On this week’s post, I wanted to talk about Gary Vaynerchuk but thought that the discussion should come from someone who understands social media better than I do. So instead of me, Mariana Gallegos will be talking about Gary V. Mariana’s experience includes working as an online merchandiser for Scripps Networks, a project manager for FireSign, and a project manager for Auxis.

Now-a-days everybody is a social media expert, and when I say everybody, I mean EVERYBODY. I recently saw a resume on LinkedIn that had social media listed as an area of expertise. Being that this person is the company’s marketing director, I decided to check out his work. Well, the Facebook company page has FOUR likes, the Twitter account has FOUR followers, and apparently they aren?t really that interested in potential clients because they don’t follow a single person. Not one! Their blog (or lack thereof) has three posts, and ALL of them are regurgitated information from their website. Social Media Expert? Not so much.

If you are looking for a true social media expert, if you are looking to truly understand, succeed, and make it work for your company, crush it by gary vaynerchukthen I’ve got your guy — Gary Vaynerchuck, author of Crush It and The Thank You Economy and founder of winelibrary.com. He’s not an expert because one day he decided to start tweeting and call himself an expert. This guy earned that title from his peers. When the majority of us (me included) had no idea about Twitter and prided ourselves on not wasting time because we weren?t interested in celebrity gossip (which we know we are, admit it), he was using it to grow his business. How? Well, he decided to become a trustworthy resource in the wine industry. He would log onto Twitter and search for wine-related questions and then answer them without EVER pushing his product. He didn’t pull any of this business: “Try pairing an Australian Shiraz from Wine Library with your beef stew.? No. He knew better. Instead, he?d reply, ?Try a bottle of 1996 Wolf Blass Shiraz. I had one with dinner last night, and it was amazing.? He simply helped potential clients with their questions. That?s it!

I mean let’s face it, aren’t we all just fed up with in your face marketing, folks pushing their products old school? Offers like, ?If you take advantage of this offer now, you will not only receive the tater curler, but you will also receive the world?s sharpest and most innovative potato peeler that has ever been manufactured, so ACT NOW!? This, my friends, is called push marketing. And in this economy, push marketing is about as effective as the crap products I just mentioned. Don?t even get me started on Eggies. I mean, are people just THAT lazy?

the thank you economy by gary vaynerchukWe are now entering into the world of pull marketing, which is what Gary is referring to in the The Thank You Economy. We are smart and informed consumers that would prefer to go out and ask our friends on FB or research consumer reviews than make a purchase because we received a phone call during dinner. Such a simple concept that makes perfect sense, yet is hardly practiced. Stop talking at your customer and start listening! What they have to say can and will change your business.

Still don?t buy it? Let’s say you buy a pair of running shoes for your very first 5k race, and you are waiting anxiously for them to arrive. When they do, you realize the company sent you the wrong size. You panic because you believe, along with my 5-year-old, that certain shoes will just make you faster, and your race is in 2 days! You post on the company?s FB wall and immediately get a response. They tell you that for your inconvenience, they will overnight you the correct size. The next day, your package arrives, and not only do you find a replacement pair, but you realize they have sent you a second pair of shoes. Now you are really ticked off. Can’t these dingbats (keeping it PG) get it right?! You contact the company AGAIN, and they quite politely explain that the extra pair is a gift and wish you luck in the race. Now who?s the dingbat? That is ?The Thank You Economy?! What you will do in return is tell all your friends on FB, Twitter, and Pinterest how amazing the company is. That’s what I call a ?win, win? courtesy of social media.

Let me be absolutely clear. I AM NOT a social media expert. But I’m learning one tweet at a time. I’m surrounding myself with knowledge and spend time researching every day. In October, I attended the 2011 Internet Summit, and the keynote speaker was none other than Gary Vaynerchuck. I?m a very skeptical marketer, but 2 minutes (or maybe 1) into his speech I was SOLD. I don’t sign up for email alerts anywhere; I don’t give my email to anyone; and once I hear, ?Can I please speak to Mrs. Gallegos,? I say “Please remove me from your list” before they can even tell me where they are from! But Gary, oh Gary. He had me at hello.

If you want to understand this crazy social media frenzy that we are living, I encourage you to read his book or listen to one of his speeches. You will not regret it. Pinky swear.

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