Gary Vaynerchuck’s favourite, yet lowest selling, of his 3 (now 4) books.

What is ‘The Thank You Economy’? It’s ‘the humanisation of marketing’. It’s ‘manner’s marketing’. (Both alternate titles).

Gary uses this book to explain just why businesses need to pay attention to social media. Not just to promote their brand and get the word out about their products, but to listen to customers, to react and talk.

He argues that your great-grandparents probably understood the value of nurturing personal relationships with their customers, but their wisdom vanished when big corporations grew and managers found it more cost-effective to ignore customer concerns. Social media has changed all that, giving marketers the welcomed opportunity to connect with current and potential customers in a manner unseen for several generations. If your customers like you, they’ll use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other networks to sing your praises. If they don’t like you, they’ll spread that news just as quickly.

What’s the underlining principle of the thank you economy?

You should care what your customers think. You should value the longevity of your customers, rather than maximising all initial sales and you should not control what is said about your company, only react to it.

Caring what your customers think

This should be pretty obvious.

If your customers like your products, find out why. If they don’t, do the same. It’s a great way to improve your products and customer service to maximise enjoyment for the customer.

But in the age of social media, it’s not just about caring, it’s about finding what your customers think. People are willing to tweet all sorts of opinions, both good and bad, without directing it to the company in question. Just think, if you got a new pair of Nike shoes and the laces broke within a week, some people might complain, others might tweet their frustration along with a picture, without ‘tagging’ Nike. Does this make their opinion invalid, of course not, so it is up to the community managers of Nike to find these tweets and respond appropriately. If they really want to take advantage of the thank you economy, this could be buy giving the customer a replacement pair and a second pair for good will. Chances are, this customer will then post a tweet (or maybe several) exclaiming how much they love Nike and their shoes… success for Nike? I think so!

Value the longevity

Don’t try to maximise the first sale with a customer. Don’t push too many items, don’t save on costs. Instead, maximise their experience, even if you make little, or no, profit.

Your aim with a new customer should be to turn them into a customer for life. Not to increase that months numbers.

How can you do this? Give them a thank you gift or discount after their first purchase or even for their first purchase. Go out of your way to make sure they get what is best for them, not the product with the highest profit margin. You want them to come back, you want them to talk about you on facebook, twitter and Instagram.

Want an example? Here’s what Gary says….

React to what is said

Many companies try to control what is said about them online. They want bad comments remove, or they try and crowd them out. It’s true, bad publicity can create a bad reputation. However, there are two issues here; what happens when the criticism is on a large scale and you can’t hide it, and bad comments are made for a reason, hiding these does not address the underlying issue.

What do you do if a public newspaper slates your company? It’s no longer just on paper, its online, on social media, on google search results. You have to know how to respond, that comes from practice and from caring. By treating every single customer in the same way, you will know how to respond, how to change people’s opinions and you can dampen any negative criticism.

There is a reason people are posting bad things, if you ignore them, you don’t know what to improve. Everyone could be having issues with delivery time, reads comments to learn that and solve the issue, suddenly people like shopping with you again, they tell their friends that you deliver service is better and they shop with you. The multiplier effect of caring can be huge.


Businesses’ know about the value of social media, but few still understand how to utilise it to show that they care, to add humanisation to their brand and to increase customer loyalty.