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.
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!