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How Gary Vee Builds Relationships on Social Media in a Thank You Economy

How Gary Vee Builds Relationships on Social Media in a Thank You Economy Blog Feature

Ramona Sukhraj

Associate Director of Content, Strategized Initiatives That Increased IMPACT’s Website Traffic From ~45K to ~400K

October 26th, 2015 min read

gary-vaynerchuk2Social media has forever changed how businesses and consumers interact.

Every business in today’s market is trying to figure out how to best leverage it to attract loyal customers and keep their current customers for life.

However, despite the hundreds of resources readily available, social media is still of the major aspects of digital marketing that businesses struggle to understand.

In his follow-up to his first bestseller, Crush It!, Gary Vaynerchuk (affectionately known as Gary Vee) sets out to outline the different methods that brands are using to successfully build their social media following and earn customers for life with The Thank You Economy.

Consumers today want more than just a product or service, they want a relationship with the brands they do business with -- and if you plan on earning their loyalty, you better give it to them.

As always, in The Thank You Economy, Vaynerchuk delivers a message that’s passionate, but full of actionable advice.

Gary is the founder of VaynerMedia, a successful digital consulting agency, and a highly respected thought-leader when it comes to social media, so his books are undoubtedly must-reads on the subject.

Although I suggest reading the book for yourself to see all of the great examples he cites, I understand that you might not have time.

In this summary, I’m going to cover the major takeaway points from The Thank You Economy that you can use as the foundation for your brand’s social media strategy.

Why You Need to Build a Relationship With Your Persona

“People want to have close relationships with their brands. It still sounds a little weird today, but one day it won’t. The right time to start building those relationships is right now.” - Gary Vaynerchuk

It’s very rare for a company to exist as the only option in their industry.

Consumers have so many choices today it’s overwhelming. That’s one of the reasons why they want to form a relationship with your brand. An existing bond eliminates the hassle of having to make future decisions about where to get that product or service from.

People also like to think of the brands they do business with as a part of their identity; an extension of their personalities and beliefs.

For example, think about how people identify themselves as a Mac or PC person. It's not just a purchase decision, it's a sense of community and culture. 

In the past, it would be hard to imagine such a level intimacy between people and brands, but Thanks to the internet, the world is a much smaller place.

Online, we can communicate with each other in real-time from anywhere in the world. Whenever we like a brand’s page on Facebook, their posts show up in our newsfeed alongside pictures and updates from our closest friends and family members.

Never before have brands had the level of access to their customers and their networks that they have today. However, the brands that don’t truly appreciate this concept are the ones who don’t get the full benefit of social media.

Building a relationship with your persona takes more work and presents challenges that you could completely avoid if you “don’t feel like messing with social media” like older, stubborn marketers.

When your customers feel appreciated and see their purchases from you as a part of a more profound relationship (instead of just a transaction), they are more loyal and likely to be lifetime customers.

Considering the value of a lifetime customer, it’s well worth the extra effort required to build a relationship with your customers.

How to Bond with Your Persona Through Social Media

This is a process and it’s not as simple as do X and get Y in return.

One of the common criticisms of social media is that you can’t measure the ROI, but as Vaynerchuk argues, not being able to accurately measure the ROI isn’t a good enough reason to avoid social media.

"In the end, no matter what obstacles a company faces in the Thank You Economy, the solution will always be the same. Competitors are bigger? Out-care them. They’re cheaper? Out-care them. They’ve got celebrity status and you don’t? Out-care them. Social media gives you the tools to touch your consumer and create an emotion where before there might not have been one." - Gary Vaynerchuk

Relationship-building through social media is a long-term strategy that requires persistence and dedication. However, you’ll see results quicker when you do it right.

Here are some suggestions from Vaynerchuk:

  • Care
  • Don’t be afraid of change
  • Speak your persona’s language
  • Allow your customers to shape your brand, but not its direction
  • Build a sense of community around your brand
  • Send your followers back and forth between different social media platforms
  • Create marketing messages that target emotions and creative extremes
  • Social media should always be approached with good intentions -- quality over quantity
  • Use shock and awe to blow your personas’ minds and get them talking about your brand
  • If you’re small, act like you’re big, and if you’re big, act like you’re small

In addition to those tips, Vaynerchuk also provides common mistakes that you should avoid, such as:

  • Using random tactics without a clear strategy
  • Only using social media to put out fires
  • Using social media to brag or only talk about yourself
  • Using social media as a press release platform
  • Only publishing the material of others and never producing your own
  • Using social media exclusively to promote products
  • Expecting overnight results

Want More from Gary Vee?

In our full synopsis of The Thank You Economy, we'll drive into how Gary's approach to transparency, its importance, and how to incorporate it into your social strategy.

To view the full summary, click "continue reading" below. 

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