Why publish on social media?How long should a social media post be? Well, how long is a piece of string?

In reality the ‘ideal length’ of any content is likely to vary depending on your niche/industry, your target demographic and the intent of said post. That said though, statistically speaking there are some useful guidelines to keep in mind when deciding how long to make any given post. Here we will look at what has been shown to be most successful across a variety of platforms.

On Twitter the ideal length for a post is apparently 100 characters. This is according to Twitter’s own ‘best practices’ guidelines where they state that tweets of 100 characters or less enjoy 17% higher engagement. That’s not an insignificant statÉ so keep it short and Tweet!

Research from Buddy Media though only somewhat supports this claim, finding that retweets peak for Tweets of 100 characters while longer ones do better than shorter ones. It seems that 100 is definitely the Tweet spot (sorry).

It seems that brevity is also preferred on Facebook where 40 characters and less seem to do best. Jeff Bullas conducted a study on retail brands on Facebook and found that short posts and particularly those below 40 characters would receive 86% higher engagement. Many more studies have similarly supported the idea that shorter-does-better on Facebook. The point to remember is that people are in a rush. All the time. And especially on social media. If your content is really long, chances are they won’t read the whole thing.

LinkedIn Pulse
LinkedIn’s Pulse is a great tool for expanding your brand and influence in social media. You’ll want to create an enticing headline, designed to encourage your reader to continue. It’s one of the most important aspects of your post. The most popular topics are “how to” and “list posts”. The posts that don’t pull at LinkedIn are “question” posts, like “Is Publishing To LinkedIn Important?”

Your post length should be between 850 – 2,000 words which create the most engagement over at LinkedIn. Create a list of 5 possible topics and their titles, and go from there. Share your expertise and you’ll see results.

On Google+ your headline should be less than 60 characters. This doesn’t only maximize the impact in terms of content but also the readability and appearance due to the way that Google+ works. If your content is too long then it will be truncated or it will appear on multiple lines.

That said, there is value to the longer headline seeing as it can be more enticing as click-bait. Find balance and experiment with both for your business. Note that your first sentence will also often show on Google+ and you can definitely use this to your advantage in piquing curiosity.

Blog Posts
While it’s not social media, chances are that you’ll be integrating your social media strategy with content marketing. So how long should a blog post be?

According to a site called ‘Medium’ the content that gets the most attention is 1,600 words, taking the average reader 7 minutes to read. It seems that a little more depth is actually a good thing at this point! One of the strategies I like to use is breaking down a large topic into a series of posts, linking each of the previous post to the current post. It also helps with your site’s search engine optimization.

Social Influence, A guide to showing you how to attract more followers so you can generate a ton of traffic to your sites.

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