You've no doubt seen the reports of organizations like the Red Cross blasting their response rates through the roof by seeking on-the-run mobile donations. But that's just part of the nonprofit social-media success story.

The Dragonfly Effect, a book by Stanford University marketing prof Jennifer Aaker and marketing strategist Andy Smith, explores how nonprofits have used social media to inspire "infectious action."

And in a piece for the McKinsey Quarterly, Aaker and Smith describe how companies can use the social lessons learned by nonprofits for their own engagement efforts. Among their tips:

Tell a story. Use YouTube videos or interview opportunities to speak candidly about why you care about the work you do. It helps viewers bond with you.

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