What Does The Thank You Economy Means For Associations?

The Thank You Economy

When I was traveling to speak at the Kappa Delta Convention, I had a decent layover at in the O’Hare Airport, so I picked up a copy of Gary Vaynerchuk’s Thank You Economy.

What is a Thank You Economy?

If you’ve ever taken Kouzes & Posner’s Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI), you might recognize this as a culture of “Encouraging the Heart.”

This book isn’t entirely about social media; it’s about a shift in philosophy about how you run your business or organization and interact with your clients or members. Think about the change from old school, top down leadership to new school, open leadership. It’s about the culture of your organization. Applying old school practices and tactics to social media won’t achieve results. And because of social media’s impact, those who evolve will succeed. Not every business or organization will evolve into the Thank You Economy. But, I believe that Gary Vaynerchuk is right in his assertion that those that do will certainly find success.

There’s a great list of common complaints about social media used by businesses and organizations as a reason why they shouldn’t be embraced. Gary provides great insights into why these 11 statements are flat-out wrong.

  1. There’s no ROI
  2. The metrics aren’t reliable
  3. Social media is still too young
  4. Social media is just another trend that will pass
  5. We need to control our message
  6. I don’t have time to keep track of what every Joe or Jane says, and I can’t afford/don’t want to pay someone to do it
  7. We’re doing fine without it
  8. We tried it; it doesn’t work
  9. The legal issues are too thorny
  10. It takes too long to pay off
  11. Social media only works for startup, life-style, or tech brands

Throughout his book, there are great, real world examples of businesses that are showing just the opposite of the points listed above.

Social Media simply provides a new way to show your gratitude, share helpful information, and encourage your audience. The organizations that use social media to build a genuine culture will crush it in the Thank You Economy.

So what does the Thank You Economy mean for associations? I believe it means that we take a look at our mission and make sure that we’re doing what we say we will do. It means nurturing a caring and thoughtful culture within the organization. It reminds us that our members find community through their affiliation to our association and that we can and should facilitate that through all of our outreach. Last, but not least, it reminds us to take a moment and encourage the hearts (in other words, thank) the people we connect with in very meaningful ways.

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About @hust0058

Nonprofit/Association Professional. Social Media Presenter/Writer/Educator. University of Minnesota Alum. Joiner and Volunteer!
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