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Book Review: Social Media for Social Good

Social Media for Social GoodIn Social Media for Social Good, former social media consultant Heather Mansfield, principal blogger at Nonprofit Tech 2.0, provides a guidebook for nonprofits entering the social media world for the first time. Mansfield divides the Web into three eras: the Static Web (1.0), the Social Web (2.0), and the Mobile Web (3.0). She explains the importance and value of online tools in each era, explaining that each builds on the era before it. She also identifies specific tools such as Facebook, Flickr, and YouTube, and gives best practices for using these tools. At the end of the book, she includes “Your Nonprofit Tech Checklist,” a step-by-step map for planning your organization’s social media strategy.

Mansfield provides a wealth of information and enhances her own advice by providing Nonprofit Examples of Excellence at the end of each chapter and a “Google This!” section with recommended search terms for more information and examples. Social Media for Social Good has both breadth and depth. I purchased it to support my work with the Durham Savoyards as we enter our 50th Anniversary year; the time seemed ripe for launching our organization into Web 2.0 and beyond. Mansfield focuses on suggestions that at first glance would work only for large non-profits with the budget to hire a social media manager, but with some tweaking, the work can be spread across a range of volunteers.

I highly recommend this book not only for anyone working with a 501(c)3, but also for anyone working in education. The principles are applicable to any organization that relies on external participation and support to succeed at its mission. I think they are especially relevant in the field of education, where providing readily-accessible evidence of the good work we do helps us demonstrate the need for continued funding and personnel support. For example, Mansfield suggests having the Board or staff of your nonprofit create a “Thank You” video for supporters. At a school library, you could have students create a video to thank donors or volunteers. In a classroom, you could create a Flickr pool for your Donors Choose project and post the URL in the project description so donors could follow your students’ progress through the project. Social Media for Social Good provides many more suggestions and best practices that will enhance your organization’s online marketing strategy. Check it out at your library or buy it today!

Social Media for Social Good
by Heather Mansfield
McGraw-Hill 2011
ISBN 007177081X

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