Ideal Length of Social Media Posts: A Guide for Every Platform
You’re busy crafting quality content and mastering your social media strategy. You don’t have time to exhaustively compile a list of the ideal length of social media posts for every single platform.
So we did it for you. (Please, hold your applause.)
This isn’t just a list of how long social posts can be: it’s a list of the best social media post lengths to drive the most engagement.
If you want more likes, shares, video views, and comments (and what kind of monster doesn’t?!), it’s pivotal to nail the length of your message.
Are you writing too much in your social media posts? Too little? Are your videos too long or not long enough? Read on for our curated research on the ideal character counts for social media posts (not to be confused with character limits) and other types of content on:
TLDR: Optimize the length of your content and you’ll be more likely to engage and convert your audience. Let’s go.
The ideal length of social media posts
The ideal Facebook post length
While you have enough space to craft a short novella on FB, the truth is, shorter posts usually receive more likes, comments, and shares.
People like it when a message makes its point quickly and concisely. It’s satisfying.
Organic posts length: 1 to 80 characters
We scoured the world wide web for research and the most recent study is from way back in 2016… an eternity in Social Media Years. But it’s all we have to work with, so it makes the best starting point we have:
In 2016, BuzzSumo analyzed more than 800 million Facebook posts. Based on their findings, posts with less than 50 characters “were more engaging than long posts.” According to another, more precise study by Jeff Bullas, posts with 80 characters or less receive 66 percent higher engagement.
There are a couple of reasons for this…
Barrier to entry: Facebook cuts off longer posts with an ellipsis, forcing users to click “See More” to expand the text and read the entire message.
This extra step doesn’t seem like much, but it will drive down engagement. Every time you ask the audience to take action, a percentage of people will lose interest.
Barrier to comprehension: the longer a person reads, the harder his or her brain must work to process information. Content that demands less work to consume and understand will enjoy higher engagement rates.
Paid posts length: 5 to 19 words
Every Facebook ad needs three types of content: a Headline, Ad Text, and a Link Description.
After analyzing 752,626 Facebook ads back in 2018, AdEspresso found that ads did best when the copy in each element was clear and concise. According to the data, the ideal length for a:
- Headline, the first text people read, is 5 words.
- Ad text, which appears above the ad, is 19 words
- Link description, which appears below the headline, is 13 words
Here’s a great concise example from AirBnb. No words wasted here.
The bottom line: Whether the post is organic or paid, brevity seems to drive engagement.
Capitalize on this by keeping your ad copy concise: don’t use two words when one will do. And keep it clear: omit adverbs, jargon, and the passive voice from your copy.
Learn more social media ad writing tips.
Video length: 30 to 60 seconds
Sure, you can upload a 240 minute video to Facebook… but will anyone actually watch it all the way through? With video, one of the primary measures of success is how long people watch, also known as your video retention rate.
For viral content, Facebook recommends videos that are less than one minute or stories that are less than 20 seconds in length.
That being said, if you’re hoping to qualify for in-stream ads, you might want to linger a little longer — videos need to be over three minutes to qualify.
Facebook also recommends videos over three minutes for episodic series, live streaming or story development.
Careful! Don’t go over the limit:
|Facebook Text||Character Limit|
|Facebook Ad Headline||40|
|Facebook Ad Text||135|
|Facebook Link Description||30|
The ideal length of a Tweet
So, how many characters in a tweet? In 2017, Twitter doubled its tweet character limit from 140 to 280 to help make writing on the platform easier.
But, it bears repeating, just because you have twice the room doesn’t mean people want to see you use it.
Organic and promoted tweets length: 71 – 100 characters
Whether you’re running an ad or not, data from Buddy Media shows that tweets containing less than 100 characters receive, on average, 17 percent higher engagement than longer tweets.
This is, in part, because shorter tweets are easier to read and comprehend.
There is a way to get around the Twitter word count limit:
Warby Parker cleverly combined a long list of short tweets to get the best of both worlds by creating a long thread for the longest day of the year: quick and cheeky content, delivered in a large volume.
Long day, long Twitter thread
— Warby Parker (@WarbyParker) June 21, 2022
Research by Track Social corroborates these findings:
Twitter hashtags length: 6 characters
“The best hashtags are those composed of a single word or a few letters,” writes Vanessa Doctor from Hashtags.org. “Twitter experts recommend keeping the keyword under 6 characters.”
Again, this length is about reader comprehension, especially since hashtags don’t support spaces.
Careful! Don’t go over the limit:
|Twitter Text||Character Limit|
The ideal TikTok video length
People have downloaded TikTok more than 3 billion times, which means you’ve got a lot of short attention spans out there in the world to appease.
Sure, the short-form video app recently expanded their max video length to 10 whole minutes. But just because you can do something doesn’t necessarily mean you should. On TikTok, brevity thrives.
Organic TikTok videos length: 7 to 15 seconds
To hook a viewer and keep their attention, aim for a 15-second video.
The more people who watch and like your video, the more likely you are to appear on someone else’s For You Page, so it’s important to really knock it out of the park. (For more on appeasing the great TikTok algorithm, click here.)
That being said, you may still want to try out TikTok’s 7-second challenge. When our own social team tried it, they got half a million likes on their video — not too shabby at all.
try this hack yourself
TikTok ads length: 21 to 24 seconds
For top performance of ads, TikTok recommends 21-34 seconds.
But of course, length isn’t everything: content and quality formatting matter, too. We’ve got the rundown of everything you need to become a TikTok ads master right here.
Careful! Don’t go over the limit:
|TikTok Text||Character Limit|
Ideal LinkedIn post length
More than 810 million professionals use LinkedIn. And as the platform’s user base grows it is more and more difficult to win organic attention. Marketers must continually optimize their messaging for quality, timing, and of course, length.
Organic and paid updates length: 25 words
The research on this topic isn’t very recent, but Hootsuite finds that, as with all other types of social updates, it’s best to keep LinkedIn updates short.
The LinkedIn post character limit before the “See More” button is 140. Your message will be cut off at the 140 character mark — like Shopify’s ad here did. As a general rule of thumb, we stick to 25 words or less.
Articles length: 1,900 to 2,000 words
Paul Shapiro, founder of Search Wilderness, analyzed more than 3000 of the most successful posts on LinkedIn’s publishing platform. These posts, on average, received 42,505 views, 567 comments, and 138,841 likes.
He discovered that articles with more words perform better.
“Posts between 1900 and 2000 words perform the best,” writes Shapiro. “[They] gain the greatest number of post views, LinkedIn likes, LinkedIn comments, and LinkedIn shares.”
Shapiro also learned that the ideal LinkedIn character limit for titles is between 40 and 49 characters. Titles in this range received the greatest number of post views overall.
Videos length: 30 seconds
In 2017, LinkedIn gave its users the ability to natively upload videos that play automatically in their followers’ feeds. Unlike other platforms, LinkedIn also shares video data (e.g., viewers’ companies and job titles), making it a valuable resource for marketers.
According to LinkedIn, the most successful video ads are less than 15 seconds long. But lengths can vary when it comes to LinkedIn native video.
For brand awareness and brand consideration videos, LinkedIn recommends keeping the length under 30 seconds.
Meanwhile, videos that meet upper-funnel marketing goals should stick to a 30-90 second video length.
Interested in best practices for LinkedIn video? We got you.
Careful! Don’t go over the limit:
|LinkedIn Text||Character Limit|
|Company Page About||2,000|
|Company Page Status Update||700|
|Article Body Text||110,000|
The ideal Instagram post length
Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Instagram was founded on visual content. The platform was made to showcase compelling pictures and videos, but the right combination of words will promote engagement on any post.
Engagement, of course, is crucial to maximizing your content’s reach, since Instagram’s algorithm places posts with the most Likes and comments near the top of your followers’ feeds.
Organic Instagram post caption length: 138 to 150 characters
A successful Instagram caption adds context, shows off your brand’s personality, entertains audiences, and compels your followers to take action.
The Instagram caption limit is 2,200 characters. But you’ll only need a fraction of that limit to move the needle (as our very scientific experiment about caption lengths can attest).
Most people scroll through their feed quickly, so it makes sense to keep your captions clear, concise, and punchy.
Brief copy is easy to consume. It also doesn’t get cut off with an ellipsis. Need some writing inspo? Find 264 creative Instagram captions to get you started right here.
Sponsored Instagram post caption length: 125 characters or less
Instagram recommends keeping the captions on sponsored posts under 125 characters.
Again, this length supports readability and ensures that the text won’t get truncated.
Looking for more inspiration? Here are 53 examples of amazing Instagram ads.
Instagram video length: 15 seconds
Most people are going to be watching your Instagram video (organic or advertisement) on their phones, so following best practices for mobile video length is important if you wanna keep the viewer’s attention.
That means keeping videos here to 15 seconds or less. Short! And! Sweet!
Instagram hashtags: 3-5 per post at less than 24 characters each
Instagram posts can have up to 30 hashtags, making it tempting to stuff each caption with as many as possible. As a marketer, fight this urge. Using more hashtags won’t necessarily yield higher visibility.
In fact, Instagram recently revealed that 3-5 hashtags will actually get you the best results, and our own little experiment confirmed just that.
Of course, picking the right hashtags to use is a whole other story. Our guide to Instagram hashtags will walk you through your options.
Instagram Stories length: 7 to 15 seconds
Instagram’s parent company, Meta, notes that people consume Stories much faster than other content, so it’s important to capture their attention right off the bat.
You’ve really only got 15 seconds to work with — that’s the maximum length of an Instagram Story — so hit the ground running.
Instagram Reels length: 7 to 15 seconds
While Reels can be much longer than Stories — up to a minute in length for most people, and 90 seconds for select beta-testers —that same short-attention-span principle applies here. Get to the point quickly and keep it short.
View this post on Instagram
Careful! Don’t go over the limit:
|Instagram Text||Instagram Character Limit|
|Hashtag Limit||30 hashtags|
The ideal length for YouTube posts
At the end of the day, YouTube is a search engine, meaning it relies on text to organize and rank the nearly 500 hours of video uploaded to its servers every minute.
Therefore, in addition to optimizing video length, marketers must front load their content’s title and description copy with relevant keywords—and that means keeping an eye on character count.
YouTube video length: 7 to 15 minutes
Whether you’re watching videos on YouTube or anywhere else, one of the most important KPIs is retention.
How long do people actually watch? Are viewers finishing your videos at a high rate? If so, you’re doing something right.
Here’s one that’s nine minutes, for instance. Ooh! Ahh!
Of course, there’s more to a successful Youtube strategy than just the right length for your video. Here’s everything you need to know about creating great Youtube content for your business.
YouTube title length: 70 characters
The most important SEO factor to consider for Youtube is the title of your video.
Include relevant keywords to make sure you’re reaching high rankings in Google and YouTube search, while simultaneously being compelling enough to encourage clicks and views.
It’s a tall order! And, P.S., it should be pretty tightly crafted: Influencer Marketing Hub suggests keeping it to 70 characters maximum so that it doesn’t get cut off.
YouTube description length: 157 characters
The first 100 to 150 characters will appear until your video, so optimize that chunk of text with both rich description and lots of intriguing keywords.
Careful! Don’t go over the limit:
The ideal size and length for Pinterest posts
On Pinterest, image size matters. So does the length of your description.
Pinterest images: 1000 X 1500 pixels
According to Pinterest best practices, images on the platform should have a 2:3 aspect ratio, which is how the height and width of an image relate.
Descriptions length: 200 characters
Studies show that descriptions containing about 200 characters receive the most repins. (For more juicy numbers, check out our guide to must-know Pinterest stats here.)
Your Pinterest caption is your chance to add context, persuade, and sell. It’s your chance to tell a story and conjure emotion, to make a promise. The description is your chance to compel.
A well-written description is also an opportunity to get discovered, so make sure to brush up on your Pinterest SEO best practices.
Careful! Don’t go over the limit:
The ideal length of Snapchat videos and captions
Given how brief the limits are on Snapchat captions and videos, it’s almost impossible to go too long.
To really thrive with engagement on this platform, it’s really more about what you’re posting, not how long that content plays for. Our guide to effective Snapchat advertising is a helpful tool whether you’re creating marketing or editorial content.
Ideal Snapchat Story length: 15 seconds
Snapchat Story videos can be up to 60 seconds long, but it’s pretty rare for engagement to be high for those (relatively) long-form pieces of content.
Instead, aim for (we’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again!) short-and-sweet videos that hit hard off the top, like this hot sauce ad, which clocks in at just 20 seconds but makes a serious impact.
New to Snapchat? Here’s our guide to Snapchat for Business for beginners.
Ideal Snapchat video caption length: 50 characters
Captions for snaps can be up to 80 characters, but they’re really secondary to the visual content, so don’t stress too much about making the most of this.
Infographic: ideal length of social media posts
Now, over to you.
This article breaks down best practices, but ultimately, every social account is a unique beast… and you know it (or can learn to know it!) best.
Time and experimentation will reveal what resonates best with your specific followers and users. Try running A/B tests to help you determine if the suggested character counts in this guide are, in fact, ideal for you.
Use Hootsuite to share quality content on all your social media channels from one dashboard. Grow your brand, engage customers, keep up with competitors, and measure results. Try it free today.
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The post Ideal Length of Social Media Posts: A Guide for Every Platform appeared first on Social Media Marketing & Management Dashboard.
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