There always seems to be some debate around the best way to write social media posts. What’s the correct length? How many hashtags should you use?
Obviously what you post will depend on where you post it. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are all very different social networks (and that’s just the tip of the social media iceberg). So you wouldn’t use the same post across all of your networks.
To help you figure out the best approach, we’ve curated some guidelines for some of the more popular social channels. Keep in mind though, that while these are recommendations made from various studies, they are not definitive. If your audience responds to something different, go with it.
Most sources agree that the ideal length for a Facebook post is between 40 and 80 characters. Short, concise posts get the job done. After all, people generally don’t have time to read much more than this.
Longer posts can also get cut off. So if your Call to Action or other crucial info comes after this, you have to rely on your readers to click on the ‘…see more’.
If you do have a lot to say though, you can fit up to 63 205 characters into your Facebook post. And at 8 000 characters, the limit on comments is also generous.
Given the nature of Twitter, the character limit is, well, limited. Twitter now allows for up to 280 characters in a Tweet, as opposed to the older 140 character limit. But that doesn’t mean you should use all of them.
The recommended number is between 71-100 characters. Short, to-the-point tweets encourage more engagement. Shorter tweets also leave more room for comments when people retweet. If you’re using a hashtag or two, try to keep these short as well.
While it’s a very visual platform, Instagram does set a limit on the characters you’re allowed in your captions. You can use up to 2 000 characters and 30 hashtags.
But your caption will get cut off if it’s too long, so the recommended number of characters is 138-150.
For hashtags, try using between 5 and 10, and keeping these at less than 24 characters each. Studies show that engagement falls off after about 10 hashtags. Using the same hashtag all the time can also have a negative impact; Instagram may not show your post if you overuse a hashtag.
A company update on LinkedIn can use up to 700 characters, but again this isn’t advisable. As with your other platforms, updates that are too long get cut off, so people have to be even more engaged to actually ‘Read more’.
As LinkedIn is focused more on businesses and professional updates, a company update should be between 50 and 100 characters. Blue Compass says that if your post description exceeds 3 lines, LinkedIn cuts it off and uses ellipses.
The Right Length For Social Media Posts
Here’s an infographic that sums up the numbers. The numbers in bold are the recommended character figures – try these out and see if they work for you.
We haven’t included info on ads, sticking instead to organic posts. You can have a look at these sources for more information on character limits for both organic and paid social media:
As with any social media posts or campaigns, stick with what works for your readers. Having a good understanding of what your audience likes can help you choose the best social platforms and craft posts tailored for them.