What is ImpactWayv?
George Dolatly: ImpactWayv is the first social media platform focused entirely on social good. It brings together individuals, not-for-profits and companies to form an interactive ecosystem to pursue positive societal progress.
Benji Bernstein: Part of what we want to do with ImpactWayv is create a platform that removes some of the clutter of other major social media platforms and really focuses on all the good that can be accomplished with social media. We want to create more meaningful, empowering interactions between people. Our aim is to bring people, businesses and non-profits together to make the world a better place, to make a difference, and ultimately to create more meaningful connections among people.
One thing I’ve noticed about the platform is that you use “Impacts” instead of “likes”. Can you please explain how “Impacts” work and the motivations behind this innovation?
Benji Bernstein: The whole idea with Impacts is to move away from more superficial types of engagement that permeate some of the ways social media has been done before, and to move to something that’s more meaningful to help facilitate the ethos of our platform around social good.
Impacts are all about measuring the amount of positive awareness that users are spreading around the different issue areas that they are posting and discussing, as well as measuring the amount of times they get users to actually take action to spread awareness around the different social good topic areas they care about. Impacts are built to measure the ongoing positive ripple effect that users are creating through their actions, activities, and content on the ImpactWayv platform.
How is each Impact measured and qualified? For instance, if I were to click-through an article on someone’s post, would that be one Impact? If I were to donate straight from a link someone posted, would that count as, say, three Impacts?
Benji Bernstein: Right now, all the different actions and awareness-spreading mechanisms, whether it be shares, boosts, click-throughs, follows, etc. are counted as one Impact. With that said, we definitely have plans to expand the Impact framework to incorporate additional ways of capturing user Impact on the digital community and beyond, including through dollars raised, volunteer sign-ups generated, etc.
Karen Cusick: As we were putting this company together, we were able to look at some of the unintended consequences that other platforms had experienced when it came to the “likes” and the superficiality around them. That was very important in our planning “Impacts”. It encourages people when they are rewarded for constructive actions that have a positive impact on society. It even makes them feel good when they see others doing it as well. This concept went into everything we did as we moved forward.
How can businesses, non-profits, and individuals maximize their initiatives by using ImpactWayv?
Karen Cusick: Our initial planning addressed these three areas; the individual users, the non-profits, and the businesses – We focused on the fact that each segment recognized the need for more purpose and the need to have a greater impact on society. This is the cross-section where individual users were looking for more satisfaction. They wanted to get rid of all the clutter and focus on a social impact-oriented medium that wasn’t about themselves or their own satisfaction.
Nonprofits are always looking for more discoverability in these social settings, and businesses need more purpose. Companies today need to sell more than a product or service. Consumers are demanding that they also provide values and have a sense of purpose. Additionally, many individuals want to work at companies that share their personal missions and values.
Companies are responding to employees’ demands to be more responsive to their needs, to be more responsive to people, the planet, to their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) goals. It’s good business. It’s not totally altruistic, but it’s good for business.
CSR can be deemed a PR exercise, and we’ve heard terms like “greenwashing” and so many acronyms that are acronyms in name only. Behind the scenes, there’s not a lot being done. What does ImpactWayv offer multi-national corporations and U.S. companies doing business globally in terms of corporate social responsibility and being able to showcase their endeavors and their impact, subject matter that potentially otherwise wouldn’t be broadcasted?
George Dolatly: The ImpactWayv platform was created to respond to a need; a need on the part of businesses to demonstrate their social good efforts universally. More and more businesses realize that their stakeholders, existing and potential consumers, employees, business partners, and other constituencies are demanding that companies use their resources and influence in the pursuit of social good. ImpactWayv provides a platform for businesses to demonstrate their CSR efforts. This will be the venue of record for companies to showcase their social good, CSR and ESG efforts.
What has been the response from users and organizations on the platform thus far?
Benji Bernstein: We are hearing from a lot of the leadership teams of organizations on the platform that the people coming into their orbit from ImpactWayv to help support their initiatives tend to be more engaged. They are having an easier time attracting new supporters and constituents for their CSR and impact initiatives on ImpactWayv, as the platform’s growing user base is coming specifically to learn and get involved with these types of initiatives–while other platforms tend to be more cluttered, with all different types of content clogging the feed.
How do you see ImpactWayv changing the landscape of CSR, the industry of philanthropy and of sustainability?
George Dolatly: ImpactWayv democratizes social good. We make it accessible to anyone who wants to participate, in whatever way they want to participate. We were created to respond to numerous trends in society.
For one, the unprecedented interest in social action. More and more, people need a way to express their values – They hunger for greater purpose and meaning in all aspects of life.ImpactWayv is ultimately a way for individuals to interact on the basis of what’s important to them.
Subsequently, our platform provides the venue for businesses to show what they’re doing for social good. It allows people to see what businesses are doing and to either engage in collective action to augment what the businesses might be doing in terms of pursuing social good or to go off and pursue their own initiatives. It allows people to find each other, and nonprofits that have similar missions. At the same time, it allows nonprofits to leverage their missions for maximum effectiveness. Ultimately, it creates this virtual circle of social good engagement, action, and hopefully, creates an open exchange of ideas that will lead to solutions that can come from either the top down or the bottom up.
Benji Bernstein: We believe that ImpactWayv is going to create the opportunity for everyone to truly understand what’s working in the CSR space in a way that’s never really been understood or quantified before.
Through real-time engagement, discussion, and the sharing of CSR initiatives, along with the transparency provided on our platform, we will be able to help organizations determine in real-time, which of their programs and efforts in the CSR and ESG space are resonating with stakeholders. We will also allow them to see where there should be tweaks to their programmatic focus areas. They can also identify other companies working on similar initiatives and explore partnership opportunities. Just by creating that dynamic, real-time connectivity through a digital platform focused intentionally on social good, the opportunities to learn and improve, and ultimately create greater collective impact in the process will generate vast possibilities for the CSR and ESG landscape globally. We think the sky is really the limit here.
Do you see opportunities through gamification and behavioral science to get people even more involved with ImpactWayv and to keep them engaged on a continual basis?
George Dolatly: Absolutely. This is an interactive and fun platform. We encourage creators and influencers to come on the platform and to really have fun with it.
There are a lot of serious topics out there that need to be addressed, and of course, the goal is to address problems and to find solutions. At the same time, ImpactWayv gives people a place to go every day to make the world a little bit better, to make other people’s lives a little bit better, to do everything from saying their piece to finding others who are of similar minds who they want to engage with in collective action.
This is what social media should be all about. This is social media to its highest and best use; to actually address problems and to make things better a step at a time.
There was a recent McKinsey study that pointed to findings that suggest that negative social media buzz for clients can hurt brand affiliation by up to 20%, leading to less ‘sign-ups’. In some cases, this can offset a company’s entire advertising spend. Is ImpactWayv the solution to a negative PR campaign? If you were a company going through a crisis communications scenario, is ImpactWayv an appropriate solution?
Karen Cusick: There are serious issues out there, and we have over 50 “Wayvs” that address the topics affecting people and the planet. People are looking at companies who are tackling these issues. This has a big impact on where people choosing who they do business with, where they are shopping and buying their products. I believe that that is where these companies need to address the issues they care about.
Even in a society navigating COVID-19, people don’t want to go back to what was the old normal. They want to build back a more hopeful world because there are problems, but there are also readily-available solutions. I believe that businesses that use ImpactWayv to exhibit their CSR, ESG and social impact efforts to their stakeholders, shareholders, employees, and potential customers will not only see an improved reputation, but perhaps growth in revenue.
ImpactWayv is meant to drive win-win outcomes that are good for the planet, for the people, and we’re good for business.
Benji Bernstein: When you talk about CSR communications and corporate purpose communications, ImpactWayv creates a much more dynamic and responsive ecosystem, so that even in the case where organizations are having to deal with being perceived a certain way, they now have this real-time dynamic channel, all focused on their social good initiatives and social responsibility programs, where they can clarify their messages, and the purpose behind their initiatives.
ImpactWayv is meant to be multi-directional, from the organization to its stakeholders and from the stakeholders communicating back to the organization, with discussions around CSR focus areas, and the actions they’d like organizations to take to address today’s most critical social and environmental issues. From that perspective, this platform is going to be a really effective way for organizations not only to address myriad issues, but to actually utilize the dynamic nature of ImpactWayv to come together and achieve greater results, both for society and for their bottom lines alike.
Karen Cusick: We’ve recently heard it described as kind of like an Instagram and LinkedIn put together, but with meaning and purpose.
Why should nonprofits and multinational corporations (MNCs) have an ImpactWayv icon alongside the Facebooks and Twitters and Instagram’s of the world within their social media portfolio?
George Dolatly: This is a place where companies can tell the world where they stand on various issues and what their CSR activities are – On ImpactWayv (unlike other platforms), these messages will be heard, and any misconceptions can be corrected.
More and more, that’s important to people in making purchasing decisions and deciding where they want to work. Messages on other social media channels can get lost.
As we’ve said before, there’s a lot of clutter out there, and it’s harder when you’re competing with everything there is on social media. The way various issues are expressed in a confusing and often argumentative manner, it’s hard to get your point across. ImpactWayv is a digital media platform where companies can do that.
Benji Bernstein: One of the things a global media company mentioned when they first saw our presentation of ImpactWayv was how badly this type of channel is needed in today’s landscape.
Specifically, they gave the example that their CSR team was increasingly getting into disagreements with their product marketing teams about how to utilize the brand’s LinkedIn and Facebook channels. The product marketing team was saying, “We have to just get the product out. That’s the key point, that’s what we have to do on these channels.” In response, the CSR team argued, “Actually, if you look at these trends that we’ve been talking about, about 80% to 90% of Millennials and Gen Z, for example, are committing themselves to social good causes in very significant ways. We need to be utilizing these channels to promote our social responsibility initiatives, because that, more than anything else in this current state of the world, will actually grow brand loyalty.”
So, when they saw that we had created a platform dedicated to corporations using it to get the word out and to generate interest and action around their social responsibility initiatives, they felt like it solved that problem for them.
That is just one small example of something that’s really a macro trend that’s occurring across the global private sector right now–in terms of this tangible need for a clear, streamlined channel to get the word out about corporate social responsibility initiatives. It needs to be easy for stakeholders to find and then engage with that information, all in one place.
For any organization, it’s very easy to sign up and get a profile on ImpactWayv. After completing this short sign-up form, they can get their organization profiles verified and claimed on the platform within minutes. For any individuals that want to join this digital ecosystem for social good, they can download the ImpactWayv app for iOS devices in the App Store currently, here, and we will also be available in just a few weeks’ time in the Google Play Store as well for Android users.
Where do you envision ImpactWayv in five years’ time?
George Dolatly: Our mission is to transform, disrupt and unite the Global Social Impact landscape, and our goal is to become the leading media and technology platform for social good.