Maria Gebhardt's Reviews > The Dragonfly Effect: Quick, Effective, and Powerful Ways to Use Social Media to Drive Social Change

The Dragonfly Effect by Jennifer Aaker
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Apr 06, 2012

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Read in April, 2012

This book is based on the highly acclaimed and sought after class, Power of Social Technology (PoST), at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

The dragonfly symbolizes happiness, new beginnings, and change across cultures and each section of the book is appropriately broken into wings based on four elements: Focus, Grab Attention, Engage, and TakeAction or Focus + GET.

The book begins by showing the power of what can be done with free online resources. Sameer Bhatia and Vinay Chakravarthy suffered from diseases and were in desperate need of bone marrow transplants. Their friends and family became driving forces to find registrants through social media tools.

Consequently, focus is an incredibly important part of this concept. Instead of just having one goal, the idea is to have a long-range goal and numerous micro-goals. These micro-goals help to establish accomplishments and keep the focus on the concept without losing momentum. It is also important to set-up ways to test and measure the success as the idea progresses. The meaning of the concept is an essential factor to engage social media users. If a viewer does not see it as meaningful or in some way it does not reach them emotionally, the momentum will simply stop.

The next wing discusses how to grab attention for your message including the following design principles: 1 – Get Personal; 2 – Deliver the Unexpected; 3 – Visualize Your Message; and 4 – Make a Visceral Connection. Two important points include how Apple visualized its message with white earbuds when black earbuds were really the standard. By using this distinctive color, Apple really stood out. Additionally, in making a visceral connection, think of the sounds you associate with brands. The Intel chimes, NBC’s three notes, McDonald’s, or 20th Century Fox. These sounds engage the customer and connect with the customer each time they are heard.

Fluttering onto the next section is engaging. Perhaps this is the most difficult and most important wing. Engaging deals with getting people to really take your message to heart, to care, and to be passionate about it. The four principles of design include: 1 – Tell a Story (and don’t forget to understand how the story is constructed); 2 – Empathize; 3 – Be Authentic; and 4 – Match the Media.

Finally, the last wing discusses how to take action. It points out that asking for time, instead of money can really help focus on the goal and spread the message quickly. It stresses that getting others to take action should be based on EFTO – Easy, Fun, Tailored, and Open.

The Dragonfly Effect provides the framework to help any nonprofit propel its message just like the dragonfly can fly in any direction when its four wings are in unison. It is a very interesting book that has a powerful and timely message.
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message 1: by Nate (new)

Nate Thanks for the summary, but what was lacking that made you not rate the book higher?


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