Let’s take a little stroll down memory lane.
Back before the explosion of social media, smartphones, and Skype, how many people would wish you a happy birthday on your big day?
Probably your immediate family, maybe a couple other relatives, and the few friends and coworkers you saw that day who happened to be aware that it was your birthday. If you were looking for some extra b-day wishes, you might have made some strategic comments about how old you were now, or left a birthday card out on your desk for all to see – but broadcasting the fact that it was your birthday for everyone to hear wasn’t exactly the done thing, so most people never knew when the birthdays of their acquaintances were.
Fast forward to a couple decades later, and everyone is instantly alerted to the birthdays of everyone they know, even purely online acquaintances they have never met or spoken to, through a myriad of different channels. What a difference!
Our VP of Search Engine Marketing, Idan Shnall, noticed this the other day, on his own birthday. He was marveling at the number of friendly birthday messages sent his way, each via the technology or platform that each person was most comfortable using. Phone calls, emails, and texts came, of course, from family and close friends, but because of the fact that everyone connected with Idan on Skype, Facebook, and LinkedIn got a notification of his birthday, he was bombarded with best wishes from many of his connections on those channels, as well. Happy birthday, indeed!
So why is this little reflection worth talking about on a digital marketing blog? Sure, it’s cool to get birthday wishes from so many people, but what’s the big deal?
The big deal is the fact that this new interconnectedness, this new hyperawareness of details of our online connections’ lives, and the willingness to reach out to those connections online, is exactly why social media marketing works.
Social media can bring out the worst in us – but it can also bring out the best. For every online bully there are hundreds, if not thousands, of friendly, generous folks online who spend their time building others up and sharing great content, whether that content is a picture of their children, a recipe they love, a great blog post they just read, or a link to the website of a cool company they just discovered.
That is why social media marketing works. Because people genuinely want to help each other, and genuinely appreciate others who help them. Which is exactly what businesses who share useful content on social media are doing. Helping others.
People reaching out to near strangers to brighten their day with a birthday wish…a party supply company sharing their favorite recipes…a mom telling her friends about a great kids’ book she just found…a software company dispensing business advice…it’s all the same thing. People making connections, developing and strengthening relationships, helping each other out. Social media marketing, for all its bells and whistles, boils down to just that. Relationships. People reaching out to other people.
And we just think that’s pretty cool.