieve success in this new reality.
From this book you will learn:
- how social networks make international companies think like small shopkeepers in small towns,
- how one company signed a $ 250,000 contract by replying to a post on Twitter,
- why the author decided to change the brand of deodorant,
- and why you can say goodbye to your business if you do not want to communicate with your customers through social networks.
Social Networks Have Returned Old Values to the Business Environment
Your grandparents probably often recalled the times when companies were polite and attentive, complaining that these times were long gone?
Courtesy and courtesy were indeed the hallmark of many small local businesses in the past, though all this was forgotten when rapid urbanization began in the 20th century.
In rural areas, in the past, local shopkeepers took care of their customers because they depended on having a regular customer base. If, for example, the city butcher had a fight with one of the clients, then the client could spread this story throughout the neighborhood, and the butcher had serious problems.
However, in the middle of the twentieth century, people began to flock to cities, and courtesy ceased to be given due attention.
In densely populated cities, the chances of getting to the same butcher were very small, so the butchers no longer needed to earn your trust in order to continue to thrive. If you did not like the service in his shop, no one will pay attention to it.
But social networks, in a sense, have returned those “old-fashioned” approaches to customer service that were adopted in small towns.
Sites such as Facebook, Twitter, personal blogs, allow people to quickly share their thoughts, and if someone is not satisfied with your service, they can tell the whole world about it.
Take Giorgio Galante, a regular AT&T client who did not like the company’s service, and expressed his dissatisfaction by writing two letters to the AT&T CEO. However, instead of sympathy, Galante received a threatening letter demanding to stop indignant and shut up!
In the recent past, the disappointment of one client might not have mattered. But Galante shared this story on his blog, which many other people read – and this led AT&T to a huge scandal.
What is this talking about? If companies want to survive in today’s market, they will have to revert to the customer service rules that were adopted among their predecessors in small towns.
Successful Companies Must Build Trust With Their Customers.
Today, with this level of competition, only high-quality products and services with a smile on their faces can lead your company to success.
For starters, there are real limits to the lower price threshold of your products, and how high quality you can make them. And no matter what you sell, there will always be someone who will offer something cheaper, better or faster. And even if your product is perfect, it will not matter until you gain loyalty from your customers.
For example, the author’s liquor store offers excellent quality and better prices than one of its competitors, but this was not enough to convince competitor customers to switch to it, because customers still trusted the other company more.
When it comes to your customers, a long and trusting relationship is much more important than a short-term relationship that is achieved with simple, attention-getting advertisements.
Unfortunately, many companies focus on obtaining short-term profit. But why agree only for a short time? Building trust with your customers ensures your company long-term survival.
For example, in 2010, Old Spice launched a series of commercials that were very much appreciated. At the same time, the company actively communicated with its customers on the Internet, giving them the opportunity to ask questions of Isaiah Mustafa, the star of these popular commercials.
However, as soon as the campaign ended, Old Spice simply stopped interacting with their fans and followers.
How did they react?
The author, for example, bought Old Spice deodorant during this campaign but didn’t buy anything after it. Since the company’s interaction with customers abruptly ended, he felt that the company’s interest in him was only that he bought a deodorant, and nothing more.
Old Spice’s mistake was that they allowed the interest that people began to show in their advertising to fade. If they continued to communicate with their fans and cherished the relationship they built, they would be able to save a lot of money in the long run, as they would not have to invest heavily in new similar campaigns.
Successful Business Seeks to Win Customer Love
Think about your closest friends now. Did they become one in one night? Hardly!
Just as building personal relationships takes time and involvement, trusting relationships with clients are built in the same way, you must show them your attentiveness. If you enable your customers to feel special, they will become loyal not only to your product, but to your brand as a whole.
One of the great ways to do this is to personalize products and services for each client.
The Joie de Vivre hotel chain, for example, developed the Dream-Maker program, in which employees had to find out as much information as possible about the guests in order to make their stay at the hotel a unique experience.
When booking manager Jennifer Kemper found out that one regular guest at her hotel was actually visiting her son, who was undergoing chemotherapy while studying at Berkeley. Jennifer sent her a special welcome parcel with support. As a result, the mother remained at this hotel until her son finished studying.
The catch in personalizing your products and services is that you must be genuinely interested in your customers. If customers suspect that you are pretending to be involved in order to “give them” a product, they will quickly lose interest.
Consider the Quirky website, which used a Twitter account to promote the announcements of its new products. But in the end, they changed their tactics, deciding to use the platform to participate in personal conversations with each client, and not just to announce the news.
By showing their customers how important they are to them, Quirky began to attract other people’s interest.
Why? Because directed communication to promote a certain idea or product is no longer enough. Customers are no longer doing this — especially on sites like Twitter. They expect that companies will communicate with them directly, like with friends or acquaintances, because the usual scenarios have long been tired of.
We saw how social networks can completely change the situation in relationships with customers. But let’s say that you are a more conservative type of people: can your business flourish without social networks?
Many Companies Mistakenly Reject Social Networks, Considering Them Unreliable or Unimportant
Do you belong to people who believe that social networks do not have to be used to achieve business success? If so, then you are not alone. Many companies consider social networks unreliable help, because it is very difficult to measure the exact profit that their use brings.
Yes, indeed, it is difficult to determine exactly how social networks influence the behavior of clients, and, more importantly, what are the subtle emotional changes that occur in this way.
For example, a 2010 Customer Service Impact survey showed that 76% of respondents rated highly that companies showed a personal interest in them.
But what does this really mean? Are those customers really starting to buy more products? While we cannot be sure of this for sure, we can say that some of them have had a positive effect on the strategies of companies with personal participation.
Due to their personalized nature, social networks make it possible to interact with clients and make them feel truly significant personalities.
Even though the influence of social networks on consumer behavior is obvious, companies that rely on accurate indicators of the results of applying certain strategies will undoubtedly be able to make a decision on large investments in the development of social networks.
In addition, given the fact that social networks are still a relatively new phenomenon, many companies still think according to outdated templates, and thus, they think that social. networks are not worth the investment. However, the potential of social networks is huge, so ignoring their capabilities is simply stupid.
Just look at Avaya’s business communications development company, which has decided to start interacting with its customers on Twitter. Having answered one message there, they received a new client, who ultimately concluded a deal with the company in the amount of 250 thousand dollars.
Companies That Do Not Use Social Networks Will Begin to Lose Customers.
Before the advent of social networks, people had serious doubts about the fact that online business could be of great benefit. In fact, the author even recalls how he was ridiculed at a conference in 1997 when he talked about his desire to sell wine on the Internet.
For all doubters, this turned out to be a huge oversight. Since then, social networks, with their ability to share information about sites, products and stores through images and links, have helped make online stores very popular.
In fact, thanks to social networks, the author enjoys the huge support and loyalty of more customers than Costco in the local market and Wine.com in the national market.
Social networks have not only strengthened online shopping opportunities. They also serve customers as a source of information about your business, which makes online presence critical to building a positive brand experience.
When people buy something on the Internet, they get information about the company through social networks. Therefore, if the company has a negative online image or is completely absent, customers will assume that the company is not trustworthy and will buy the desired product elsewhere.
Consequently, companies that do not interact with their customers on the Internet and social networks in particular will lose their popularity. Just look at what happened to Barnes & Noble.
At one time it was a leading bookstore. However, they were quickly destroyed by the Amazon online store, founded in 1997.
Barnes & Noble also appeared on the Internet in 1997, but they did not use it to drive Amazon out of the market. Since they already had stores across the country, the company was too self-confident to accept Amazon as a serious competitor.
They should have launched a powerful online campaign with an online store, as well as connected to social networking technologies. But they did not, and in 2010, B. Dalton, one of the key executives of the Barnes & Noble network, was forced to close the company.
As you can see, ignoring social networks can threaten the very existence of a company. But using them properly can lead the company to new heights. In the following sections, you will learn how to do this.
Combine Social Media With Traditional Media to Get the Most Out of Both.
If you have been doing business for a long time, you probably managed to notice that any strategy, even the best, always has its drawbacks. Social networks are no exception: this is not a magic tablet that will solve all your marketing problems and customer service issues at once. Simply put, sometimes online interactions are simply not enough.
While social media is a very powerful thing, there are other types of interactions with clients. If you want to reach as many people as possible, you will still have to use the more traditional media in order to reach those who are not particularly active on the Internet.
For example, when the author advertised his book “Passion is a business!”, He used both billboards and advertising on social networks. Although for many it seems paradoxical – to advertise a book on building brands on social platforms through traditional advertising – this was done in order to reach as many audiences as possible .
You should use every opportunity that is available to you to attract customers and interest them. Using both traditional and social means of interaction can increase interest in your products. Such a combination can create an atmosphere of excitement and lively interest.
If you are able to interest your fans so that they want to know more about your product, they will follow you on social networks, where you can communicate with them on a more personalized basis.
Consider the example of Reebok, which released a video with players played by the Stanley Cup stars in the garage, but the video showed only shots and goals on the scoreboard. The audience saw only fragments of the match, and when they wanted to know who did win, they went to the Facebook page of Reebok.
Needless to say, then Reebok managed to attract many curious subscribers!
You Cannot Work With Social Networks in the Same Way as With Traditional Media – They Operate Under Other Laws.
So, you decided to interact with customers through traditional types of media and through social networks. Fine! However, managing all of this can be difficult. Unfortunately, many strategies that are commonly used in traditional media are not applicable to social networks.
For example, traditional media transmit a message, and social media receive it. In other words, in traditional advertising, you are demonstrating a certain product or trying to attract attention to your company as a whole. Social networks work in a completely different way, as they are based on two-way communication.
If you decide to go online and interact with users of social networks, you should listen to what people will tell you, and not just impose carefully packaged products on them.
The author personally answers questions from his followers on Twitter. Sometimes it’s just a phrase or a short message, but even such a small sign of attention demonstrates that he listens to his readers and sincerely cares about their problems.
And since social networks are tied to two-way communication, you need to learn how to speak the language of your customers. This means openness and a willingness to learn something new, test new ideas and stay true.
AJ Bombers, an eatery in Milwaukee, has created a very high online activity, and its fans are even involved in the company’s decision-making process. But how did she manage to engage people at such a high level?
The company communicates with its customers on several social platforms, including small ones, such as Foursquare, and enable its subscribers to follow all the processes of cooking products. In turn, their subscribers can take part in this process by offering them something interesting, for example, new dishes on the menu or even promotions and special offers for employees.
Customer Care Culture Begins With Company Management
Once you have decided to apply a client-oriented approach in your social advertising campaigns, you need to find a way to make sure that this approach will really be applied. While the CEO can decide how far the company will go in communicating with its customers, of course, ordinary employees will do it.
Therefore, in order for the director’s vision to be realized, each employee must be able to demonstrate it properly. And since it is employees who directly interact with customers that are the most visible part of the company, it is important that they demonstrate the values of the company.
Think for a moment that before Amazon bought Zappos in 2009, Zappos overtook Amazon in sales, even though their prices were higher. How was that possible? Zappos provided an excellent level of customer service.
Despite the fact that Tony Shay, CEO of Zappos, realized the deep value of high-quality customer service, he did not communicate directly with customers. His staff did this, so it was very important to ensure that they all shared leadership values.
And the best way to ensure that employees care about customers is to show employees that you care about them. Overloaded employees who are in constant stress are unlikely to be able to take care of customers, and therefore, customers are unlikely to feel welcome.a
In contrast, when employees feel good at work, they invest in the company themselves, and, therefore, are more concerned about the impression they make on customers.
How Can You Make Your Employees Happy?
Zappos has set up a cafeteria for its employees with free food and a library. The author, by contrast, introduced a new vacation policy at his Vaynermedia company: employees can take as many vacation days as they want. In turn, he expects from them that as soon as they return to work, they will make every effort to carry out this work at the highest level.
The Final Words
Social networks have enabled people to share their thoughts with just a few keystrokes and mouse clicks.
Knowing this, enterprises that want to build a good reputation should take particular care to demonstrate a sincere interest in the welfare of their customers.
Direct part of your advertising budget to social networks.
Social media allows you to get instant feedback on your products, services, and advertising strategies without having to fork out for focus groups.
Just ask your customers directly what they want from your company, listen to them and respond to these problems – this will help you create a strong connection between your customers and your brand.
Combine traditional media and social networks.
While social networks are an integral part of any successful business strategy, they are not able to capture absolutely all market segments, since not all customers use social networks. The best strategies are those that attract customers through the media, and then continue to interact with new customers through social media platforms.
Why You Should Read “The Thank You Economy”
- To find out the way social media can help your business grow
- To implement the same strategies that are mentioned in the book
- To learn how to run a startup.
This book is available as: