The Dragonfly Effect Quick, Effective, and Powerful Ways To Use Social Media to Drive Social Change by Jennifer Aaker, Andy Smit
Proven strategies for harnessing the power of social media to drive social change
Many books teach the mechanics of using Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to compete in business. But no book addresses how to harness the incredible power of social media to make a difference. The Dragonfly Effect shows you how to tap social media and consumer psychological insights to achieve a single, concrete goal. Named for the only insect that is able to move in any direction when its four wings are working in concert, this book
- Reveals the four “wings” of the Dragonfly Effect-and how they work together to produce colossal results
- Features original case studies of global organizations like the Gap, Starbucks, Kiva, Nike, eBay, Facebook; and start-ups like Groupon and COOKPAD, showing how they achieve social good and customer loyalty
- Leverage the power of design thinking and psychological research with practical strategies
- Reveals how everyday people achieve unprecedented results-whether finding an almost impossible bone marrow match for a friend, raising millions for cancer research, or electing the current president of the United States
The Dragonfly Effect shows that you don’t need money or power to inspire seismic change.
The Dragonfly Effect is a model that taps concepts from social media, marketing strategy, and consumer psychology to help people achieve a single, concrete goal. We named it after the only insect that can move swiftly in any direction, and even hover, when its four wings are moving in harmony. The four “wings” of the model—Focus, Grab Attention, Engage, and Take Action—work together to help readers produce the change they seek, and that desired change can take many forms: social good, employee morale, or customer loyalty, among many others.The name itself is a tribute to the “Butterfly Effect,” which is itself built on chaos theory. It describes how the flapping of a butterfly’s wings might have an impact on the weather halfway around the world. The dragonfly, however, moves with tremendous speed and force, and compared to a butterfly, it has about twenty times more power in each flap of its wings. You can imagine that potential is even greater when harnessed and coordinated on a mass scale. Al Gore, former vice president and master viral-message maker, once said, “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Small acts create big change, and working in concert maximizes your ability to go farther faster—and in any direction you choose.What inspired you to create this movement (or ecosystem)?
There were three underlying reasons we started working this book: first, Andy’s experience in marketing and harnessing social media to build brands suggested that the social space could be deployed in a fundamentally new way; second, Jennifer’s research on happiness, which shows that what people think makes them happy isn’t really what makes them happy; and third, most importantly, our own personal experience working with amazing, smart people to find a bone marrow match for a friend, which, as a result, helped to build up a bone marrow registry that’s helped thousands of others. Those stories, and the tools that were developed as a result, are described in this book.These three things led to “The Power of Social Technology,” a class that Jennifer teaches at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. The class is designed to help entrepreneurial students harness the social web to cultivate good in the world. The course demonstrates not only that people are clamoring for ways to use the social web for good, but that there’s a framework and a repeatable process that can help them achieve their goals quickly. We wanted to share this model with as many people as possible and are excited to see what can be achieved as even more people get involved.Lots of books describe how to use social media. How is yours different?
That’s true; there are many excellent books that teach the mechanics of using Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. And some explain how to use these tools to compete in business. But few books address how to harness the incredible power of the social web to make a difference. The Dragonfly Effect shows you how to tap social media and insights from consumer psychology to achieve a single, concrete goal. We walk readers through the Obama campaign and how they pioneered social technology strategies to create political change; how Starbucks uses the social web to engage with customers and educate fans about social-good initiatives, such as buying fair trade coffee; how ProFounder provides a platform for crowdfunding for small businesses, making micro-loans easily available to entrepreneurs; and how everyday people are able to improve the chance of survival for cancer patients.We also have direct insights from the founders of eBay’s World of Good, storytellers from Pixar, and leaders from Facebook, Twitter, and Google…all offering their unique expertise and success stories. Throughout the book, readers will also find Dragonfly Toolkits designed to break down potentially intimidating first-steps and walk them through the process of getting started with easy-to-implement actions.
What do you mean by “the ripple effect” and “emotional contagion”?
Just as a rock thrown into a pond leads to a series of waves that radiate in all directions, the small act that you do can lead to big, often unimaginable results. Research shows that ripple effects result from small acts that have a positive significant impact on others over time. When the action at the epicenter of the ripple effect is based on deep meaning (or something that you believe will make you happy), a multiplier effect can occur because of principles of emotional contagion.
Emotional contagion is the tendency to feel emotions similar to and otherwise be influenced by the emotions of others. So when others around you start to feel the way you do, they can become more strongly energized and mobilized. The fact that your feelings of happiness or meaning can actually infect others also helps explain why some initiatives work and others don’t. It underscores the potential for organizations of all types to cultivate social good—which is often tied to happiness and meaning—when they’re trying to capture the imagination of their employees and customers.
From Publishers Weekly
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From the Inside Flap
—Seth Godin, author, LinchpinMany books teach the mechanics of using Facebook, Twitter, andYouTube to compete in business. But no book has addressed how toharness the incredible power of social media to make a difference.The Dragonfly Effect shows you how to tap social media andconsumer psychological insights to achieve a single, concretegoal.Named for the only insect that is able to move in any directionwhen its four wings are working in concert, The DragonflyEffect reveals how four key actions can come together toproduce colossal results. By learning how to effectively Focus,Grab Attention, Engage, and Take Action, everyday people canachieve unprecedented results—whether they are looking toignite a corporate program, save a life, or change the world.Jennifer Aaker and Andy Smith show how individuals, armed with onlyan Internet connection, were able to find an almost impossible bonemarrow match for a friend, raise millions for cancer research,create widespread corporate engagement with consumers and employeesalike, and even elect the current president of the UnitedStates.Featuring dynamic, original case studies of global organizationslike Gap, Starbucks, Kiva, Nike, eBay, and Facebook, as well asstart-ups like Groupon and COOKPAD, The Dragonfly Effect shows howthey achieve both social good and customer loyalty by leveragingthe power of design thinking with practical strategies. Withadditional “Expert Insights” from key thought leaders and socialmedia strategists Charlene Li, Randi Zuckerberg, Robert Scoble,Avinash Kaushik, and Oren Jacob, The Dragonfly Effect showsyou how to bring people together in the age of distraction, and howto inspire widespread change without money or power.
From the Back Cover
―Daniel H. Pink, author of A Whole New Mind and Drive“The Dragonfly Effect is actionable, credible, and absolutely necessary for anyone looking to use social media and Facebook to drive social good.”
―Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook”The Dragonfly Effect shows anyone how to get involved and take action on issues that matter to them. Its principles lay the foundation for any organization looking to harness the power of social media to champion a cause and create positive change in the world.”
―Pierre Omidyar, founder and chairman, eBay, and founding partner, Omidyar Network”So much of the recent focus on social technology has emphasized its power to distract. It is hugely gratifying to see a book that focuses on its power to attract, to powerfully bring together caring people around critical social problems to address them on a global scale. The same principles that make a YouTube video go viral can help bring disaster relief to Haiti. It is all just a matter of making it happen.Thanks to The Dragonfly Effect, you can now learn how.”
―Geoffrey Moore, co-founder and managing director, TCG Advisors, and author of Crossing the Chasm and Dealing with Darwin“This book makes envisioning, formulating, and executing a social media strategyan intuitive and―dare I say―fun process! The Dragonfly Effect shows how anyindividual or organization can turn their passion for reaching out to the world intoa concrete set of actions.”
―Jessica Jackley, founder, Kiva and Profounder”The Dragonfly Effect shows how social technology, openness, and empathy cancome together to change the world. Read this book to discover dynamic waysto harness this potential for good.”
―Charlene Li, author of Groundswell and Open Leadership, and founder, Altimeter Group
About the Author
A social psychologist and marketer, Jennifer Aaker is the General Atlantic Professor of Marketing at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. Her research focuses on time, money, and happiness, and how small acts create significant change―fueled by social media. Her work has been featured in a variety of media including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, BusinessWeek, Forbes, and NPR, as well as CBS MoneyWatch.Andy Smith is a principal of Vonavona Ventures, where he advises companies on marketing, customer strategy, and operations. Over the past 20 years, he has served as a high tech executive, leading teams at Dolby Labs, BIGWORDS, LiquidWit, Intel, Analysis Group, Polaroid, Integral Inc., and PriceWaterhouseCoopers.