Thursday Buzz: Use Your Data to Tell a Story

Spotify learned some fascinating facts about its customers' listening habits by studying its data---and then shared them with the world. Also: one association's effective formula for Facebook posts.

The music service Spotify has a lot of customers and a lot of data points about them. But instead of holding onto that information for internal use, Spotify did something impressive: It shared the data on a year-in-review website.

The list breaks down facts about the listening habits of Spotify users over the past year and identifies some interesting correlations—including the days most affiliated with certain kinds of music and data points that can be easily tied to world events. (Example: When Brazil suffered a stunning 7-1 loss to Germany during the World Cup, Brazilian users turned off their Spotify playlists for several hours.)

On top of this, the service gave users an option to see their own musical playlists for 2014 —in effect, giving each user a personalized piece of the data.

Associations can borrow from this approach. People love numbers and love to learn something new about themselves. By giving your members information about their industry or themselves that may not seem obvious at the outset, you’re creating value—along with an excellent marketing tool.

A Simple Engagement Formula


“Facebook engagement is so confounding for so many nonprofits, so when I hear about an organization that seems to have figured it out, I have to share,” writes Kivi Leroux Miller.

That organization? AARP. The membership organization for Americans over 50 has pulled off an impressive level of social leverage. The secret to AARP’s success, Miller writes, might be in the way it uses Facebook—specifically, the “Rule of One,” which says that posts should contain one photo, one sentence, one link, and one request from readers.

The result is a simple but effective social strategy—and one that can be easily replicated online.

Other good reads

A clever collaboration: The nonprofit startup Watsi worked with several creative companies to launch the Pay It Forward Bundle, a pay-what-you-want offer for design apps and services. All proceeds benefit Watsi’s healthcare efforts around the world.

Event Garde’s Aaron Wolowiec breaks down his recent trip to Dallas—oh, and the perks of instructional design—in his latest blog post.

Consider yourself shy? You can still be a great manager, The Muse argues.

(Spotify screenshot)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

Got an article tip for us? Contact us and let us know!