I often get lots of questions about how I was able to build up a large following on twitter, Facebook, G+ and LinkedIn. But one of the most common question asked is, what is the ideal length of your content on social media platforms and how do you get so much reach?
How long should a Linkedin pulse 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 constraint is fewer than 140 characters, but 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 stat 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).
Top mistakes to avoid on Twitter
Even though it is a simple platform in many ways you can still make mistakes on Twitter. Here are 3 rookie mistakes that you need to avoid if you want to look cool and be effective
1. You are still an egg
Not uploading a photo or a logo sort of screams out… “Hey, I am totally clueless”. If you are that person, stop reading this post and fix it now!
2. Crap headlines
Just don’t throw 140 characters into a tweet and hope people will click. Just like a blog post, the headline is key to get that click to read and to share.
3. Not tweeting enough
Twitter is not Facebook or a LinkedIn. It’s different. It is also not an email inbox. So you need to tweet often. Keep feeding the stream and keep tossing content into the Twitter torrent.
They are just some of the basic Twitter mistakes that are easy to fix.
It seems that brevity is also preferred on Facebook where 40 characters and less seem to do best. Social media expert Jeff Bullas who was ranked #8 on Forbes” The World’s Top 40 Social Marketing Talent” – 2014, 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.
Top mistakes to avoid on Facebook
You’re Asking Instead of Giving
Do you go to Facebook anxiously hoping to see a bunch of ads and specials? Very few people would answer, “yes” to that question but if that’s how you’re using your page, don’t expect people to respond.
Don’t take the social out of social media. People use Facebook to connect with others and consume information that’s valuable to them – all for free.
If you run a bakery, Facebook is the perfect place to post a cookie recipe. If you repair mobile devices, post a review of a new product or little known tips and tricks on its operation.
If you gear the bulk of your content toward giving to your customers, you can throw in an occasional sales announcement.
You Aren’t Using the Apps
Look on the right side of your page just below your big image at the top. Those boxes are areas to install apps. There are apps to link your Twitter or YouTube page or you can create custom pages using HTML. A whole host of other features can transform your Facebook page into a feature-rich experience much like your website.
If you’re not as tech-savvy as you would like, you might need help with this task but increasingly pages that use the apps to their advantage are finding better engagement rates.
Before you decide that this is too techy for you to figure out, click on one of the app boxes and explore. Some of the apps are easy to use.
It’s All Text
Long before images and videos were easy to make, it was all about text but those days are over. Text is still important but people looking at your posts don’t want just to read your words, they want to see and hear what’s going on with your business through other media.
Make a video. Your social media audience doesn’t care if it’s cinematic quality. They’re fine with a candid video and from time to time, something a little nicer.
Post some images. You don’t have to be an amazing photographer. Take a picture of an event, something being made at your facility, or something else that fits your business.
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.
Brian Lang published some research on Linkedin pulse publishing his findings prove very effective: If you’ve spent any time learning about content promotion, then you know that guest posting is one of the most popular ways to grow a following on your blog or website.
Publishing on LinkedIn is similar to guest posting and you can now start reaching into LinkedIn’s 364+ million members.
Here are 3 things you should know about posting on Linkedin Pulse
1. Get exposure to LinkedIn’s massive audience – on LinkedIn, you will be able to reach a lot of people that you won’t be able to reach through guest blogging or other social media channels.
2. Short articles can do well on LinkedIn – over 70% of Pulse featured articles are under 1,000 words. Guest posting on popular blogs in contrast often requires longer more detailed articles.
3. Instant approval – Pulse articles are published instantly when you hit the publish button. With guest blogging, popular blogs will often have a wait time of weeks or even months before your post goes live.
Geoff Livingston also conducted some great research and provides some very important tips:
There are ways to optimize LinkedIn Pulse to better reach intended audiences. Here are some suggestions based on research:
1) Social Validation Ratio
The LinkedIn Pulse algorithm uses as social validation ratio to determine how often it sources a member’s Pulse post, says data scientist Andy Foote. The relative number of views doesn’t matter. Instead, the percentage of likes, reshares and comments per view is what triggers a featured article in Pulse.
Sharing your post as soon as you publish is critical. Send it on to your most engaged communities. You need people to like, share and comment to achieve the right ratio. I can already see scenarios where people are gaming initial social engagement to trigger featured Pulse articles
2) Timing Is Important
Because social validation drives success you want to publish on days when most people use LinkedIn. Those tend to be Monday through Friday during business hours, with an emphasis on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. You can further refine time-based optimization by targeting times when people are at their desks; before work, lunch hours, or the end of the business day.
3) Format Posts for Social Validation
Creating strong posts means requires a few things to make content more share and comment worthy.
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?
You’ve probably heard plenty of supporters who champion shorter posts, meaning posts that are around 200 words. This is perfectly acceptable if your blog has been created to sell a product of service. This is effective because you’re getting directly to the point with your call to action (CTA). If you want visitors to subscribe to a newsletter or email subscription, for example, keep it short and sweet. People have the tendency to have short attention spans and you don’t want them to forget the real reason why brought them to your blog.
That doesn’t mean that you can simply write a short blog post and call it a day. In fact, it may be more challenging to actually posts that are 200 words. But, if you can make all of your points and grab the attention of people, then go for it. But, how can you grab the attention of online surfers? After all, there have studies that have shown that most people only read between 20% to 28% of a post.
On the other hand, there are a lot of people who are all about posts that are meatier. We’re talking about 1,000 words or more. If that sounds insane, it’s not. It’s actually pretty common.
Why would someone sit down and write so many words? Because it’s good for SEO. Actually. It’s excellent for SEO. And, isn’t that kind of a good thing for any content marketing campaign? Don’t worry, there’s research to back that claim up.
According to some incredibly detailed research from serpIQ, the top 10 results from Google all have a minimum of at least 2,000.
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!
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