Allison McGuire is the Partnerships Program Associate at Network for Good. Allison brings to Network for Good congressional, human and civil rights, and international experience through her work on Capitol Hill; with organizations such as MassEquality; and UK Member of Parliament Karen Buck’s office.
As a Millennial and professional who works in the digital social impact space, I’ve gulped the ‘do-gooding’ Kool-Aid and see the benefits of leveraging social media for social good. But I wondered exactly how digital marketing is influencing how everyday people take social action.
I turned to Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to see what compelling examples of social action are out there. And I found one.
I came across the image on a site called DragonflyEffect.com. (Entirely coincidental is the fact that I just finished reading the site’s namesake, The Dragonfly Effect. It’s a great read. Highly recommend.) Below the potent statement, in very small letters, you can see the t-shirt is an advertisement for HopeMob.
HopeMob? What in the world is that? A mob of hope? I was intrigued.
HopeMob describes itself as:
“[The name] is exactly what it sounds like – a mob of people bringing hope. Just as Flash Mobs dance and bring spontaneous joy and laughter, HopeMob will bring caring strangers together to create sudden, yet organized relief and hope all over the world! We see a need and swarm it! Together…we are POWERFUL!”
Cool concept, huh?
Why HopeMob appeals to the masses.
Do gooders. Strangers uniting over cause is not a new phenomenon. Whether it be creating safer products for babies or seeking justice for hate crimes, the internet has created a platform for anyone anywhere to contribute to cause.
HopeMob capitalizes on that idea, by giving people the benefit of the doubt, and viewing everyone as a do-gooder. The concept of social proof is at use here—when people see others participating, they want to take part themselves. Using the word “mob” is an interesting choice. While flash mobs have gained in popularity, “mob” by itself doesn’t connote a happy thing. By juxtaposing the two words, HopeMob adds a smile to the unexpected.
Compelling causes. The whole concept of HopeMob is digital storytelling created by the masses. There’s not a HopeMob team determining what stories get featured and what do not—it’s entirely democratic! This digital platform allows incredibly personal causes—stories are entirely user-generated—influence where the mob goes next. As long as you’re a registered user (which is free and super easy), you can submit a story, vote on stories by giving them a “boost”, and deal in the story points currency. The more boosts a story receives, the higher it moves on the featured list.
Healthy competition. I once heard a story on NPR about how if you don’t like competition, you’re un-American. While I don’t entirely share that sentiment, I do agree that Americans love ranking things. Through the boost system, stories compete against one another, injecting a healthy dose of competition into the mix.
Tangible results. More than the catchy terminology, cute buttons, or heartfelt causes, the thing I love most about HopeMob is its measurable results. Every day only one story is featured online, you can only donate to that cause and that cause only, and that story will stay featured until the pre-determined goal is met. It’s brilliant because it highlights important stories, attaches a dollar amount, and doesn’t give up hope in the middle of a campaign.
HopeMob seamlessly pairs digital engagement with storytelling. The concept is smart, savvy, and, dare I say, fun! Watch this trend—I imagine it will fundamentally alter the way we engage with causes, which can only be good news.
For more information on trends in cause marketing and digital storytelling, visit our blog: www.CompaniesforGood.org
Photo via dragonflyeffect.com/blog