Book Review | Social Media for Social Good – Heather Mansfield

nonprofit social mediaSocial Media for Social Good by Heather Mansfield

Book Finished: May 10th, 2015

Rating: 5/5

Though we’ve never met or even spoken, Heather Mansfield is an old friend of mine.

While putting together my literature review for my thesis in the fall of 2013, I had difficulty finding books that focused on research related to nonprofits and social media. My adviser suggested I look into “best practices” books and how-to guides instead. There were only a few titles available, and one that was repeatedly recommended as “the” guide for nonprofits – Social Media for Social Good by Heather Mansfield.

Over the next 5 months, I skimmed through, read and re-read, stared at, and fell asleep on top of this book more times than I can remember. It helped shape my eventual list of best practices that I put together from my research.

Now that my thesis has been done and defended for some time, I thought it would be interesting to go back and read through Mansfield’s work again, this time in the eyes of a professional rather than a student.

Even with a few outdated bits (mostly related to set up of accounts) this book still stands as the definitive guide on social media for nonprofits.

Each chapter focuses on a different component of social media,  features multiple lists. These typically feature 11 or 5 items, but differ on topic throughout each chapter. It’s not always “5 ways to use Facebook.” This keeps the book engaging to read, and flows well with Mansfield’s conversational tone. Her style makes social media accessible for beginners, but doesn’t turn off seasoned communications pros who may be new to the nonprofit world in particular. The book is thorough, and includes a detailed checklist of items discussed at the back.

Mansfield repeatedly references how things are likely going to be “by 2015;” for the most part, she’s spot on with how communications have evolved this year.

I would love to see an updated version of this. Facebook and Twitter have both changed significantly since 2012, and I am curious about Mansfield’s opinion on Pinterest use by nonprofits. It’s a very new field, but I see tons of potential there and would like to see what experts in this field have to say.

If my career path takes me back into the nonprofit world, I will purchasing a (hopefully updated) copy of this for my shelf.

intrusions of beauty



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