Happy Social Media Day!

(originally posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2010)

Today we celebrate one of the biggest advancements in inter-personal communications. And if you are reading this on our Facbook page, or someone shared this blog post with you, then you already know who the honor goes to: social media.

Social media blog Mashable has declared June 30th “Social Media Day”, and is marking this occasion by promoting meet-ups in various locations around the world. Not surprisingly, we found out about today’s global holiday via Twitter.

At The Weinstein Organization we think social media is worth celebrating. At a time when global population is growing faster than any other in human history, social media makes the world smaller while expanding our personal peer influence. The ability to directly connect with others cannot be underrated; it helps raise money during a crisis (the Haitian earthquake), it changes politics (Barack Obama’s Presidential campaign in 2008), and it even finds people work (Betty White on SNL).

Social media can also be credited with changing fundamental human behavior. People are now publishers, and our ability to move ideas around the world is only limited by the strength, viability, and appeal of our ideas. And that is a fundamental shift for marketing too.

Many marketers worry about losing control of their message because of social media. But customers and prospects have always controlled the marketing message with the oldest form of marketing: word-of-mouth. But now our word-of-mouth is more amplified and more precisely targeted within our own individual spheres of influence.

This is good for marketing. When marketers take the time to listen to what people are saying about them, and adjust their messages to work more effectively within the social climate surrounding their product or service, they have a better chance of success. People react positively when they feel like someone is listening to them. And best of all, we can see it happening in real time—if we take the time to pay attention.

Direct response marketing can easily adopt social media strategies, because they are natural extensions of what we already do. It is pull-marketing with a twist: instead of acquiring one customer at a time, we can now pull in that one customer and all of their friends. And all their friends’ friends. It largely depends on how well we craft the key offer and message, which are some of the basic best practices of direct response marketing in the first place.

So on this happy Social Media Day, we gather ‘round our browsers and give thanks to the great connector of us all. Statuses are updated, You are uploaded, Tweets are tweeted, and anything worth digging is on Digg.