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How Long? A Guide to Social Media Post Length


Writing the perfect post is an art form in itself and when it’s limited, it’s important to make every character count.

But first thing is first, let’s understand what parameters you are working with, such as to know what the optimum social media post length is for each of your social media platforms to help attract and engage with your audience.

It can be hard to know whether you are saying too much or just not enough, not to mention the frequently changing character limits. To help you get the ball rolling with your posts, we’ve come up with the following guide to help you to create the perfect length for your posts on all your social media platforms.

Ideal Length of Facebook Posts

Let’s be honest, Facebook has been a platform where we have seen many changes and growth in it’s number of users quite dramatically throughout its lifetime and thus has also become increasingly difficult to get yourself noticed on there.

It houses a combination of videos, photography and the written word with a huge variety of users so one of the most important things to take note of is who your audience are; Who are they? What are they engaged with? So, if you want to have any chance of engaging with your audience or attracting new ones, you’re going to have to step up your game and the length of your post is going to help.

Status Update

While some users are willing to read longer and more detailed posts, particularly when it comes to social issues, a study conducted by Jeff Bullas shows that have 80 characters or less have a 66% higher rate of engagement. The maximum number of characters allowed is 63,206 but think about how many posts your viewers are exposed to daily and how you can stand out to lure them in.

Image source: Jeff Bullas

With so much content out there today, it’s important to ask yourself, ‘Am I bombarding my audience with too much information?’ At the end of the day, first impressions really do count here. Combine your post with an enticing image and title that gives your audience a reason to continue on reading and to click on the link you’re posting. Don’t worry too much because you can edit these too!

The ideal length for your link’s meta  title is 60 characters whilst the meta description should be 155 characters.

Video

The popularity of video content has continually increased since Facebook first launched in 2004. Much like our audience is continually bombarded with so much written content daily, research has shown that there is an ideal video length to keep your audience engaged. The ideal video length to keep viewers engaged is up to 2 minutes but its very unlikely you’ll want or need this kind of time.

Facebook Ads

For Facebook Ads, you need something quite punchy for the headline to capture the viewer’s attention and ideally 5 words are the optimal while the main text of the ad should be around 14 words. It is advisable to customise the link description (the line beneath your headline) and aim for around 18 words.

Ideal Length of Instagram Posts

This is a very much a visual platform initiated through compelling imagery and videos but constructing the right amount of words to pair it with can help to increase engagement. This is important for the reach of the post as Instagram’s algorithm places posts with the most likes and comments near the top of the followers’ feed.

Captions

Instagram captions can be a great way to create a mini-blog post and with a 2,200 character limit, there is plenty of room to be creative. However, to use all the spaces isn’t necessarily the best idea, ideally the best length for instagram captions is 138 – 150 characters but something to bear in mind is that the post is shortened after 125 characters on the main feed and requires the user to click for more.

Hashtags

It’s important to think about your hashtags carefully as it is not necessarily visually pleasing to see a post that is overloaded with hashtags and the algorithm doesn’t necessarily favour that either. The magic number is between 5 – 10 hashtags with a limit of 30. According to a study by Track Maven, engagement rates drop when more than 10 hashtags are used in Instagram posts.

 Image source: Track Taven

It’s important to do your research on hashtags and filter through which ones that resonate with your audience the most for your post and something to bear in mind is to keep the length of the hashtags under 24 characters.

Ideal Length of LinkedIn Posts

Like all platforms, it’s important to know who your audience are on all your social media platforms. Linkedin is one of those platforms that have a unique audience that has been designed more specifically for connecting business professionals and promoting companies.

Status

With that in mind, generally updates on this platform will link to an article rather than be a stand-alone piece even with a 700 character limit. When simply trying to promote something or offering useful information, the ideal Linkedin post should be under 100 characters to once entice the viewer and encourage further click through.

There are also a number of guidelines around the length of the articles on the publishing platform. Headlines should stick to 150 characters or less and the body should not exceed 120,000 characters.

Ideal Length of Pinterest Posts

This is another platform that is very much focussed around imagery and videos and not so much about words but it’s still just as important to know what your limits are as it is a growing platform.

Pins and Boards

Descriptions for your pins and your boards are limited to 500 characters and board names have a character limit of 100 but will be truncated after 17 characters. This is not too dissimilar for profile names as it is shortened with an ellipsis after 20 characters.

Ideal Length of Snapchat Posts

Snapchat is another platform that primarily focuses around visuals but there are still limits for the amount of text that can be added.

Snap Captions

Captions added to snaps have the ability to make use of 80 characters which is more than 2.5 times the previous character limit.

Whilst this platform still has a huge focus on imagery, make sure not that the text is not overdone. Draw your audience in with a simpler and effective caption paired with a captivating image.

Ideal Length of Twitter Posts

This is a platform that moves quickly, so keeping it short and sweet is key. The aim is to capture your audience’s attention with as few words as possible.

Tweets

With a character limit of 280, it may not be ideal to stop the scroll for engagement. Sticking to 71-100 character tweets will give you the best chance of engaging with your audience and have higher click through rates plus it leaves room for other users to RT or reply and add their own hashtags and comments.

Hashtags

Unlike other social platforms, Twitter caters for an audience that is on the go so keeping your hashtags targeted and limited to one or two will give you the best engagement. Don’t overdo it, even keep the characters to under 11 because remember, every character counts and these hashtags still contribute towards your total character count.

“Tweets with one or two hashtags have 21% higher engagement” – Buffer

Videos

Consider your audience being on the move and how long they would realistically be engaged being on the move. Whilst the maximum length is 2 minutes and 20 seconds, research suggests that providing a video under 60 seconds provides the most engagement.  

Ideal Length of YouTube Posts

Video has seen a huge increase with 72 hours of video uploaded onto YouTube every 60 seconds. It’s important to understand how you can generate more viewers to land and subscribe to your page so you’ll need to know what your limits are for your YouTube descriptions.

Videos

Your video title can be no longer than 70 characters while the description has room for 5,000 characters.

The description provides context for the viewer and supports the video but shouldn’t distract their attention. Only the first couple of lines of the description is visible without expanding the text so make sure the most important information is at the very beginning to capture the viewer’s attention.

 “YouTube is one of the largest search engines in the world. And writing a description with keywords can help viewers find your videos more easily through search.” – YouTube Creator Academy

We hope this guide has been able to provide some tips and tricks for you to confidently go and craft your posts but as previously mentioned, whilst this is a guide, one of the most important things is to understand who your audience is on each of your social media platforms to generate the best rate of engagement.

Experiment and find out what works for you and more importantly, make sure you represent your brand in the best way.

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