Social Media Posts: What is the Optimal Length?

Social Post Length

On social media, you’re constantly battling with millions of brands, news outlets, and celebrities for the attention of users. From a killer content strategy to eye-catching creative, you think you have the battle won. Or do you?

Is my post too long?

Ever ask yourself that question? If not, you better start. With less than five seconds to grab the attention of the user, the length of your content is just as important as your as the post’s subject matter. We know, it’s easy to get caught up in what you’re writing about. But when do you stop helping your brand and start hurting it? Thankfully, we did some digging to compile the recommended length for post copy across social media.

How long should a Facebook post be?

40 – 120 characters

It may surprise you, but 40 characters is the ideal length for a Facebook post (Jeff Bullas). You read that right. Posts with 40 characters or less received 86% higher engagements than longer posts. And it’s not just Jeff Bullas reporting this. A similar report compiled by SumAll and Buffer not only confirmed that posts with 40 characters are the top performer, but posts with 80 characters or less also received 66% higher engagements.

Don’t panic. This doesn’t mean that writing a post that has 81 characters is going to get destroy your metrics. A study by BlitzLocal looked at nearly 120 billion Facebook impressions and found that while performance tailed off as posts grew longer, posts with 140-160 characters still preformed well.

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How long should a Tweet be?

71 – 100 characters

Twitter, a platform known for its character limits, actually recommends sharing content that is shorter than 100 characters. Check out a quote from Twitter’s best practices referencing research by Buddy Media:

Creativity loves constraints and simplicity is at our core. Tweets are limited to 140 characters so they can be consumed easily anywhere, even via mobile text messages. There’s no magical length for a Tweet, but a recent report by Buddy Media revealed that Tweets shorter than 100 characters get a 17% higher engagement rate.

And it’s not just Twitter and Buddy Media reporting this. Track Social studied 100 well-known brands on the social platform and found that the sweet spot for engagement was actually right around 100 characters.

Tweet, but a recent report by Buddy Media revealed that Tweets shorter than 100 characters get a 17% higher engagement rate.

And it’s not just Twitter and Buddy Media reporting this. Track Social studied 100 well-known brands on the social platform and found that the sweet spot for engagement was actually right around 100 characters.

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How long should a LinkedIn post be?

25 Words

Research has shown that users on LinkedIn, the professional social-media network, are more likely to read and engage with longer content. The report by Compendium studied posts from both B2B and B2C companies. They found that 16-25 words was the optimal length for B2B, while for 21-25 words was the optimal length for B2C.

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How long should an Instagram post be?

~140 Characters

Unlike Facebook and Twitter, there hasn’t been a strong correlation between success on Instagram and post length. This is most likely the result of Instagram being an image-focused social media platform. Simply Measured identified that the average Instagram post was around 138 characters. Because of this, we recommend keeping image copy around this length.

Ok, I know the optimal lengths. Now what?

Now that you know the optimal length of social posts, it’s time to test and discover what works best for you and your brand. Remember, these statistics should serve as more of a guideline to what performs best on social media. Your brand may find that more or less copy tends to perform better.

How will your brand implement this information into your social media strategy?

Zachary Sousa

Zachary Sousa is assistant social media strategist at 451 Marketing!

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