I thoroughly enjoyed an inspired talk by Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee) last night on his new book The Thank You Economy. I also treasured the opportunity for a brief chat with him about social media marketing and social commerce. Some of the points that Gary made last night:
- “If you're reading, you're losing”. Gary is a strong advocate of learning by doing and doesn't think that competitive edge comes from reading Mashable, TechCrunch and ChrisBrogan.com every morning or reading 13 social media books by the pool. Coming from the academic side, I sure hope that there is some value to reading and learning from experiences, successes and mistakes of others but I think he's got a point in that many managers are perhaps too cautious to get started while “perfecting” a social media strategy instead of experimenting with real clients.
- Customer acquisition responsibilities online will be taken over by analytical “geeks” who can crunch increasingly granular data while intuition and creativity will play a lesser role.
- However, looking ahead, the real battle will be in the area of customer retention, an area where socially inept geeks will have to hand over the steering wheel to executives with social/relationship building skills.
- Most CEOs in the future will be females given that they have better social skills. Gary also considers himself lucky to be somewhat “girlish”!
- Social media has to move beyond the “you need a Facebook Page” stage. “It is like saying you need a telephone”. A Facebook Page is just a tool, the key is how you use it to build and maintain relationships that matter.
Thanks to Bryan Elliott (@BryanElliott) of Linked Orange County (@LinkedOC) for organizing the event. Thanks also to my Chapman University (@ChapmanU) student volunteers who came to help out in spite of it being Final Exam week: Tyler McBroom (@tmcbroom), Ben Ricard (@Ben_Ricard), Jennifer Nguyen, Lauren DeWitt (@greenfilmgirl), and Alissa Lentz (@AlissaLentz). Please check out my Flickr for some more photos from the event.
P.S. Gary also told me that he had had a great time during his recent visit to Stockholm, Sweden, for the Nordic eCommerce Summit 2011, and apparently, he is set up for a repeat visit 2012.