CSR Bookshelf: The Dragonfly Effect, by Andy Smith and Jennifer Aaker

A new book has hit the CSR shelf. Aiming to inspire quick, effective and powerful ways to use social media for social change, The Dragonfly Effect, by husband/wife duo Andy Smith and Jennifer Aaker, reveals how everyday people can inspire change and attain effective results by harnessing the power of social media.

A tech marketer, Andy Smith is a principal at Vonavona Ventures and speaks on social technology and brand building, focusing on applying technology to address real problems. Jennifer Aaker is the General Atlantic Professor of Marketing at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business. A social psychologist and marketing guru, Aaker’s research focuses on the topic of time, money and happiness.

Aptly named for the only insect that can move in any direction when its four wings work in concert, The Dragonfly Effect shares case studies from global organizations to Silicon Valley start-ups – including The Gap, eBay, Groupon and COOKPAD – to educate readers about tapping into social media and psychological drivers to achieve their goals. The book is useful and inspirational for both individuals and CSR professionals, with its easy-to-follow model for effecting social change.

Here are the four essential steps that The Dragonfly Effect discusses:

  • Focus Your Goal: Identify a single, concrete, measurable goal that is actionable. A series of tactical, personally meaningful, micro-goals will lead to achieving your long-term macro-goals and engaging your audience.
  • Grab Attention: Catch your audience’s eye effectively by using personal “hooks” and designing a campaign that is “visceral and visual.”
  • Engage: Create a personal connection to the higher emotions of your audience, compassion, empathy, and happiness. As the authors write: “It’s about empowering the audience to care enough to want to do something themselves…and actually do it.”
  • Take Action: By providing your point of view and your personal story, inspire others to take action by following the fun, easy and unique example you have given.

Smith and Aaker also encourage readers to share their stories, extending the social experience of the book by practicing what they preach.

You can read more about the book on The Dragonfly Effect blog as well as participate in the conversation on Twitter @aaker, @kabbenbock @dflyeffect.

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