Think Like Zuck
To say that Mark Zuckerberg and his social network, Facebook, have had an affect on our culture would be an understatement. To date, if Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest country in the world. Think Like Zuck examines the five principles behind Facebook’s rise, presented in actionable lessons anyone can apply—in any organization, in any industry. Written by social business trailblazer Ekaterina Walter, this groundbreaking book reveals the five “P”s of Facebook’s success:
Have you read Think Like Zuck? What are your thoughts?
A picture is worth a thousand words. Its an old saying, but its just as poignant today. We are surrounded by more data than ever before. To help simplify what can be an overwhelming amount of numbers and statistics, data visualizations and infographics are able to condense your message down into a clear, concise, and creative display. Not only are they more visually pleasing to look at, they are also more easy to understand. Data visualizations and infographics are increasingly being used by non-profits to talk about their need, but what are they and how can you use them?
Data Visualizations are a presentation of data in a pictorial or graphical format. Check out the periodic table of data visualizations. It details a wide variety of visualizations, and breaks them down in a super nerdy/awesome periodic table. It is also helpful in understanding how certain visualizations are used - i.e. for information, metaphor, etc. As for infographics, a great definition (using infographics!) can be seen here.
Data visualizations and infographics are similar in their use and function, but they have a couple key differences. The most basic comparison is that infographics are generally used for a very specific topic or issue, while data visualizations are more often used to make sense of a large quantity of information, or data. This makes infographics generally more helpful for non-profits, since they are often working in specific avenues of need. For a more in depth article on the similarities and differences, go here.
So data visualizations and infographics seem great, but how can you use them to your benefit? In General they can be used for almost anything. Visual.ly is a great site that has tons of infographics and data visualizations. They even have one for what it costs to be Batman! However, they are just as versatile for non-profits. They can be used to show the need your non-profit is addressing, the change occurring in non-profits over time, or even the effectiveness of social media.
Now that you’ve heard the benefits, are there any drawbacks to infographics and data visualizations? They have been criticized for a lack of emotion. While they are succinct and often beautiful portrayals of data, they don’t necessarily incite people to action. The lack of emotion can turn into slacktivism. To combat this, infographics are easily combined with the passion and emotion of your team and your need, to make both a compelling and easily understandable message that will cause people to act instead of just “like”.
Data visualizations and infographics are great ways for your nonprofit to get its message across. Though you may want to be careful with their usage and make sure you include emotion, they are still far superior to straight data. If you’re still looking for more information, check out this fascinating Ted Talks video on the subject. Happy Visualizing!
Written by Interactive for Good’s intern Carissa Tsiris
If you type “Making it go viral” into google, it pulls up millions of results. We’ve all seen viral videos, but usually they are a distraction from work, rather than a result of it. Instead of looking at “Dramatic Chipmunk” or “Charlie Bit My Finger” we’re going to look at some examples of nonprofits who are making their videos go viral, and steps you can take to do the same.
Why do you want your video to go viral anyway? It may seem superficial, especially when the issues your nonprofit is tackling are so serious, but the fact is, social media and attention are important for your nonprofit. 72% of all adults online are using social networking sites, and this number is only going to grow with time (Stein, 2013). “Making it go viral” is for more than just videos. It can include statuses, tweets, various online content that gets your nonprofit the attention it deserves, but for the sake of this post, lets stick to videos.
The first thing you need to do is make sure you have a quality video. Two of the best ways to achieve this are to keep it short (people tend to have a short attention span), and make it funny, emotionally engaging, or both. This will help your videos be both highly watchable and also highly shareable, both of which are necessary to “make it go viral”. A great humorous example is “Follow the Frog”. It does a great job of making the audience laugh, while also being relatable and getting their message across. I’m sure that video was fairly time consuming and expensive to make, but it doesn’t take a lot of money to create a great video! “The Pink Glove Dance” proves this point considering it was made on a home camera and has over 13 million views.
Once you have a great video, the next step is to share it. After you post your video to your website and all of your social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), be sure to share it with everyone! Bloggers, email lists, and friends make a great audience. Make sure to include who you are, why you made the video, and ask them to share it with everyone they know. Post your video on Youtube and other video sharing sites like Yahoo! and Vimeo (just to name a few), and try using a unique tag so when when someone watches one of your videos, the only other videos that will appear in “related videos” are the others in your series.
Now all that’s left is to sit back and watch your video go viral!
The Technology Innovation Management Review defines co-creation as “any act of collective creativity that is experienced jointly by two or more people” They go on to state that this is different from collaboration because with collaboration, the end goal is known ahead of time, whereas with co-creation it is not. What this means for companies that are interested in co-creation is that their customers and consumers would assist said company with developing products, websites, design projects, or really anything that you’d want your customers to like (and really, what don’t you want them to like).
Co-creation can be beneficial to companies because you’re assured that your consumers are going to be happy with whatever product you’re releasing. Instead of relying on your (brilliant!) employees to intuit what the customer’s wants and needs are, you’re going to that customer and asking them directly “what do you want from us?” and “what are your needs when it comes to our company?”. Their responses are then incorporated into your final product, making them a partial creator. This has multiple benefits - 1. Since they helped design your product, they are almost guaranteed to like it, and 2. They will feel like a part of your company, and be more likely to buy that product, be loyal to your company, and participate in other co-creation efforts in the future.
Co-creation only works if the relationship is mutually beneficial. Your benefits as a company are fairly obvious. You’re tapping into the consumer brain and producing a product that they are guaranteed to like and therefore, buy. They are benefitting in much the same way. They are getting a product (from you) that they had a hand in creating. They are getting their needs met (by you) in exactly the way they asked for. Both parties leave happy - you have additional support for your company, and the consumer has a product that they are satisfied with.
“Especially with branding, co-creation is key to unleashing market potential. Your company will be more in-tune with the consumers’ likes and dislikes, and less likely to waste money, time and resources on unproductive efforts. If your audience feels connected to your product or service, those people are more likely to recommend your company via word of mouth or social media. Besides boosting quality, co-creation can also help your company cut costs. You won’t have to go back to the drawing board as much when your audience participates in the creative process” (Social Enterprise UK)
Co-creation seems constructive, but are companies actually using it? And if so, are they benefitting from it? This video shows several examples of co-creation being used successfully by for-profit companies.
So its pretty obvious how for-profit companies can use co-creation to their benefit. Almost all of these companies are putting out products on a regular basis, so why not get consumer input on at least a few of them? Makes sense. However, most non-profits aren’t putting out physical products that people can buy, so how can they use co-creation to their benefit?
While non-profits might not have material products, there are still a lot of consumers of their intangible products. This could be the company’s brand, their website navigation and ease of use, and even how they are using their funds to help the needy.
Say your favorite non-profit doesn’t have a very easy to use website, and they know it. They reach out to their supporters to ask for help with what they would like to see in their revised website. You suggest a donation button right on the homepage. When the new website is unveiled, you see they’ve taken your suggestion and there is the donation button on the homepage just as you’ve suggested. Now aren’t you more likely to continue to visit that web page, and aren’t you also more likely to click that donation button? Now imagine if they hadn’t asked for help and just came up with a website they liked. Maybe they’ve got lots of fancy graphics or beautiful photographs, but you can’t find out where to volunteer, and there’s no donation button to be found. Its likely you won’t want to visit their website much anymore, and you’re certainly not going to click on a donation button that you can’t even find!
So if co-creation produces such perfect products and fervent loyalty, why isn’t every single company creating every single product using co-creation? It seems as though it cuts down on costs while simultaneously giving the customer and the company exactly what they want. Are there any downsides? Of course, nothing is perfect. It is often difficult to work with consumers, if merely for the fact that it is unfamiliar. Opinions of consumers can differ dramatically, both with each other and with your company and its mission. Employees can also feel ousted by this process. Often it’s their job to intuit what the consumer needs and give it to them - now you’re going straight to the consumer and asking. These concerns shouldn’t be overlooked, but if you have a willing and able community, they can easily be addressed and overcome. The benefits often outweigh the drawbacks.
Co-creation is a great way to get input and work with your consumers to come up with stellar products. While it may not be appropriate for everything you do, it could certainly come in handy, especially since so many companies are jumping on the co-creation bandwagon.
(image found here)
Written by Interactive for Good Intern, Carissa Tsiris
Last night we joined Abolition International at their barbecue event to kick off 31 Days of Freedom. To date, approximately 21 million people are enslaved around the world. Over 100,000 of those people are American children. This doesn’t have to be just a number. We can use our voices and influence to abolish slavery once and for all.
Join Abolition International during the month of July in celebrating the freedom brought to survivors of sex slavery and raise awareness of thousands who are still awaiting freedom.
How can you help?
To learn more about Abolition, visit their site http://abolitioninternational.org/