23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2010
This excellent book focuses on how social media have the power "to make a difference." In a way, that's what all the books about social media are about. However, the special focus of The Dragonfly Effect is to emphasize the behavioral components that drive the actual impact of social media campaigns, and "make them stick," to reuse the expression coined by Chip Heath, who wrote the foreword of the book. The dragonfly metaphor gives the authors the four wings of the model that governs the efficiency of a social campaign: Focus + GET (i.e. Grab Attention, Engage, Take Action): "A dragonfly travels with speed and directionality only when all for wings are moving in harmony," the authors note. Each wing constitutes a chapter, and each chapter details the specific design principles for building up the emotional contagion process.
The book starts with the powerful story of two teams who ended up joining forces, Team Sameer and Team Vinay. Contrary to most social media stories, we are not in a fairyland here: Sameer Bhatia and Vinay Chakravarthy both lost their battle against leukemia in 2008. But both teams achieved phenomenal success by making an impact, not only by raising awareness about donating bone marrow, but also by getting tangible results - i.e. changing mindsets and doubling the number of South Asians registered with the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP).
The initial condition of success in social medial is to have a focus; in other words, "to hatch a goal that will make an impact." This focus is driven by five design principles: Humanistic, Actionable, Testable, Clarity, and Happiness. Yet, focus, however clear it may be, is not enough. How are you going to stand out in an "overcrowded, overmessaged, and noisy world?" This is when the art of "grabbing attention" comes in, with its own design principles: send out a message which is personal, unexpected, and visual, triggers a visceral reaction, and subsequently enables people to connect with your goal -- engage. People will join your cause if you tell them a story in which they can believe, if you are authentic, address them when they can listen, and if, in turn, you respond to their engagement. Once this is done, you have all the basic prerequisites for people to feel empowered and take action. This is the sort of groundwork that gets 100,000 people to join your Save Darfur Facebook group. "Your goal is to inspire and enable your group to take action." In short, "movements that begin online must be backed by real-life action; otherwise, there is no point."
The book reads well (and is well-written), and again, has the merit emphasizing the social psychology side of leveraging social media both for the initiator and the followers of a social media movement. Multiple examples relevantly illustrate the point of the authors. We may take some exception, to a certain extent, with the use of the Obama campaign as a model. While it is true that the Obama social media campaign itself exemplifies the four wings of The Dragonfly Effect and showed efficiency in making people vote, it is also obvious that Obama failed to create an enduring movement capable of morphing into a lasting political groundswell supporting him as President. An additional chapter could have dealt with the art of stringing campaigns together with a more precise analysis of the complexity of the dialectical interactions between the online and the real worlds. While it is customary to emphasize the social media aspect of the Obama campaign, the actual efficiency of the campaign was founded upon a complementary relationship between the analog and digital worlds. The physical side of the Obama tribe fizzled out, which, in turn, made his team overlook the necessity of coining an efficient social media message moving forward. No Social Web can affect change without a "ground crew" on Terra Firma and, as Dan Ariely mentions in this afterword, an understanding of the predictable irrationality "of what motivates the people behind the social network."
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on September 12, 2010
This book provides a great road map for harnessing social media for infectious action. Reading it will be of enormous value to both individuals and organizations wanting to mobilize support for a cause or brand.
As someone who does research on cause-related marketing, I also consider this book to be very relevant for understanding how firms can most effectively communicate their CSR actions in a way that has maximal impact.
However, this book is not just for nonprofits and companies involved in cause related marketing. Indeed, although many of the examples are about efforts to help others, the book also offers concrete ideas that can be used by brands to build meaningful relationships with customers as well as employees. The broader scope of this book is on using social media to inspire people to take actions that will truly make a difference. Illustrations of how this can work for brands include examples from large companies such as Nike, eBay, and Google as well as from smaller ventures such as FourSquare, Groupon and Cookpad.
In a world where so many organizations are struggling to develop a meaningful social media strategy, this book does a great job of offering hands-on tools, based on solid academic research, for how to do it right. Its definitely a must-read!
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
The Dragonfly Effect is recommended as one of the better books that discusses how social media works and to get advice on how to think about your own initiative. The authors focus the book on the application of social media to social causes, but do not let this focus deter you from thinking that the book is only applicable to not-for-profit situations.
The book is organized around the four things the authors have learned in developing course materials at Stanford's business school. The four things are:
The authors employ these areas and their own advice in this book by concentrating on a focused subject - the use of social media to do good. They start with attention grabbing stories of individuals and how they and groups formed using social media to do good. The material is engaging from the perspective that the reader can see how they can apply these ideas or would want to participate in such a cause. Finally, he decision trees and other support leads one to take action.
This places the book somewhere between the thinking and content found in a Seth Godin or Clay Shirky book and the plethora of recipe oriented books about social media. The advice in this book is similar to what you will find in just about every book on social media. That may lead you to discount this advice, but I believe that Aker and Smith found it first and have described it better.
The book is recommended for people who want to understand the principles, practices and ideas that drive social media as its more at the general public than others. Marketing and Communications will find more advice than managers who are looking for ways to think through these issues with an eye toward implementation.
Overall this is one of the better books to discuss social media, it is about a 4.5 stars -- too descriptive to provide a 5 star review, but prescriptive and clear enough to warrant a more than a three star rating, which is how I came to give it four stars.
The Dragonfly effect is a good book; you will not waste your time reading it. Highly recommended as the first book on social media, you should read, but if you have read others chances are, you will hear a similar refrain in this work. Still worth the read.
Action oriented in describing both what works, why it works and how it might work for you. Each chapter ends with a decision tree that reflects its contents and offers a way to put the ideas into practice.
The stories are personal and compelling describing how people used social media to support creating positive results in the world. This is an attitude that reflects both the social dimension of social media as well as its application as a business tool.
The book is comprehensive without being onerous. It is written in a style that makes for clear reading and the ideas very accessible. Its focus is descriptive and its audience appears to be aimed more toward marketing executives than general or line managers.
The book could benefit from more discussion of the application of the technology and the techniques that drive the four forces they describe. Instead, the book describes the situation and the results with limited discussion of how they got those results.
The book tries a little too hard to 'brand' around the idea of the dragonfly. The point the authors make the dragonfly a focus because it has the ability to move in every direction equally well. That is true and its true of good social media, but the advice provided in the book appears more as a sequential process than a set of interdependent abilities.
The stories in the book, while engaging and illustrative, basically follows the same pattern of the four actions of the 'dragonfly.' This makes the books messages tight, but it keeps the book from exploring the richness of the innovations and different ways people are using social media to create good.
The book's examples place have an over reliance on Facebook and Twitter as the basis for social media success. While these platforms are important and give the individuals discussed in the book a basis to build a community, they are not the only means to engage in social media.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 16, 2013
These days, it seems as if everyone is, in some form or another, connected to social media. Between tweets, posts, photos, videos, articles, and websites, all people are surrounded by endless conversations. In The Dragonfly Effect: Quick, Effective, and Powerful Ways to Use Social Media to Drive Social Change, Jennifer Aaker and Andy Smith wish to cut through the ongoing chatter to give anyone looking to achieve social change a road map to do so. Their audience has no limit -- Aaker and Smith attest that this book is for YOU "regardless of the change you seek to effect in the world".
In a nutshell, the book is effective in accomplishing what it sets out to do. The concept of the dragonfly effect itself is brilliant, summed up in four steps (Focus, Grab Attention, Engage, and Take Action). Aaker and Smith use an array of other acronyms to sum up the sub-topics of each step, though some (HATCH and TEAM) are much more easily digested than others (PUVV?). In addition to the alphabet soup of acronyms, Aaker and Smith discuss a slew of design principles for each step, drumming up many key means to succeed in the digital market. For example, the idea of innovation arrives in the form of Seth Godin's Purple Cow, or as the Happiness Machine installed by Coca-Cola to satisfy hordes of undergraduates during finals week (bonuses ranged from flowers to a ten-foot-long sandwich). The concept of "stickiness" is discussed much in the book, as related to campaigns of companies such as Bonobos, a clothing retailer designed with those who don't like to shop in mind. Twitter is touched upon here, with accounts for Dell's Outlet store, and using mentions (@username) to effectively engage your audience. Bonobos, as an another example, uses its "Tweet for Trunks" campaign to ask its audience how it can improve, while offering free swimming trunks as incentive. Even the Obama campaign is mentioned (frequently), with an online campaign using existing tools such as Facebook and YouTube in tandem with main channel MyBarackObama.org, and mobile SMS texts. Aaker and Smith tout Obama as the first "Internet President", given the rousing impact social media had on his successful campaign.
The Dragonfly Effect also insists to have insight on human psychology, relating topics such as self-worth and happiness to effective digital marketing and positioning. The book includes a series of blurbs and "boot camps" to both emphasize points made for each chapter, and offer succinct yet necessary exposure to different social media means. The video boot camp, for example, highlights important elements, such as the shot, the subject, the software used to edit (i.e. iMovie or Windows Movie Maker), and analytics produced by YouTube. There is also mention of storytelling playing a role in the marketing process, as the book emphasizes the need to transform a personal passion into fuel for a social contagion. All of this is absolutely pertinent to the realm of digital marketing, and acts as key information for those looking for effective advertising methods to demand the attention of their audience. A specific example that resonated with me: the idea of color being "owned" by certain brands (i.e. Livestrong=Yellow, Coke=Red). Aaker and Smith offer a wide range of marketing means in The Dragonfly Effect, and the aforementioned is just one way to play to the "primitive brain" every audience member has.
Despite all of this success, the book does manage to feel dated, even for 2010. Facebook Causes (now Causes.com), while meaning well, is unfortunately not as apparent to the social media world. Foursquare, while still relevant, still has a long way to go before becoming a household name in social networking. Some of the vocabulary here seems misused, particularly in relation to the IHOP example where fans of the organization's Facebook page tagged IHOP in statuses and posted messages (and may have worked up some wizardry along the way-- tagging doesn't happen in a Facebook message). This may have merely been the product of vague wording (or a misreading by this reviewer), though Aaker and Smith end up creating what appears to be an amateur mistake after already offering impressive insight after insight. Also, while the book is a quick read at a little over 200 pages, it almost feels as if Barack Obama's campaign for office is the most central and repeatedly mentioned example of social media success. While effective, this is coming from a book that mentions a running list of other causes, ranging from grassroots efforts to fundraise for health (see: Help Sameer, Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation) to Kiva, a micro-lending enterprise aiming to bring about social change on a personal level to those around the world living in poverty. Obama's campaign, while clearly important, could have been mentioned less without sacrificing the points Aaker and Smith aim to make.
Amidst these shortcomings, Aaker and Smith do a solid job creating a straightforward manual for using social media for social change. The concept of having conversations with customers is immediately reminiscent of the revolutionary The Cluetrain Manifesto, recalling the increasing need for businesses to be smarter and more personal with effectively engaging customers. Additionally, publications such as Forbes are posting articles related to the need for storytelling in business at a rising rate. With The Dragonfly Effect, Aaker and Smith have crafted a thought-provoking and fairly reliable how-to for anyone wishing to harness the benefits of social media for a greater cause. If you are looking to do MUCH more with social media than merely posting links to cat memes, you would be wise to include this in your required reading.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
In this book written with Carlye Adler, Jennifer Aaker and Andy Smith explain how to "leverage the power of the new social media to do something that really matters." They invoke the dragonfly both as a symbol and as catalyst: "The dragonfly is the only insect able to propel itself in any direction - with tremendous speed and force - when its four wings are working in concert. This ancient, exotic, and benign creature illuminates the importance of integrated effort. It also demonstrates that small actions can create big movements. To us, what we call the Dragonfly Effect is the elegance and efficacy of people who, through the passionate pursuit of their goals, discover that they can make a positive impact disproportionate to their resources."
Others have their own reasons for praising this book. Here are two of mine. First, Aaker and Smith make skillful use of reader-friendly devices inserted throughout their narrative that focus on key points while offering rock-solid practical advice. For example:
o Harnessing the Power of Blogging (Page11)
o Embrace: How Design Thinking Works (22-23)
o Cultivating a Human-Centered Approach (25)
o Go Where People Are (39)
o Three Tips for Facebook Presence (43)
o Grabbing Attention Immediately (59)
o Characteristics of Highly Engaging Campaigns (80-81)
o How to Tell a Story (83)
o Storytelling Boot Camp (85)
o The Dragonfly Encyclopedia of Asks (125)
o Three Rules to Win with Game Play (133)
o Engineering Virality (Robert Scoble, Page135)
o The Importance of Being Open (Charlene Li, 137)
o The Dragonfly Effect Model (162)
o Getting Started with Social Media (163
In certain respects, the dragonfly symbolizes the "what" of leveraging the new social media to do "something that really matters" but the dragonfly also serves as a catalyst for the framework within which Aaker and Smith explain the "how" and, when appropriate, the "why" of achieving that worthy objective.
I also appreciate how skillfully they use acronyms to organize their examination of the four "wings" that provide speed and power to the transformation process. The Dragonfly Model is Focus + GET and these are the acronyms for each of the four wings.
HATCH: Humanistic, Actionable, Testable, Clarity, and Happiness (Focus, Page 32)
PUVV: Personal, Unexpected, Visual, and Visceral (Grab Attention, Page 66)
TEAM: Tell a Story, Empathize, be Authentic, and Match the media (Engage, Page 101)
EFTO: Easy, Fun, Tailored, and Open (Take Action, Page 139)
Aaker and Smith have an insatiable curiosity to understand what works, what doesn't, and why. Clearly, they are determined to something "that really matters": to share what they have learned with as many people as possible. That is why they wrote this book, with Carlye Adler, and why they urge their readers to check out all the resources at [...] I agree with Michael O'Malley that there is much of value to be learned from bees. As Jennifer Aaker and Andy Smith brilliantly explain in this book, the same is true of dragonflies.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 7, 2010
The heart of The Dragonfly Effect is the "why" of social media which includes Facebook and Twitter. Co-author Jennifer Aaker, uses her expertise as a social psychologist and marketer, to show how important the value of the emotions, especially happiness, are in the engagement of users of social media. Great weekend read, for even the non-Technorati.
As the authors' quote Margaret Mead: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." It is also a good summary of the book.
Reviewer: Nicholas P Heille; Minneapolis, MN; 12-7-10
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 7, 2011
The ideas aren't quite as tight as "Made to Stick", but a good supplement for taking MoS ideas into the social advocacy and social network space.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 22, 2013
The Dragon Fly Effect inspires me to develop the strategic stories and brands for my personal career. It is a easy read and full of practical actions and examples I can use in my real time. I also found that Focus + Get principles are applicable to other network working actions beyond just social media.
Love this book and love Professor Aaker's class. She is a great story teller! She helped us become better story tellers, build stories that are authentic and have the lives of their own.
Great book and great class.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 16, 2013
In today's fast evolving media, there are marketers, entrepreneurs, and even ordinary people struggling in effectively communicating with a mass audience. The book, The Dragonfly Effect: Quick, Effective, and Powerful Ways to Use Social Media to Drive Social Change by Jennifer Aaker and Andy Smith with Carlye Adler published in 2010, demonstrates how to formulate one's idea into connecting with a mass audience via social media. Jennifer Aaker is a Marketing professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business and Andy Smith, her spouse, is an entrepreneur. The objective of these authors is to provide their reader with a guide in effectively using social technology towards creating positive impact. Aaker and Smith approach this through offering their insights on the theory of design thinking, emotional contagion, the study of psychological behavior, one's own motivation, story-telling, inspiration, and excelling with one concrete goal.
The authors' audience is a passionate person determined to successfully mobilize their target audience by not only becoming aware of their cause but also by taking action and getting results. This approach is pursued by the four key principles of the Dragonfly Effect. Aaker and Smith define the Dragonfly Effect as "the elegance and efficacy of people who, through the passionate pursuit of their goals, discover that they can make a positive impact disproportionate to their resources" (Aaker & Smith 17). In the latter of this review, the Dragonfly Effect will further be explained.
The Dragonfly Effect is a resourceful guide in keeping up with today's ever-changing media trends. Social media has revolutionized the way we communicate. It is not only a source of staying in touch with friends and family across the world, instead has evolved into sharing information globally within seconds. In creating a cause, if one generates "contagious energy" (effective message) as expressed by Aaker and Smith, then a ripple effect is likely to develop. In charitable activities, the ripple effect is understood as how information travels from one community to another (Aaker & Smith 19). An example would be people tagging, hash tagging or sharing the message with other people and connecting them to the cause.
Now you may still be wondering exactly what does the Dragonfly Effect consist of and how is this strategy so effective. First, understanding why it is called the Dragonfly Effect may help clarify its meaning. The dragonfly is the "only insect able to propel itself in any direction with tremendous force and speed when its four wings are working in concert" (Aaker &Smith 17). This insect helps exemplify the significance of integrated effort. Therefore, each wing represents the four key principles- focus, grab attention, engage, and take action. Once these principles are successfully formulated together, you begin to "fly" and the course of your cause has begun a positive impact towards social change. This concept is strikingly impressive, although not too original, it has been told in different ways. Yet, Aaker and Smith know how to engage the reader and empower the reader to believe in creating a positive social change. What makes this book valuable is its structure of delineating every principle, providing real-life examples, links to examples, citing psychological background, charts, and acronyms to remember how to approach every principle.
Before the four key principles, it is beneficial to understand the concept of design thinking and emotional contagion. Aaker and Smith do a very good job in helping the reader grasp these concepts. They point out that design thinking further helps you comprehend the needs of individuals rather than the needs of the organization. Aaker and Smith describe design thinking as the creator concentrating on bettering their approach towards people, who will ultimately be affected by their cause and help the creator get over their unintentional biases and misconceptions. To ensure that this occurs, design thinking is performed through hypotheses testing and rapid prototyping (Aaker & Smith 27). The other important concept, emotional contagion, means that one person's current emotional state of mind may cause another person to feel the same way. Thus, become more strongly mobilized towards the cause. These concepts are important to implement into the four key principles in order to execute them successfully.
The first principle, "focus" is for the creator to set one concrete goal that will steer them into the right direction of their vision. Aaker and Smith explain that a focus takes several elements to fulfill in order to create a suitable goal. They provide an acronym for one to easily remember when approaching their focus. The acronym HATCH stands for humanistic, actionable, testable, charity, happiness (Aaker & Smith 49). Without these five elements, the focus will not be completely functional. Aaker and Smith emphasize this point by providing real life examples from Montana trying to reduce the rate of meth use among teens to President Obama's political campaign via social media. They make a distinct clarification of what a macro goal and tactical goal is because when envisioning your focus, it is important to approach the focus with manageable goals rather than immediately going for the long-term goal.
The second principle, "grab attention" is described as the "stickiness" part of the project. Aaker and Smith define grabbing one's attention as producing greater interest in the topic and the audience wanting to learn more. As obvious as this may seem for one to recognize that grabbing attention is essential in executing the goal, Aaker and Smith identify the true attributes of how to maintain that attention. They describe the key factors to capture an audience by remembering the acronym PUVV, personal, unexpected, visual, and visceral. In such an overwhelming world of noise, whether that is through media, internet, personal interactions, these principles are meant to distract your audience and capture their interest. Aaker and Smith have suggested powerful ideas and insisted on testing different methods of grabbing attention before explicitly sticking to one.
The third principle, "engage" is about compelling your audience to be emotionally connected to your cause. The importance of engagement is to ensure your audience is responding to your message and in the path of taking action. Aaker and Smith give various examples of how people have used social media to engage their audience. The biggest advantage of using social media is its feature of being able to interact with the audience.
The last principle, "take action" is when the audience decides to proceed with the creator's request. This may consist of donating money, blood, supporting a campaign, etc. However, Aaker and Smith emphasize the importance of making sure one asks their audience to take action appropriately. After providing evidence of multiple experiments, Aaker and Smith justified the time-ask effect. The time-ask effect says by focusing your message on time versus money, it can affect your audience's willingness to contribute.
Overall, Aaker and Smith did an exceptional job in providing evidential material and motivated its readers to create their own social media event for social good. Their real life stories ranged from ordinary people changing lives to government figures using social media as a source of spreading knowledge. These stories helped see the principles in action and set examples for readers to look back at. In addition, the placements of these stories throughout the book were effective because it made it easier for readers to become aware of the concept then truly understand how the concept is applied. However, what Aaker and Smith missed to apply in their book was examples of failed social media campaigns and further explanations of how the marketer could have gone about solving the problem. Nonetheless, Aaker and Smith successfully provide a game plan to influence the use of social media for social good. They captured the essence of dedication and passion put into work.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 16, 2013
"[The dragonfly] illuminates the importance of integrated effort... [and] demonstrates that small actions can create big movements" (pg. xiii). This quote from the introduction of The Dragonfly Effect by Jennifer Aaker and Andy Smith clearly exemplifies the underlying motif of the book: a focused group, harnessing the powers of social media, can make a difference by achieving extraordinary goals. The authors of this book present a detailed approach to anyone looking to "effectively tap into human behavior" (pg. xxi) through use of social media to fuel social change. The analogy of the dragonfly is utilized by the authors to guide their readers toward understanding their process, which is simplified by a mnemonic device: Focus + GET (Focus, Grab Attention, Engage, and Take Action). The four wings of the dragonfly symbolize these four principles, which encompass the authors' proposed model to aid the readers in their future campaigns.
The authors dedicate a chapter for each "wing" in the dragonfly model. Each wing's chapter designates its own set of "design principles" for that step, using helpful acronyms to remember them. In the chapter about the "Focus" step, the authors present the design principles to follow as H.A.T.C.H. (Humanistic, Actionable, Testable, Clarity, Happiness) (pg 22). The authors display anecdotes that support the inclusion of each design principle, such as a story about the Montana Meth Project, which "sought to publicize the dark side of [meth] and 'unsell' it" (pg. 24) through humanistic design thinking. Though focus is an important aspect to determine, the authors wonder how a movement can "stick out in an overcrowded, over-messaged, noisy world" (pg. 49) where people already spend "26 percent of their time dealing with... information overload" (pg. 52)? The answer P.U.V.V.: create a personal hook, do the unexpected, visualize the message, and create a visceral connection (pg. 66). After this is accomplished, the campaign will be in the right place to engage the audience. To do this, the authors detail that one must follow the design principles T.E.A.M.: tell a story, emphasize, be authentic, and match the media (pg. 101). The book details the story of a non-profit called Charity: Water that provided clean drinking water to developing nations. The authors attribute its success to following the four design principle of "Engage". According to them, completing this step of the dragonfly model will "prime your audience for the next step: inspiring them to take action" (pg. 105). As the final step, allowing the audience to "take action" will make for a long-lasting campaign. The authors state that to instigate people to take action these design principles must be carried out: make it easy for others to act, make it fun to take action, tailor to the audience, and have an open call to action (E.F.T.O). By finally enacting the last wing of the dragonfly, the authors assert that a campaign can "successfully close the loop on... earlier successes" and continue that loop for "world-changing results" (pg. 141).
The book introduces these steps of the dragonfly plan with a story of two cancer patients, Sameer and Vinay, who leveraged social media to generate change within the South Asian community to increase the amount of registered bone marrow donors. The campaign started with a mere email to Sameer's colleagues, which reached 35,000 people within forty-eight hours. The story of these two men,is very compelling for the reader and it displays the process of a real campaign, which was widely successful and registered 24,611 South Asians into the NMDP registry for bone marrow donors in under eleven weeks (pg. 8). The authors attribute the success of Team Sameer to the dragonfly model and explain how each step affected the outcome. The first step the team took was to set a goal that they could focus on reaching. The authors explain that Team Sameer needed at least twenty-thousand South Asians to sign up within weeks to have a chance at finding a donor, so they focused on reaching out to others who could relate to Sameer's story (pg. 9). Next, the authors show that the team's next step sought to grab attention. They utilized both social and traditional media to spread compelling and emotional messages regarding the campaign (pg. 10). Then it is explained that the team engaged their audience by making Sameer knowable to the public and allowing his story to become personally meaningful to those who read it (pg. 10). Finally the authors show that Team Sameer enabled their listeners to take action by giving them clear instructions about how to help their campaign, such as information on how to host their own bone marrow drives (pg. 12).
The authors claim that the "effectiveness of [Team Sameer's] effort can be traced to the four steps" (pg. 8) and after reading about the campaign the reader will tend to agree. Throughout the Dragonfly Effect, the authors recite success stories of social media campaigns to back up their arguments for their model. These case studies are definitely persuasive supporting facts for the potency of the dragonfly model and the reader will begin to trust the authors' assertions early on in the book.
Not only do the authors' choices of social media campaign case studies support their arguments, but also their own book efficiently utilizes the four step plan, using these sensational stories as their centerpiece. The Dragonfly Effect is a clear example of the four wings in action. The authors apply the "Focus" step by concentrating on explaining to their reader how to utilize the various aspects of social media to enact social change for the good of the world. Next, the "Grab Attention" step is employed through use of emotional and interesting accounts of social media being used by various groups to make an impact, such as the previously discussed South Asian bone marrow drives, the non-profit foundation Kiva who lends money to people from impoverished nations, and even Obama's presidential campaign. After grabbing the reader's attention with these stories, the authors "Engage" them with facts about the outcomes of these stories. The audience can learn how the dragonfly model might be used in a real situation and may even read a story that will cause them to start supporting a worthwhile cause. Finally, the authors "Take Action" by enabling the readers to start their own campaign with the knowledge provided and present them with possible causes to rally behind. It is remarkable in retrospect that the authors secretively made use of their own principles for enacting change in the pages of their book on that very subject. This realization displays the subtle power of the dragonfly method in influencing an audience to support a movement.
"The Dragonfly Effect is the playbook" (pg. 171), as the authors state, for anyone who wants to understand how the practice of social media is used in the marketing field. The authors provide many illustrated decision trees and mnemonic devices after each principle of the dragonfly method is discussed, which greatly simplifies the process and makes it clear and memorable for the reader. The case studies used throughout the book as anecdotal evidence are persuasive and tactful; presenting the effectiveness of the four wings method in a way that grasps the reader's attention right away. On the other hand, on the whole, the stories felt very derivative and lost their uniqueness about halfway through the book. Moreover, the book falls short in providing it's audience with the knowledge to actually implement a social media campaign, so this book should only be read for a general insight into the underlying principles of this field of marketing. Other than those two shortfalls, this book will keep the reader entertained and is definitely worth the read as an introduction to social media.