The Dragonfly Effect: Making Social Change with Social Media

January 31st, 2012 by Red Poppy Marketing in Social Media

Red Poppy Marketing’s non-profit clients, including  RYASAP (Regional Youth Adult Social Action Partnership) and GBAPP (Greater Bridgeport Area Prevention Program) are all working to make a difference in their communities.

They have begun to effectively use the Internet to make their voices, and their missions, heard thanks to the invention and popularity of social media.

These free social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest and Blogs, have given our clients the tools to affordably and effectively raise awareness, connect with their audiences and inspire action.

Jennifer Aaker, Andy Smith and Carlye Adler are the authors of the The Dragonfly Effect: Quick, Effective, and Powerful Ways to Use Social Media to Drive Social Change. In it, they describe how social media works much like a dragonfly. The insect travels with speed and direction only when all four of its wings work in harmony. The same goes for driving a message.

They offer the following steps to Focus and G.E.T. your ideas heard:

FOCUS: Identify a single concrete and measurable goal.
What is it you need to do? How fast do you need it done? Social Media thrives on the world’s Six Degrees of Separation. If your message is compelling enough, the people you send your idea to, will send it those whom they know as well. Your message could spread like wild fire!

GRAB ATTENTION: Make someone look. Cut through the abundance of social media with something PERSONAL and VISUAL.
It’s one thing to SAY social change is needed, but LOOKING into the face of those who need the change the most, impacts your audience on a greater level. Visual images evoke a relatable quality in people and pull at their heart strings. When the issue is closer to home, people are more likely to react. Anyone can blog, tweet or e-mail. Make what you have to say worth a more in-depth look. Consider a video blog or photo visuals.

ENGAGE: Empower the audience to want to do something themselves.
Bring your focus to life. Let the audience see and/or hear a first-hand account of someone who needs their help the most. Have your main focus tell their story either via blog or perhaps even YouTube. Make them seem Three-Dimensional.

TAKE ACTION: Enable and empower others to take action. Help others further the cause and change beyond themselves.
The “call-to-action” is the most important part of your process. If you are asking for contributions, make that information easy to find, understand and ultimatley use. If applicable, include any online links (i.e. a PayPal button). Seek others to spread the message on and make it clear–tell them to do so. Make your audience member a part of your organization.

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