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The ideal post length for the most popular social networks #science

There is science behind the ideal post length for Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and more – are you on target to earn the highest level of engagement?

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The science of social media

Figuring out the proper word count for the right social media platform content isn’t always done by instinct, not when there are stats to consider. And deciding the ideal length can be time consuming, especially when you take into account the ever-evolving standards, and changing statistics for what readers are expecting: What was acceptable in 2010 is no longer an acceptable standard.

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Express Writers offers a detailed look at what works best for each platform, which may help you make the distinction and help you craft the perfect social media post.

Twitter gives you 140 characters, but you only need 100

Although Twitter has the option for you to utilize 140 characters (but not the 10,000 that rumors indicated were coming to a tweet near you), you only need to use around 100 or less.

Tweets with no more than 100 characters are easier for users to consume, and therefore receive 17 percent more engagement than longer tweets. Medium length tweets (between 71-100) are retweeted more often than large (101 characters or more) and small (41-70) tweets.

Contrary to popular belief, Facebook isn’t a long-form content platform

While some see Facebook’s limitless character option as an opportunity to be as loquacious as possible, you may be surprised to know that the preferred character limit for a Facebook post is actually shorter than a tweet.

Specifically, the ideal post is 40 characters or fewer; posts following this word count earn 86 percent more engagement than longer posts. If 40 characters is too short to capture your company’s mission, the second best length is 80 characters or fewer. These particular posts receive 66 percent more engagement than longer posts.

Readability + Accessibility = Google+

As you probably already know, Google+ posts are ranked by headlines and body content length. And because readers only absorb the first and last three words of a headline, the highest ranking Google+ headlines, are 60 characters or fewer and contain no more than six words. The body content should be between 200-440 characters to be effective.

Blogs are the best long-form content platform

Unlike Facebook, blogs are the perfect place to share informative guide-style content in long form. The ideal reading length for blog post is 7 minutes; which translates into roughly 1,600 words.

Longer blogs are more likely to provide higher quality markers for search engines, which ultimately allows them to rank higher. Specifically, blog posts that are longer than 1,500 words receive 68 percent more tweets and 23 percent more Facebook likes than shorter posts.

In fact, most web pages that sit in the top 10 SERP positions contain 2,000 words. Eight word or longer search queries have risen by 34,000 percent which makes long-tail keywords more popular today than before.

Pinterest users prefer short and concise call to actions

Since Pinterest is image heavy, it should be no surprise that fewer words are preferred in posts – 200 characters or less to be exact.

These shorter posts earn more repins, and are even more popular, earning 80 percent more engagement, when they include a call to action. As for the image size, research revealed that pins with 800 pixels or more earn significantly more repins than its smaller counterparts.

Remember the aforementioned tips, but don’t forget these general best practices

Now that you know the ideal length for updates on each social media platform, be sure to keep these other general tips in mind when generating effective content:

  • Make sure you are helpful when delivering content – it can be the perfect length and still lose readers if not helpful.
  • Add visuals to all of your posts; posts with visuals earn 94 percent more views than text only posts, so if you can find a relevant image, video, or infographic, use it!
  • Lastly, engage with your readers after you have gotten the right word count; respond to comments, and post follow ups when possible.

If you are looking to increase engagement, and stay relevant to your target market, follow the above tips before posting your next social media post. Remember, word count is a huge factor, but so is quality!

TL;DR version:

ideal-social-media-update-length

#SMlength

Lauren Flanigan is a Staff Writer at The American Genius, hailing from the windy hills of Cincinnati, with a degree in Marketing from the University of Cincinnati. She has escaped the hills, and currently resides in Atlanta, where you can almost always find her camping at a Starbucks strategizing on how to take over the world.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Dave Kinkade

    May 1, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    10,000 characters on Twitter? Seems everyone struggles to minimize the message to 140 characters but 10,000 seems like it could tax the entire system. How about a nice, reasonable 250 characters to start?

  2. Pingback: Ideal Lengths for Blog Posts, Tweets, and Other Content | Mabbly

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Social Media

Instagram now lets you create and share fundraisers

(SOCIAL MEDIA) If you’ve been wanting to start a fundraiser for something you care about, Instagram’s new feature lets you do just that. Go check it out!

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Instagram Fundraiser

Instagram announced last week that it has launched a test for a Personal Fundraiser tool on its platform. The feature will allow users to start their own fundraiser if it complies with guidelines or choose an existing cause to support. The launch began in some US, UK, and Ireland markets and is available on Android and iOS.

In its announcement, the company confirmed that since January, more than $100 million has been raised for COVID-19 across Facebook and Instagram (also owned by Facebook), citing that donations on Instagram have doubled in the US in the past 30 days. The announcement said, “from people raising money to buy medical equipment for Black Lives Matter protesters, rebuilding Black-owned small businesses affected by COVID-19 and funding educational resources related to racial justice, people are eager to mobilize around causes they care about.”

Personal Fundraisers are short-term and meant to serve time-sensitive causes, with the initial duration lasting 30 days with the option to extend for an additional 30 days. Users must be 18 to create a fundraiser and have a designated bank account in which funds can be deposited. Donations will be processed through Facebook Pay, which also powers Instagram’s new shopping features. The platform covers fees for non-profits, but not for Personal Fundraisers. Donors can choose to keep their information hidden from the public, but organizers will be able to see user names and donation amounts.

To start a Personal Fundraiser, users with access to the feature can tap “Edit Profile”, “Add Fundraiser”, followed by “Raise Money”. They can then choose a photo, select the fundraiser category, and write out a story to encourage donations. When approved, users will be able to raise funds.

Instagram says it will expand the number of users who have access to this feature in the months ahead, as well as give users access to share fundraisers both in their Feed and within Stories. Fundraising features already offered by the company include Donation Stickers for Stories and a Live Donations feature for live streams.

This feature is similar to the fundraising feature already available on Facebook, Instagram’s parent company.

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Should you be Facebook friends with your boss?

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Are there times when it makes sense to connect with your boss and team on Facebook? Or is LinkedIn enough?

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Just as we learn, grow, and change in life, so does our use of social media platforms and technology in general. It makes sense though – when hot new programs come out and “everybody’s doing it” (thinking of you MySpace and Plaxo), it’s easy to create a user profile to see what you think of the platform.

You may be a heavy user at first (looking at you Facebook) and then back off, only to use it for certain functions (Groups and Events for example). In the interim, you may have joined Instagram because for some reason it seemed simpler and light-hearted. And don’t let the new, shiny things coming out pass you by without at least seeing if you like them, or if they help entertain you and connect you to loved ones (looking at you Snapchat and TikTok).

Amongst some doubt of new or potential users in the mid-2000s after Facebook opened up to those outside of universities, we have to admit that Facebook has had a longevity that some of the other platforms have not. It allows you to keep your personal network in one place as well as your photos, significant dates, your career changes, events, and even see what your cousins are up to. It almost feels like once you’re invested, it’s hard to get out.

The thing is, there is definitely a grey area on who you accept as a “friend”. It really is up to each person’s comfort level on who they want to be connected to, and how much sharing they do on the platform. This article isn’t going to address Facebook privacy concerns and data sharing, but we do encourage you to look in to those if that is something that is important to you. It’s a similar idea with LinkedIn – some people are happy to connect with anyone and everyone, while others prefer to keep their connections to those they personally know and/or have worked with.

This story is addressing a question as it relates to an article in Inc. about whether or not is it’s ok for managers and employees to be “Facebook friends”, and some other tricky professional situations. We have to look at few things first, including the evolution of our use.

Since Facebook was made available to everyone, we have gone from a simple profile picture, relationship status (oof), and random updates about our breakfast/dentist appointments, to joining interest groups, sharing news articles, promoting brands and memes at a mind-boggling rate. Many people have considered deleting their Facebook profiles due to a high level of negativity, privacy concerns over their data and pictures, and how ultimately, scrolling your newsfeed can be a total time suck.

Many stay on because they are in groups (like super amazing, supportive, and popular ones such as Austin Digital Jobs) that they enjoy, and it’s a way to stay connected with others. This has felt true especially during COVID-19 where many people have lost their social outlets, networking opportunities, and have not been able to get together in person. Social media has also been a useful platform for small business owners and entrepreneurs to run a business page at minimal costs (free unless they run advertising), and reach out to customers. Facebook (owner of Instagram) also seems to have been making strides this year to better support small business owners.

So, should you be Facebook friends with your boss?

That is up to you (we are not here to tell you how to run your life) and while many have said, “Nope” in a super unofficial survey of 30 respondents, there were a couple of interesting perspectives:

“Since I’m my boss, twist on my answer… I don’t yes any professional that asks to be FB friends. That’s what my page is for. I even have a canned response that says this because I get so many asks. My personal FB is for actual friends of mine. I didn’t want to yes my MIL either. I have her on the restricted list.”

“I guess it depends. I’m friends with my boss and most of my coworkers. Creative shop within a corporation … about 45 strong. We are tight.”

“If you love your job and you love your boss then I think it is ok. I work 2 part-time jobs and both of my bosses are amazing! I am friends and Facebook friends with both of them.”

“I’m fine. I don’t post much on Facebook anymore. My bosses are all fairly chill. ”

“I have been Facebook friends with previous bosses while they were my boss. I am not with my current boss, but I’d be fine with it if we were. I don’t post anything too crazy, and I tend to over share in the office already. I like to be an open book. Tiktok would be different though… ”

For some who are part of a start-up or smaller team where collaboration and getting to know one another  are supported (thinking teams of 10 or less, hey AG Staff Writers), this may be more of the ‘norm’ and acceptable. However, the majority of people do not want to be “Facebook friends” with their boss to draw a line between work and personal sharing. Many people also mentioned that it varied if they chose to be Facebook friends with their colleagues, although they seem to be more open to colleagues vs. direct supervisors.

This seems to reflect back on how you use Facebook and if sharing your weekend or family photos is not something you want everyone to see. On the flip side, if you’re not sharing much, maybe you’d be OK with being connected there. A more professional way of connecting with your supervisor and others at work is through LinkedIn, and is in fact, highly encouraged.

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Could TikTok soon be banned in the U.S for privacy breaching?

(SOCIAL MEDIA) TikTok, a video content social media giant, has been deemed a potential national security risk by the U.S Federal government.

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TikTok is banned

U.S lawmakers are calling for a full investigation into TikTok, the fifteen second video app with almost 180 million downloads, after expressing concerns of a privacy breach by the Chinese government.

TikTok’s Chinese parent company, ByteDance, purchased the platform originally known as musical.ly in November 2017. Since then the social media app worth an estimated $150 billion has almost 180 million downloads in the U.S, and 800 million downloads worldwide.

According to Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, the U.S has reason to believe the Beijing-based company, ByteDance, may have been coerced into handing over data to China’s communist leaders. The app’s Founder, Zhang Yiming, and TikTok’s spokesperson responded to the accusations with the following statement: “TikTok is led by an American CEO, with hundreds of employees and key leaders across safety, security, product, and public policy here in the U.S. We have no higher priority than promoting a safe and secure app experience for our users. We have never provided user data to the Chinese government, nor would we do so if asked.”

We don’t know if we believe you TikTok.

TikTok received over 500 legal demands, including emergency requests, in the first six months of 2020. TikTok has also previously confirmed that the app stores user data on “U.S-based servers” withdrawn from phone downloads. Information includes IP addresses, messages, location information, and according to Pompeo, “sensitive information”, exposed by data breaching that disregards American rights to privacy and potentially violates national security guidelines.

Company employees may live in the U.S, but with its head of operations stationed in Beijing, pressure from the Chinese Government to provide user information is a very serious concern for Americans using the app. 41 percent of its users are part of Generation Z, a highly influential, social media-friendly age group, ranging between 16 and 24.

A sense of invincibility within this age range encourages users to use the app without caution of personal information that may be provided or derived off your phone after installation. In the past two years, social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have also been criticized for not abiding to lawful privacy standards.

ByteDance has halted the use of its corporate office in Beijing and is looking to establish headquarters within the U.S or under new management.

The U.S. government is seriously considering banning the use of TikTok.

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