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Improve engagement levels online by tweaking post length

If you want to get more engagement out of your carefully built network, there are some simple adjustments you can make.

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The holy grail: Boosting engagement levels

Last month, we determined what the best sizes for photos are on each social media website. While photos are an integral part of what makes social media so fascinating, an even bigger portion in the grand scheme of things is what we post to our profiles.

The ideas we generate, jokes we tell, and stories we share are the reason people follow or friend us to begin with. Some of us work tirelessly to post consist and fresh content in an effort to keep our followers interested, as well as gain new followers in the process.

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Those who post frequently on social media that some posts receive better reception than others. And while this may be simply due to the content itself, another factor that plays a role is how condensed the idea is. Simply put – people want their information to be given to them in a quick and easy manner.

Post length is actually pretty important

Kevan Lee and Andy Crestodina observed that post length important in relation to follower satisfaction, and they developed an infographic laying out the appropriate post length for each medium.

The below graphic, appropriately titled “Ideal Length For All Online Content”, shares the correct lengths for tweets, domain names, Facebook posts, e-mail subject lines, headlines, blog posts, Google+ headlines, title tags, YouTube videos, podcasts, and seminars.

By following these post length suggestions, you are more likely to have engaged followers who respond to and share your content.

Twitter, Facebook, email subjects, and even your domain:

For Twitter, the ideal tweet should be composed of 100 characters. This is enough space to formulate a well-thought out idea without being too wordy.

A domain name should be a simple eight characters. Domain names of this length make it easier for people to remember.

Strangely, a Facebook post should be under 40 characters. This does not give you much wiggle room but allows you to share “What’s on your mind” without being unnecessarily descriptive.

The suggested length for an e-mail subject line should run between 28-39 characters, which would equal out to about two sentences. However some people, myself included, would argue that one simple sentence would suffice.

Headlines should consist of six words. This is enough to be descriptive and inviting for a reader, without giving too much away.

A blog post should be at seven minutes or 1,600 words. Blogs are usually for condensed information, so anything lengthier than this could cause a reader to lose interest.

A Google+ headline should be no more than 60 characters. Again, condensed but not too worried.

Title tags should have 55 characters. This allows for better search results.

An informational YouTube video should run for no longer than three minutes. Three minutes is plenty of time to be informative while staying concise.

An ideal podcast should run for 22 minutes, making them equivalent to an episode of a sitcom.

Finally, a seminar should have a length of 18 minutes to keep viewers engaged.

These lengths for online content allow for the sharing and reception of information to be as time preserving as possible.

ideal content length

Staff Writer, Taylor Leddin is a publicist and freelance writer for a number of national outlets. She was featured on Thrive Global as a successful woman in journalism, and is the editor-in-chief of The Tidbit. Taylor resides in Chicago and has a Bachelor in Communication Studies from Illinois State University.

Social Media

Zillow launches real estate brokerage after eons of swearing they wouldn’t

(MEDIA) We’ve warned of this for years, the industry funded it, and Zillow Homes brokerage has launched, and there are serious questions at hand.

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Zillow Homes was announced today, a Zillow licensed brokerage that will be fully operational in 2021 in Phoenix, Tucson, and Atlanta.

Whoa, big huge yawn-inducing shocker, y’all.

We’ve been warning for more than a decade that this was the end game, and the company blackballed us for our screams (and other criticisms, despite praise when merited here and there).

Blog posts were penned in fiery effigy calling naysayers like us stupid and paranoid.

Well color me unsurprised that the clarity of the gameplan was clear as day all along over here, and the paid talking heads sent out to astroturf, gaslight, and threaten us are now all quiet.

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Social Media

We watched The Social Dilemma – here are some social media tips that stuck with us

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Here are some takeaways from watching Netflix’s The Social Dilemma that helped me to eliminate some social media burnout.

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Last weekend, I made the risky decision to watch The Social Dilemma on Netflix. I knew it was an important thing to watch, but the risk was that I also knew it would wig me out a bit. As much as I’m someone who is active “online,” the concept of social media overwhelms me almost more than it entertains (or enlightens) me.

The constant sharing of information, the accessibility to information, and the endless barrage of notifications are just a few of the ways social media can cause overwhelm. The documentary went in deeper than this surface-level content and got into the nitty gritty of how people behind the scenes use your data and track your usage.

Former employees of high-profile platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google, and Pinterest gave their two cents on the dangers of social media from a technological standpoint. Basically, our data isn’t just being tracked to be passed along for newsletters and the like. But rather, humans are seen as products that are manipulated to buy and click all day every day in order to make others money and perpetuate information that has astronomical effects. (I’m not nearly as intelligent as these people, so watch the documentary to get the in-depth look at how all of this operates.)

One of the major elements that stuck with me was the end credits of The Social Dilemma where they asked interviewees about the ways they are working to eliminate social media overwhelm in their own lives. Some of these I’ve implemented myself and can attest to. Here’s a short list of things you can do to keep from burning out online.

  1. Turn off notifications – unless there are things you need to know about immediately (texts, emails, etc.) turn it off. Getting 100 individual notifications within an hour from those who liked your Instagram post will do nothing but burn you (and your battery) out.
  2. Know how to use these technologies to change the conversation and not perpetuate things like “fake news” and clickbait.
  3. Uninstall apps that are wasting your time. If you feel yourself wasting hours per week mindlessly scrolling through Facebook but not actually using it, consider deleting the app and only checking the site from a desktop or Internet browser.
  4. Research and consider using other search tools instead of Google (one interviewee mentioned that Qwant specifically does not collect/store your information the way Google does).
  5. Don’t perpetuate by watching recommended videos on YouTube, those are tailored to try and sway or sell you things. Pick your own content.
  6. Research the many extensions that remove these recommendations and help stop the collection of your data.

At the end of the day, just be mindful of how you’re using social media and what you’re sharing – not just about yourself, but the information you’re passing along from and to others. Do your part to make sure what you are sharing is accurate and useful in this conversation.

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Social Media

WeChat ban blocked by California judge, but for how long?

(SOCIAL MEDIA) WeChat is protected by First Amendment concerns for now, but it’s unclear how long the app will remain as pressure mounts.

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WeChat barely avoided a US ban after a Californian judge stepped in to temporarily block President Trump’s executive order. Judge Laurel Beeler cited the effects of the ban on US-based WeChat users and how it threatened the First Amendment rights of those users.

“The plaintiffs’ evidence reflects that WeChat is effectively the only means of communication for many in the community, not only because China bans other apps, but also because Chinese speakers with limited English proficiency have no options other than WeChat,” Beeler wrote.

WeChat is a Chinese instant messaging and social media/mobile transaction app with over 1 billion active monthly users. The WeChat Alliance, a group of users who filed the lawsuit in August, pointed out that the ban unfairly targets Chinese-Americans as it’s the primary app used by the demographic to communicate with loved ones, engage in political discussions, and receive news.

The app, along with TikTok, has come under fire as a means for China to collect data on its users. U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has stated, “At the President’s direction, we have taken significant action to combat China’s malicious collection of American citizens’ personal data, while promoting our national values, democratic rules-based norms, and aggressive enforcement of U.S. laws and regulations.”

This example is yet another symptom of our ever-globalizing society where we are learning to navigate between connectivity and privacy. The plaintiffs also pointed out alternatives to an outright ban. One example cited was in Australia, where WeChat is now banned from government officials’ phones but not others.

Beeler has said that the range in alternatives to preserving national security affected her decision to strike down the ban. She also explained that in regards to dealing with national security, there is “scant little evidence that (the Commerce Department’s) effective ban of WeChat for all US users addresses those concerns.”

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