Getting the length of your social media posts just right can have huge impact on their effectiveness and the amount of engagement you get from your followers.
It wasn’t long ago that publicising your business relied on you spending hours brainstorming ideas for thought-provoking features and press releases that would grab an editor’s attention. Depending on the number of other articles submitted that week, your punchy and engaging story just might have a chance of publication. Failing that, you would have to pay vast amounts of money for advertising. Although both publicity methods still have their place, the arrival of social media has provided many more opportunities to spread the word about ourselves, our businesses and organisations.
This vast online community gives us plenty of opportunity to increase the exposure of our businesses, but it’s also harder to get noticed. You can easily put yourself out there, but the quality of your posts is still vitally important when it comes to the likelihood of your content being read, liked and shared. Of course, the post needs to be eye-catching with quality images, relevant copy and cleverly thought out hashtags (we will be discussing these elements in a later blog), but the length of your post is equally important when holding the attention of your audience for long enough for them to hit the heart, thumbs-up or share button.
So, when striving to create the best possible content, what is the perfect length for your social media post to maximise engagement?
Although Twitter have increased their character limit to 280 characters, treat this as a limit, not a target! The whole point of Twitter is that it is fast-moving; blink and you’ll miss it. Always bear in mind that you need to be thinking, short and sweet, clear and succinct. Ideally you should aim for most of your tweets to be between 71-100 characters. Don’t use more than one or two hashtags on Twitter, you need to save your characters to give the best impact and through your words.
Your Facebook audience is bombarded with news, so to ensure your post is seen, try to limit the text to 80 characters or fewer. This isn’t many, but it’s the links and visuals that accompany the text which are important. If your post is too long, then it will be cut off in the reader’s feed. Only a small percentage of readers will click-to-see-more so don’t waste your time creating content that hardly anyone will look at. Recent studies have proved the posts with 80 characters or fewer receive 66% higher engagement.
Instagram is the current market leader in social media engagement, so it is an important platform to get right. Although it is mainly about visual impact, the quality of the caption is equally as important. Keeping your captions to a maximum of 150 characters should give you enough words to create a captivating description to accompany your image, but it will remain within the three visible lines below each picture on the viewer’s feed. As before, the audience will rarely click-to-read-more, so keep it succinct. To maximise engagement and impact on Instagram, don’t forget the hashtag. Between 5-10 hashtags is the perfect number to ensure maximum visibility for every post.
Obviously, all your posts will differ and now again it’s necessary to throw a curve ball into the mix of your social media presence, however, keep this advice in mind as a rule of thumb and it will help maximise the impact of your online presence.
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