Social media post length? Use the proper size for the win.

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How long should my post be? Social media presents many choices and decisions that need to be considered prior to posting. Each platform (Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn for our purposes) has a sweet spot for maximum sharing and impact. Let's take a look at the allowable limit per post for each platform.

1. Twitter limit 140 characters per tweet

The fun-sized treat. Short, sweet and to the point. A clever or relevant tweet goes a long way. The optimal amount to tweet is 120 characters including your link leaving 20 blank characters for others to retweet.

“If you never leave any room for others to share your message with their network, chances are that most of the time they either won’t make the effort, or that perfect piece of copy you wrote will be bastardized and lost to the horror of txt spk. Guess what – as it’s a retweet, now everybody thinks you wrote it like that. Welcome to your legacy – it’s only on the internet forever.” per Shea Bennett.

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/Tribe2point0/status/261284792220393472″]

2. LinkedIn 600 characters per update

A regular size bar. LinkedIn has been making many updates to engage users and I think this space will become a more potent referrer for blog content. Don't ignore sharing relevant and useful updates here.

LinkedIn Update

3. Facebook 64,206 characters per post

Snack size bars are good but can be a regular size bar as well.

Thanksgiving post

4. Google+ limit 100,000 characters per post

A king sized bar. Almost a full length blog post for deeper conversation and engagement.

Google+ post

It's important to know the audience where you are posting.  Each platform has its own language and culture that needs to be observed and respected. Tweets don't work on Facebook. Hashtags are for Twitter and Google+ only and stick out on Facebook or LinkedIn. Think about what you have to say and choose the best platform for your content. Fit the message to the social media platform for maximum success and be wise with cross posting your content. Just because you can share all your tweets on Facebook, doesn't mean that you should.

Twitter takes a little bit of work to craft the perfect tweet. Write in a sentence with a capital letter and proper grammar to reach the right people. “Only two things really count when striving for the perfect tweet: (from Media Bistro)

  1. Maximum readability
  2. Maximum retweetability”

Facebook and Google+ allow for “1/9th the length of a novel. This gives users the flexibility to write full-fledged blog posts or even longer content.” While this longer format seems to be more widely acceptable on Google+ where many Plussers are using it as their blog platform, Facebook users still seem to ignore longer posts.

Although Facebook has been very generous in their character allotment the most popular posts are shorter. Per Facebook Best Practices: “Posts between 100 and 250 characters (less than 3 lines of text) see about 60% more likes, comments and shares than posts greater than 250 characters.

Google+ gives you more real estate.

Per Inc., “Although Google+ takes many common features from Facebook, one of the positive differences is that Google+ posts are naturally longer format. Twitter limits your character length to just 140 characters, and in Facebook it is a posting faux pas to post much more than a sentence.

Google+, however, provides a venue that's more like a blog; it's more common there to see full-length posts. And the more content you feed Google, the more it can index and produce in search results–helping your visibility, traffic, and SEO.”

A note about sharing other people's content. When you see something great that someone else shared. please give them credit for it when you retweet or share. Don't be the creep that cuts and pastes someone else's post as a new post without sharing. If you want to add your own text or photo, just add a little note saying “via Mary” with a + or @ mention so they are notified. Being a good neighbor in social media, as in life, is always in style.

Taking the time to be aware of where you are sharing and how it can be best shared it important. If you feel rushed and are just trying to make things easier, you might need to pare down your social media efforts. Shortcuts don't always work. Think about your overall presence and make the best choices when sharing taking time to add value to the socialsphere, not just add noise.

What tips do you have for post length and sharing in social media? Please share with me in the comments.


Tech Crunch Facebook Ups is Character Limit to 60,000, Google+'s is still bigger


Jaana Nystrom Comments, why do we post them?

Media Bistro How to Write the Perfect Tweet
Article by Peg Fitzpatrick

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  1. @DJThistle Hey DJ ~ still trying to figure out the sweet spot for Google+. It seems to be the most flexible as far as long posts go. I think that you still have the short attention span as on all social media but people are willing to read long posts that are interesting or share tips. As I mentioned, there are some Google+ people who use this as their blog platform and don’t publish anywhere else.
    I tend to vary my G+ posts in length. What have you tried so far?

  2. @Kai Mentz Hi Kai! From the Tech Crunch article in the resources, “Wanna guess how it chose 63,206? Facebook engineer Bob Baldwin wrote, “I set the exact limit to something nerdy. Facebook … Face Boo K … hex(FACE) – K … 64206 – 1000 = 63206  “, in response to VP of Engineering Mike Schroepfer’s post of the announcement.”

  3. Great article, just one thought on the Facebook “sweet spot”, if you make the update very long, Facebook shortens it and puts the “continue reading” link at the bottom, so ideally we want to make our updates shorter than this.

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