Social Media Day 2011: Online Meets Offline

Ever considered hanging out with people like you? What about people who like what you like, or do what you do? Of course you have. But what about those people you’ve met but don’t really know? That’s what Social Media Day (SMDay) is all about.

SMDay 2011 should have begun with a short speech:

“Welcome to Social Media Day. The first rule of SMDay is.. Tell someone about SMDay!”

Anyone who heard about this second annual Social Media Day is living proof of the primary philosophy behind the event: People communicate with one another, and when people communicate, big things can be accomplished. Granted, Social Media Day was no Tower of Babel, but it is still an impressive feat of human communication and coordination.

Alright. What is SMDay?

It’s a worldwide event (90 countries, so I hear) primarily organized by internet news source Mashable. Crowd-sourced advertising used Meetup, Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks to spread the word. Tweets including “#SMDay” quickly produced a visible trend on the popular microblogging service. The very nature of the event ensured it’s success. Hundreds of fun events were held all over the world on June 30. Most (if not all) were free.

For example, I went to House of Air in San Francisco, CA. Ben & Jerry’s supplied free ice cream. Tagged had a booth to advertise their socialgaming network. (They told me to tell everyone they’re hiring, by the way.) The Laugh Box brought a photo booth that creates a flipbook of you and your friends goofing around for a few seconds. Plus, I got a Mashable sweatband and a yellow House of Air wristband. All this, and then there was the main attraction. The House of Air has huge platforms made of trampolines, which function as the floor of an epic game of dodgeball. I’d love to see Justin Long try dodging a wrench from Rip Torn while flying through the air!

The ultimate purpose of Social Media Day is to bring social media users together for free fun activities, with the potential of some good old-fashioned offline networking.

Through communication and coordination things that you would think to be impossible become tangible. A goal was set; a theme was chosen; ideas were discussed; vendors pitched in; and people and organizations donated time, energy and effort. At the end of it all there was worldwide coordination without people even realizing the part they had played. People came together to celebrate a union of technology with the people that utilize it to build, grow, and renew relationships. Imagine if that same principal of communication and coordination was put forth with your business as the hub. That’s the power of social media marketing. It has no definition. It is what you make of it, whether personal or professional.

Next year, keep an eye out for details on an event near you! Did you enjoy Social Media Day 2011? Tell your story in the comments section below or respond with your photos & videos from events!