How Long Should Your Social Media Content Be?

There are a number of things you should consider when posting social media content. The most important things should focus on whether the content is relevant to your audience, will help your business and is of a suitable standard and quality. However, it is also important to consider the importance of the length of your social media post.

Whether you are posting written or video content, the length of the content is likely to have an impact on how often it is viewed and what people think of it.

Of course, it can be argued that there is no such thing as one ideal length, even for a particular platform. Each firm has their own needs and their own audience expectations. A company that provides highly technical equipment is unlikely to have the same audience, and the same audience needs, as a company that sells soft drinks or candy.

Therefore, each company must review their own circumstances, their own audience and the sort of content that is right for their audience. It can be helpful for firms to review their own social media posts and determine which had the most engagement or impact. It is also useful for firms to look at rival firms and see which content they have achieved most success with.

However, it can be daunting to start the process of getting the length right for social media, and we are pleased to offer some initial guidelines that will help you get started.

Facebook

Even though there is debate as to whether Facebook is diminishing, there is no denying that Facebook is still the leading social media platform. Therefore, firms are likely to be interested in learning how to deliver the best standard of content for Facebook.

Buzzfeed is a company that knows a lot about having an impact online and in 2016, they analysed over 800 million posts on Facebook. Their finding was that organic posts which contained fewer than 50 characters received the most engagement. A further study, undertaken by renowned internet marketer Jeff Bullas, suggested that posts of 80 characters or fewer received 66% more engagement than longer posts.

With respect to Facebook ads, it seems as though the focus falls on words, with 5 to 18 words being the optimum amount for the separate elements of a Facebook ad. This comes from a study undertaken by AdEspresso and they found that the ideal blend of content for a Facebook ad is:

  • Up to 5 words for the headline
  • Up to 14 words for the main text
  • Up to 18 words for the description

With respect to video on Facebook, studies in 2016 suggested that between 30 second and 60 seconds was of benefit but in 2019, it is believed that audience attention span on Facebook is even shorter. With stories impacting on the way social media users engage with and use video, shorter and snappier videos may be of greater benefit. Therefore, firms should consider creating videos between 6 second and 15 seconds.

This doesn’t leave a lot of time to get a message across, but the nature of stories allows various videos to be strung together, and this may be the way to get a message across.

Twitter

In 2017, the number of characters that users could use was expanded from the initial 140 characters. This was welcomed by many people and firms but just because you can use more characters doesn’t mean that you should.

Findings from Buddy Media suggests that tweets should contain between 71 and 100 characters to have the most impact on Twitter users. With respect to hashtags, the Hashtags.org site recommends using a keyword of no more than 6 characters!

LinkedIn

Depending on the industry you operate in or the customers you try to reach, LinkedIn could be a hugely important platform.

With respect to posts, bear in mind that the “See More” button leads to messages being truncated at 140 characters. Therefore, consider a maximum of 25 words because you want to ensure the main thrust of your message is seen by users.

With respect to articles, a study undertaken by Paul Shapiro of Search Wilderness suggested that articles should be between 1,900 and 2,000 words to have the most impact. Of course, it is important to not pad out your content to reach this level of words, the content should be relevant and focused.

Interestingly, there is a school of thought that the content of this length also delivers the best return with respect to listings on Google. If you can’t write to this length on a topic, you shouldn’t force it, but if you can, it is recommended putting in the time and effort to reach this length of article content.

YouTube

With respect to YouTube content, your videos should be as long as they need to be. Some firms can say a lot in a few seconds while some companies can offer tremendous value over a lengthy period of time. Offering quality and value to your audience should always be the main focus. However, a study by ReelSEO suggests that the average length of time for the top 50 videos on YouTube is 2 minutes and 54 seconds.

With respect to the length of a YouTube video title, Brainshark suggests that 70 characters are a suitable length. For the description of your video, 157 characters is a good level because this is the number of characters that appear as the snippet when searched. If you plan on going over this length, as many people will do for SEO purposes, make sure that the first 157 characters are informative.

You will find that it is worth experimenting with lengths of posts to find what works for you, but if you are looking for a suitable starting point, this information will go a long way. If you are looking for support in creating effective social media content, turn to Social Addicts and we will do everything we can to assist you.

Written By

Ian Watson

Founder

Social Addicts