Gary Vaynerchuk recently posted a video to Google+ Weddings vs. Marriage: A business story. He has a really interesting analogy about the lifetime value of social media. He feels mosts businesses today are acting like a bride that puts more energy and effort in planning their wedding than they do putting into their marriage. I recommend you watch the video below, for the full Vaynerchuk experience.
I had an epiphany while watching this video. When I was a kid my Mum (in her strong Belfast accent) would say to my sister and I"You two need to stay close. You've only got each other, remember that." Typically I would roll my eyes and say"yes Mum" as it always felt she was demanding a friendship for us both.
My Mum grew up with twelve brothers and sisters on the outskirts of Belfast, N.Ireland - a region that in the sixties was simmering with an undercurrent of violence and conflict. My recent epiphany after watching the video from Gary was that Mum was teaching us a lesson in the importance of forging lasting relationships. She wasn't expecting my sister and I to be best friends but to create a relationship that had a lifetime value, one that that counts when it matters most.
Many business are going full tilt at social media and demanding more followers on Twitter, more"likes" on Facebook and more ROI from their marketing teams. They are looking for short terms wins in an effort to capitalize on opportunities. How many of you are waiting on that Google+ page for your business because it's the hot new girl in class. (Guilty)
If Gary and others are right the future of business is deeply entwined with social media/social business. It seems the greatest opportunity is the lifetime value of knowing your business is the one that a customer turns to because it knows he/she can count on you.
It's not going to be easy. It'll take time, energy and effort but the long term value is going to be almost unmeasurable.
The wedding day is an amazing memory but the value is in the marriage. Think about that when you are courting your customers. I think it'll be worth the effort, don't you?
Image Credit of Gary Vaynerchuk: Brian Solis