“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
- Margaret Mead
I use social media to stay in touch with my friends and family, and usually limit my involvement to people I already know. But what if I used it for a higher purpose than the simple transmission of personal correspondence?
What if we all did?
With the amount of people around the globe that are on at least one social media platform (upwards of 4 billion), the opportunity to reach millions and effect meaningful change remains...
frustratingly missed -
And the problem isn’t necessarily access – according to the Pew Research Center, 89% of Americans actively use the Internet. For US – based businesses, this access provides ample opportunity to reach large target audiences.
The true crux of the issue is that people aren’t quite sure how to use our digital landscape to create change. In fact, “even many ‘social media experts’ don’t truly get what social media is,” says Scott Levy, author of Tweet Naked, a common course text taught at universities across the US. “Social media is ‘media.’ It’s a newspaper, it’s a magazine, it’s a newscast, it’s a TV show, it’s a Netflix series, it’s a good book, it’s a newsletter.”
Social media is in essence social – how can we use online engagements to create change?
The past couple of weeks I’ve been bombarded with news on the immigration crisis and separation of families. As both the daughter of Salvadoran immigrants and a mother myself, witnessing the struggles of Latin American families online and on television has been gut-wrenching.
I took notice of a campaign raising money for Raices-Action Network, a network that provides legal assistance to immigrant children, families, and refugees in Texas. Raices, short for the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, is a non-profit that provides free and low-cost legal services to underserved immigrant children, families and refugees in Central and South Texas. The organization tripled its funding, literally, overnight.
I was inspired and amazed: social media can be a force for good, after all.
Immigration is an issue that is near and dear to my whole family, and I consider myself an advocate for others who would like to enjoy the rich blessings this country has to offer. After reading about the successful fundraising campaign for Raices, I remembered a book I read during my studies at Johns Hopkins. The Dragonfly Effect by Jennifer Aacker and Andy Smith captured my attention and is particularly useful when it comes to designing social media campaigns.
The Dragonfly Effect uses the image of a dragonfly to show us how wings function when they work together in unison and what can happen when all parts sync: achievement and tangible results.
Transparent, connected, and flexible - these four wings each represent a principle: Focus, Grab Attention, Engage, and Take Action. If each principle is carried out for a good cause, any of us can relay a message and influence the multitudes of people out there. The Dragonfly Effect produces a model anyone can use:
Wing 1 - FOCUS: In any campaign, a strategic goal must be created. That goal is the focal point, but what I like about The Dragonfly Effect is that it asks us to use micro goals in order to attain macro goals. In other words, articulate a clear and measurable goal. Start small. We may say, “I want to change the world.” Well, why don’t we start by helping one person today?
Wing 2 - GRAB ATTENTION: Grabbing attention is not about posting just for the sake of it. Relevant content should be meaningful and authentic.
Wing 3 - ENGAGE: Posting here and there on social media is not engagement. Talk to your audience. Ask Questions. Respond to those reading and posting comments. And ensure your audience can find the content you’re sharing.
Wing 4 - TAKE ACTION: Customers will appreciate supporting a product or company that shares their goals. It shows that the commercial enterprise is vested in the health and safety of its community, not just in its own interests. Your strategy should have an aspect of corporate social responsibility – what you do, your mission and your goals should move beyond increasing your bottom line.
You must evoke change, elevate those in your community – make that positive impact.
The four wings of the dragonfly create a positive user experience. You want the essence of you, the vibe of your company to be a positive one, and to do this, you need data, content, search optimization and a plan – you need KJMdigital.
Ofelia McMenamy is a recent graduate of Johns Hopkins’ Krieger School of Arts and Sciences where she earned her masters in Political Communication. She is the Senior Case Manager with Multnomah County Aging, Disability & Veterans Services. She joins us this week from Portland, Oregon.
Need help reaching your audience? The KJMdigital mission is to help connect artists to businesses through our online landscape. And the KJM Team works because our mission and values align with what we value - radical transparency, autonomy and flexibility. At KJMdigital, we put people first because we know real relationships are what matter most.
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