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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

If you’re not on Clubhouse, you’re missing out – here’s why

(SOCIAL MEDIA) What exactly is Clubhouse, and why is it the quarantine app sensation? There’s a few reasons you should definitely be checking out right now!

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Clubhouse member hanging out on the app, on a couch with mask on their face.

The new exclusive app Clubhouse is challenging what social media can be – and it might possibly be the best thing to blow up during quarantine.

Developed by ex-Google employee Rohan Seth and Silicon Valley entrepreneur Paul Davison, Clubhouse has only been gaining in popularity since lockdown. Here’s why you need to join immediately:

What is Clubhouse?

Clubhouse is like if subreddit pages were live podcasts. Or maybe if niche, topic-centric Zoom chatrooms could connect you with people from all over the world. But it’s ONLY audio, making it perfect for this period of lockdown where no one truly looks their best.

From networking events to heated debates about arts and culture to book clubs, you can truly find anything you want on Clubhouse. And if you don’t see a room that peaks your interest, you can make one yourself.

Why is it special?

Here’s my hot take: Clubhouse is democratizing the podcast process. When you enter a room for women entrepreneurs in [insert your industry], you not only hear from the established experts, but you’ll also have a chance to listen to up-and-coming users with great questions. And, if you want, you can request to speak as well.

If you click anyone’s icon, you can see their bio and links to their Instagram, Twitter, etc. For professionals looking to network in a deeper way, Clubhouse is making it easier to find up and coming creatives.

If you’re not necessarily looking to network, there’s still so much niche material to discover on the app. Recently, I spent an hour on Clubhouse listening to users discuss the differences in American and British street fashion. It got heated, but I learned A LOT.

The celebrities!

Did I mention there’s a TON of celebrities on the app? Tiffany Haddish, Virgil Abloh, and Lakeith Stanfield are regulars in rooms – and often host scheduled events. The proximity to all kinds of people, including the famous, is definitely a huge draw.

How do you get on?

Anyone with an iPhone can make an account, but as of now you need to be “nominated” by someone in your contacts who is already on the app. Think Google+ but cooler.

With lockdown giving us so much free time that our podcasts and shows can’t keep up with the demand, Clubhouse is a self-sustaining content mecca. Rooms often go on for days, as users in later time zones will pick up where others left off when they need to get some sleep. And the cycle continues.

Though I’m still wrapping my brain around it, I can say with fair certainty that Clubhouse is very, very exciting. If you have an hour (or 24) to spare, try it out for yourself – I promise, you won’t be disappointed.

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TikTok: A hotbed of cultural appropriation, and why it matters

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Gen Z’s favorite app TikTok is the modern epicenter for cultural appropriation – why you as a business owner should care.

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TikTok creator with a phone recording on a stand, but dances can be a sign of cultural appropriation.

Quarantine has been the catalyst for a sleuth of new cultural phenomena – Tiger King, Zoom, and baking addictions, to name a few. Perhaps most notably, TikTok has seen user numbers skyrocket since lockdown. And I don’t think those numbers are going down any time soon.

TikTok is a very special place. More so than any other social media apps I’ve engaged with, TikTok feels like a true community where total strangers can use the app’s duet or audio features to interact in creative, collaborative ways.

However, being able to use another user’s original audio or replicate their dance has highlighted the prevalence of cultural appropriation on TikTok: the app, as wholesome as it may be at times, has also become a hot bed for “virtual blackface”.

The most notable example of appropriation has to do with the Renegade dance and Charli D’Amelio – who is young, White, and arguably the most famous TikTok influencer (she is second only to Addison Rae, who is also White). The dance, originally created by 14-year-old Black user Jalaiah Harmon, essentially paved the way for D’Amelio’s fame and financial success (her net worth is estimated to be $8 million).

Only after Twitter backlash did D’Amelio credit Harmon as the original creator of the dance to which she owes her wealth – up until that point, the assumption was the dance was hers.

There is indeed a myriad of exploitative and appropriative examples of TikTok videos. Some of the most cringe-worthy include White users pantomiming black audio, in many cases affecting AAVE (African American Vernacular English). Styles of dance and music that were pioneered by Black artists have now been colonized by White users – and many TikTokers are not made aware of their cultural origins.

And what’s worse: TikTok’s algorithms favor White users, meaning White-washed iterations of videos tend to get more views, more engagement and, subsequently, more financial gains for the creator.

As you can imagine, TikTok’s Black community is up in arms. But don’t take it from me (a non-Black individual) – log onto the app and listen to what Black users have to say about cultural appropriation for yourself.

Still, the app is one of the fastest growing. Companies are finding creative ways to weave their paid ads and more subliminal marketing strategies into the fabric of the ‘For You’ page. In many ways, TikTok is the next frontier in social media marketing.

With a few relevant locational hashtags and some innovative approaches to advertising, your business could get some serious FREE attention on TikTok. In fact, it’s the future.

As aware and socially conscious small business owners, we need to make sure that while we are using the app to get ours, that the Black creators and artists who made the app what it is today are also getting theirs. Anything short of direct accountability for the platform and for caustic White users would be offensive.

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Promoted tweets getting over-promoted? Time for Twitter backlash

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Twitter has enacted changes to how frequently Promoted Tweets – i.e., ads – are seen by users, and in true Twitter fashion, there’s mixed opinions.

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Smartphone open to Twitter with promoted tweets open on the top of the feed.

Did anyone else ever watch the Strong Bad Emails cartoons from Homestarrunner? One of the running gags there – and subsequently one of my favorite bits – was when he’d just delete a fan’s email outright while insulting the author. Strong Bad was great at laying down the delete hammer and had zero cares in the world about doing it.

The idea that you – as a user, person, entity – can reclaim a little bit of omniscient authority is powerful. Generally, we like being in control of our lives, and the ability to exercise that authority resonates deeply.

Digital companies are still coming to terms with the idea that their users maintain some ability to revolt against their new policies, trying to straddle the line between new features and improved tools while still keeping an existing audience happy. Typing “hate the new” into Google will show results solely around new interfaces and an endless string of abhorrence. The new Facebook layout is bad. The new Gmail is bad and here’s how to revert it.

I’m sure others exist for any widely used app or service. Sometimes even new logos incite rage. I’m not here to make a statement either way, but usually there’s some ground in between pure opinion and justifiable discussions about user interface and experience. Regardless, change can make users upset.

Twitter recently rolled out changes to how Promoted Tweets work. You should know first that a promoted tweet is just an ad, and were originally set to appear only once per timeline. However, recent updates to Twitter’s internal services has resulted in some users reporting the same ad being shown multiple times in rapid succession, and even repeatedly over and over.

Think about Google search results – there are definitely ads at the top of the first page, and they are usually relevant to the topic at hand and only show up in that area. A user can quickly scroll downward past this and look through other results. But imagine how frustrating it might be to have a first page riddled primarily with ads, effectively choking out other results.

Twitter maintains that, “we’re thoughtful in how we display Promoted Tweets, and are conservative about the number of Promoted Tweets that people see in a single day.” This has led some users to believing this behavior indicates some kind of issue with their internal systems. I like to think about the scene in Office Space where Michael Bolton (not the singer) mentions that he may have put a decimal in the wrong place; that is, there’s a configuration error at Twitter instead of some kind of sea change.

However, Twitter has said this is not a glitch. In fact, they stated it was intentional, and further clarified that, “We regularly experiment and deploy changes to our advertising experience. We are constantly innovating and testing, and will continue to adapt as we learn.” Despite worldwide complaints, Twitter has not officially acknowledged this situation as problematic.

As a result, many users have taken to blocking the advertisers involved with the Promoted Tweets. Much like Strong Bad exercising his ultimate authority over his domain, this means that companies are in danger of losing their ability to reach users entirely. As this number grows, the consequences could widespread, and it will be interesting to see if Twitter changes their outlook and/or has potential pressure from advertisers. Twitter has stated that this may simply be temporary to exhaust a surplus of ad inventory, and this remains to be seen.

As users continue to voice their complaints, it will be interesting to see how the situation ultimately resolves.

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