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Heather MansfieldClick here for more photos from the event.

Author offers tips for social networking

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Fresh off the publishing of her book "Social Media for Social Good: A How-to Guide for Nonprofits" by McGraw-Hill, Heather Mansfield has returned to doing what she loves. And with more than 500,000 friends, fans and followers on social media outlets, people love her for it.

Mansfield, owner of Diosa Communications LLC, was the featured guest this morning for Springfield Business Journal's monthly 12 People You Need to Know series, held at the Hilton Garden Inn.

Mansfield, who conducts on-site training sessions and Webinars for nonprofits engaged in social media, advises clients to stay on their toes with the changing Web world. And that goes for businesses as well.

"This isn't a fad, it's a fundamental stretch in the foundation of the Internet," Mansfield said. "The Internet has changed, and it changes every six months."

Somewhat ironically, Mansfield said she would not use a publisher again if she were to write another book because, she said, McGraw-Hill is behind in its social media efforts. Mansfield said she has done much of the marketing for the book herself.

"McGraw-Hill is getting used to social media just like everyone else is," Mansfield said. Under the standard 10 percent author's rate, she makes about $1.75 per book, while the publisher takes in $16.25.

McGraw-Hill is just one example of a business that hasn't caught up with social media. To be effective, Mansfield said, an organization needs to keep up with social media trends as they are happening, rather than waiting for success stories to pile up.

"They have to invest, and they have to take risks," she said. "You don't get anywhere following everybody else and waiting for the results.

"That's the nature of the Web. It moves fast."

SBJ's media partner, KSPR, interviews Mansfield

 

For mainstays such as Facebook and Twitter, Mansfield recommends that area businesses and nonprofits shoot for a goal of 2,500 followers on each platform and follow an equal number. To be a powerful Web horse, she says 5,000 followers is the mark.

Mansfield said a good rule of thumb is to strategically make four to six posts a week on social media outlets, noting Saturday morning is prime for social media entries.

To be truly effective, she said businesses should hire full-time social media managers.

Looking to the future, Mansfield said Web 3.0, mobile Internet and devices, is burgeoning, and at the same time, changing the face of social media, commerce and peoples' daily lives.

For organizations, a good start is to have content designed to be read on phones and streamlined purchasing efforts.

"Checks are antiquated," she said, predicting that swiping credit cards for payment will be gone in five years. Instead, she said, people will continue to embrace easy purchasing through mobile devices.

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