Is Social Media Engagement Really Impacted by Word Count?

Everyone talks about engagement, I know, sorry. But since there’s no such thing as too much engagement on a post, tweet or image shared on social media by your company, it’s important to consider what the optimal length of copy/text is. Keep in mind that after studying hundreds of different studies, these are the lengths of content found to best drive engagement and not the character limit imposed by the platforms.

Optimal Tweet Length

While Twitter has changed the number of characters it allows on a tweet numerous times. Studies show that tweets don’t generally reach those upper limits. Twitter itself published reports saying that only 5% of Tweets sent were longer than 140 characters and only 2% were over 190 characters. 

Interestingly enough, the data on average tweet length didn’t change much with the increased character length. Many claim this might be due to Twitter’s emphasis on shorter content being more accessible for the casual scroller. The ease of engagement with 280 characters makes Twitter a bit easier to use for new users, with retweets and mentions now increasing more and more with the character change.

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Further reading: 280 characters on Twitter & why we can’t have nice things

Facebook Post Length

After analyzing more than 800 million Facebook posts, studies found that posts using 80 characters or less have a 66% higher engagement rate. Shorter posts require less cognitive energy to process, and people want to relax when browsing Facebook. If users have to click to read the rest of your post, then you lose a part of your audience, especially if you haven’t already engaged them enough to make them want to click for more.

… Or your post was boring and nobody cares.

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Instagram Caption Length

While Instagram is a visual platform, you can still drive engagement and sharing by using the right number of characters to help deliver your message. Keep organic Instagram posts between 138 and 150 characters to drive engagement. You *should* use between fewer than 125, however, on sponsored posts. While each post can have up to 30 hashtags, fight the urge to use that many by sticking with nine targeted hashtags instead to drive engagement.

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LinkedIn Updates & Article Length

While organic results containing less than 25 words usually have the highest engagement rate, if you plan to connect to your target audience using LinkedIn articles, then you need to write between 1,900 and 2,000 words (!!). Be sure to put a title on your article that is between 40 and 49 characters long to drive engagement with it.

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Actual selfie of me when I hear 2,000 words for LinkedIn.

Pinterest Length

While images are vital on Pinterest, you can usually obtain better engagement by using under 200 characters to drive engagement. Be very careful, however, as this platform has very strict limits on character length in your pin description cutting it off at 500 characters. Your brand description can also only be 500 characters long, and don’t forget to add keywords!

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Following these guidelines will help drive engagement with your content on popular social media platforms. Again, like anything, even though there’s data to back up this information, it will depend on your audience. So don’t be afraid to test things out! Most of the time I don’t really think about the length of copy, especially if the messaging is important.

For more help on your social media strategy, get in contact with me!

 


 
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