Can a “Like” Save a Life? | Business Brainpower with the Human Touch |

UNICEF Sweden issued a bold call to its social media supporters two months ago: Don’t “Like” us; give us your money.

Though it likely caused more uproar among those of us in the “social media for social good” community than among the organization’s own supporters, it certainly raised some important questions about the potential trade-off of encouraging online support at the expense of offline support, and of the growing value of influence relative to other contributions and individual can make.

We explored many of these same questions in a study that Georgetown University’s Center for Social Impact Communication conducted last summer in partnership with Waggener Edstrom Worldwide. We wanted to gain insights into the “engagement life cycle” (from learning about a cause, to deciding if and how to support it, to perceptions