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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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1 Comment

1 Comment

  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?

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Social Media

Facebook beta features fresh friendly facade you can try out

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Facebook is trying to change it’s image, literally. They already changed their logo, now is time for a new design you can see in the beta.

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After sixteen years in the game, Facebook is getting a facelift. Facebook has been working on a redesign for quite some time and they’re finally starting to roll out a beta. Facebook is taking the rollout slow, so it looks like just a few users are seeing the redesign and the rest of us will have to wait. Want to be among the first to test out the new look? Here’s how you can, maybe, make it happen.

If you are one of the lucky few who has been selected to beta test, then getting the new design should be simple. When you log into your account (as if you ever log out) a pop up will prompt you to try out the new beta. If this doesn’t happen, and you’re still feeling optimistic, then turn your eye to the upper right-hand corner of your screen and look for a button labeled “See Facebook Beta.” Still no button, but want to keep the hope alive? Click the drop-down arrow in the right-hand corner of your screen and see if the Facebook Beta option appears in the dropdown. Nothing yet? Tough luck, kid. You have not been chosen.

If the new design is available to you, then Facebook will offer to give you a tour of the new system. The fresh UI aims to simplify the user experience by making the page less cluttered and easier to navigate. Icons will be sleeker and brighter and it should be easier than ever to access your Messenger conversations. And if you decide that you kind of hate the new design, no big deal. Users will have the option to switch back to the classic design, at least while the redesign is still in beta.

Platform redesigns are always a contentious topic of conversation for users. Twitter, in particular, has seen some user drama over its redesigns through the years. Sometimes a redesign will knock out your favorite feature or make a shortcut you used to take in a workflow pointless. And, honestly, sometimes people just don’t like change. Whatever side of the coin you’re on, let us know how you feel about Facebook’s new look.

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Social Media

Google takes a shot at competing with TikTok, Pinterest videos

(SOCIAL MEDIA) We all love to sit and watch short videos, be they humorous, reactionary, or weird, but here is Googles attempt to get educational with Tangi.

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Tangi screenshot

It’s happened to anyone who’s ever been looking online for how-to help… you click on a likely-sounding YouTube video, only to be greeted by an ad you can’t skip, a whole lot of introductory chit-chat, and three minutes of build-up before you finally see exactly what you need to do to handle your would-be DIY hack.

But what if you could get your answer in 60 seconds or less? It’s the concept behind Tangi, a newly released Google app created in the company’s Area 120 incubator by developer Coco Mao.

Variously described as short-form YouTube, video Pinterest, or TikTok for makers, Tangi was inspired by Mao discovering that her “smartphone challenged” parents were using their devices to watch photography and painting tutorials—and developing new hobbies as a result.

She came back to Google and worked with her team to develop Tangi as a place where such how-to inspiration could be more easily found and taken advantage of. “The name is inspired by the words TeAch aNd Give,” she explained as she introduced the app at the end of January. “’Tangible’—things you can make.”

The philosophy behind Tangi means this is hands-on how-to for the crafty club. The time-lapse heavy videos “could quickly get a point across,” Mao said, “something that used to take a long time to learn with just text and images.”

Videos fall into categories of art, cooking, DIY, fashion and beauty, and lifestyle, and are often accompanied by links to recipes or the maker’s blog or Instagram for more information. Some makers don’t quite have the format down pat yet, but most manage to provide a good balance of visual inspiration and a little more information.

And like Pinterest, Tangi can turn into a time-lapsing rabbit hole of its own. I started with a mere 10-second clip on propagating succulents (I’ve been doing it wrong), which led to a minute on “when succulents stretch” (“etiolation” — new vocabulary word!), which led to a succulent cake which led to a conversation heart cake and before I knew it, 20 minutes had gone by and I was watching an exploding heart science Valentine and had washed up at “Yoda one for me.”

While the app has only been out for about a week … and is only available on iOS and the web … it’s already well populated with content from makers and lifestyle bloggers who partnered with Mao’s team during the development process. And though it’s still in closed-beta mode for content creators, users can apply to be on a waitlist to be invited to upload their own work.

There are a few question marks still. No word on when it will be available on Google’s own Android platform, for one thing. While a couple of intrepid contributors are reviewing education apps and dispensing startup advice, its philosophy as stated by team lead Mao may not extend much more beyond the maker and creative fields to include technology and workplace input. And Google doesn’t always support its apps for long.

But it’s fun, simple, and easy on the eyes. As a place to find quick inspiration and direction, Tangi could carve out a niche.

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Social Media

New Reddit policy on impersonation mimics other social media giants

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Reddit is the latest social media company to change their policy to protect against deepfake impersonation, because of the harm they can cause.

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impersonation with deepfakes

Reddit is the latest social media company making updates to their rules and policies ahead of the 2020 election. Companies like Facebook, Twitter, and now Reddit are all trying to make the social internet a safer place to receive information.

Reddit’s new policy officially bans impersonation with the goal of handling “bad actors who are trying to manipulate Reddit, particularly are issues of great public significance, like elections.”

Deepfakes have become a key topic of conversation the last few years. In the wake of the mass spreading of misinformation during the 2016 presidential election, users have grown wearier than ever of the information they see online. Deepfakes are no longer a niche subject, but an everyday pain point that technology companies are scrambling to control.

In a statement made on r/redditsecurity, Reddit informed users of the change to website policy stating, “Reddit does not allow content that impersonates individuals or entities in a misleading or deceptive manner. This not only includes using a Reddit account to impersonate someone, but also encompasses things such as domains that mimic others, as well as deepfakes or other manipulated content presented to mislead, or falsely attributed to an individual or entity.”

The platform isn’t trying to make a mass change to it’s often humor driven culture. Parody and satire are still allowed forms of impersonation so long as the joke is obvious. Reddit has vowed to always take context into account when looking at cases of user impersonation.

It’s a good sign for society when popular social platforms start taking their role in controlling the spread of false information seriously. Companies like Reddit are in a position to create real change in the way we spread and consume information about major global events.

What’s unclear is how much man power these companies are putting behind their policies. Reddit ends their statement by pointing users to a report form that users can submit if they or someone else is the victim of impersonation. The question users should be asking is how long would it take to get a response or see action on these reports?

Policy changes are great, but if companies are simply throwing them onto their fine print with no resources behind enforcement then it’s not social change, it’s just legal jargon to protect their ass.

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