Stick to the Short Story on Social Media

Long-winded set-ups seldom lead somewhere fantastic. And, in the online world, honing the ability to be brief is critical to creating user-friendly, shareable content that begs to be read.

You might think that Twitter’s 140 characters limit constitutes a brief message. However, research has shown that tweets that use less than 100 characters experience 17% higher engagement than longer tweets. Same with Facebook – keeping your posts below 250 characters can get you 60% more engagement than lengthier posts. Which makes sense, since less time-consuming posts will typically be more appealing when flipping through an extensive post feed on limited time.

Facebook, graph, engagement, short posts

Shorter content typically gets higher engagement on Facebook

Are you trying to draw attention to a consumer benefit (sale, special discount, reward), generate interest and awareness in an event, or trying to understand more about your follower’s interests? No need for a lengthy monologue – jump right in and get to the point.  Create a strong call-to-action right from the get-go and refer your followers to an appropriate landing page for more information (if required). Or, use a picture to illustrate your message, with a brief caption.

dunk in the dark, oreo

Oreo famously tweeted this simple image when the electricity went out during the Superbowl.

Brief content is also far more mobile-friendly. Ever tried to read a New Yorker essay on an iPhone? Believe me, my eyeballs felt like they had earned a Masters in Minutiae. Whether in social media posts or e-mail content, work to make your content scannable, and use contrast effects, such as bolding, font size, whitespace, and imagery to make your content pop from the page. After all, nobody really wants to:

A person that does not exist.

There’s certainly a time and a place for longer posts, such as posting an interesting customer story or information about an important moment in your brand’s history, but experiment with brief posts and practice being as clear and concise as possible.

Do you find higher engagement on shorter social media posts than longer ones?