Posted by Jay Wilkinson

Facebook released a new white paper called “Building Your Presence with Facebook Pages: A Guide for Causes and Nonprofits.” This report is worth a read—it provides excellent advice for building your brand on Facebook and, more importantly, engaging with your supporters, which is largely why you’re on social media to begin with.

The authors share several ways to create a dialogue with your audience and explain how you can make a bigger impact, like using Instagram to enhance your Facebook efforts and sharing original images that illustrate your cause or support your mission. I’d encourage you to take a look at the full report, but first, I want to share a few highlights from the paper worth mentioning—these are some important takeaways that you can implement today to make your Facebook strategy more engaging and effective.

Keep your updates short and sweet.
Did you know that posts with 100 to 250 characters receive about 60% more likes than longer posts? Also, create dialogue by asking questions or encourage people to like or comment on your posts. When someone likes one of your posts, it shows up in their newsfeed, potentially expanding your reach.

Share photos and videos.
Visuals are always more compelling than just text alone. Posts that include images or videos generate about 100-180% more engagement than the average post.

Post regularly.
It’s important to develop some sort of cadence or routine when it comes to status updates—regular posts will keep your organization on people’s radar. If you can’t think of anything compelling to say, create a conversation with the Questions product on your page. You can ask for feedback, take quick polls—it’s a great way to get to know your supporters.

Share original content.
It’s okay to post an inspirational quote or repost someone else’s update once in a while if you think it will resonate with your audience. But the majority of the time, be original. Post your own pictures and videos, share original stories or give a behind-the-scenes look at your organization. Give people a reason to visit your page.

Be timely.
News moves quickly, and so does social media. Keep your content current and draw attention to relevant news related to your organization’s work. Has some recent legislation passed that affects your cause? Talk about it—create a discussion with your supporters.

Your Facebook strategy should be a two-way conversation, not a platform for you to simply make announcements or ask for donations. Learn more about engaging with your audience when you read Facebook’s full report.