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Self-proclaimed expert bloggers and social media pundits all talk about the ideal length of a post. Whether it’s a blog or a tweet, on Facebook or another social net, every so-called expert has an opinion on what the ideal length of a social post should be. Well, I am here to tell you that most of these pundits are full of themselves. The reality is that the internet is an evolving medium. People’s tastes, tolerance, timing, and needs are evolving as the world itself evolves. In this episode of Working the Web to Win, we will explore the ideal ranges of social posts, including blogs, videos, podcasts and of course social media post. So, grab your pencil and get ready to take notes as I share the secret code of ideal social posts.
First, let’s define what a social post is. In its broadest sense, social media encompasses many of the aspects that the Internet offers us as users. In my opinion, it includes any mechanism that allows for social interaction. This includes content that provides for engagement via comments, sharing, reposting and
ratings (as with “Liking,
Plusing, and Star Rating”). With this as my
criteria, social posting includes blogging, video posting, podcasting, product/service
ratings and of course social network posting. This
is a big arena, and the importance to business is significant. or
The Importance of Getting it Right
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So, what works in all of these arenas? Well, that’s what the rest of the article will delve into. These are the secrets to the ideal form of a social
. post Let’s start with the pre-requisites.
No amount of trickery, compelling words, incredible offers, or other word magic
will make up for , poor quality, inaccurate, irrelevant, useless or boring
prose. Your content has to make a compelling argument for the fish who are nibbling
on your bait. The same is true for a video or podcast. No cool intro can make up
for weak content or poor production value. It all starts with a juicy headline. untimely
The Magic of The Headline.
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Not, that is the Question Word or
writing content for a blog,
it can be keyword rich. However, never sacrifice the quality of the prose by keyword
stuffing your article. Concentrate on writing a great article and your let the
headline do the work. It should contain the keyword or phrase that people are searching
for when looking for your article. The ideal headline will be short,
compelling, eye grabbing and keyword rich. the
How Long is Too Long?
The reason for this, in my opinion, is simple. Too short and the reader doesn’t receive enough information, too long and the reader must work harder to decide if they want to proceed. The Goldilocks principle seems to be at work when it comes to headlines. But make no mistake, great headlines need powerful words, timely words, even compelling words, and this means different things to different people. This is where testing and measuring is important to making your words count.
The Wording Matters
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Now there are many types of social posts, and each platform has its own rules and criteria for post length. For instance, Twitter allows 140 characters, LinkedIn allows you to enter 689 characters, and Facebook allows 2000. There are literally hundreds of social networks, and each has its own posting criteria. The general rule from above still holds true if you believe the research that has been conducted by many of the biggest content marketing companies operating today. The reason I say “if you believe them” is, that I believe you need to do your own research and verify what you read. Because what is good for them is not always good for you.
Things Have Changed
When I was learning to blog and write articles ten years ago, things were different. I was told that the ideal length of a blog post was 400 words. What my research
has shown me today, is that the ideal length of a blog post is around 1600
words! Quite a big difference! Now, social posts and curated posts are very different
things than blogs or article posts (unless you are curating a headline for an article
or blog). Social media posts, in my opinion, should be relatively short, no more
than 140 characters (the Twitter limit). This
will allow you to use the same headline on multiple platforms. This is another thing that people have told me you
can’t do. However, my research has shown that there is little difference in my results
as I customize my post for each social platform. Like I said earlier, I try to keep
the headline short (around 100 characters), but I will use as many characters as
needed to make sure the headline is clear.
Based on My Research
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Social media posts, on the other hand, are shorter because you are mainly writing headlines. Yes, you can write a 400-word post on Facebook and some other social sites, but why do that when your headline can send them to your blog, video or podcast? Your blog is a media rich platform that can easily fulfill the wants and needs of a content hungry audience. Headlines and comments that are posted with videos, podcasts, and music are usually short as well. The post follows the same guidelines as the headline. If there is room for a description, keep the post to less than three sentences.
Videos and Pod Cast are Different
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Website Copy is a Little Different
Copy on websites also follows these rules. Headlines need to be short and compelling, but also keyword rich. The content that follows also needs to include the keywords and the content needs to be focused around the keyword subject. Each page of your website needs to have a single, central theme. This enhances the chance that a reader will stay longer (reducing the bounce rate) and increase the chances for conversion as well. Focused web pages also rank much better than diverse web pages.
Sharing is More than Caring
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What's the Best Time and Day?
How do you know what the best day of the week is for posting? What about the best time of day.? There are many studies that profess to show the best times and days to post. But how do you know who to believe? The reality is this. If you go to our notes page or drop box and read the multitude of articles listed there, you will get a general picture of the best times and days, but you will also notice that the research has mixed results. Again, this is not a hard science.
Content quality, headline quality and audience metrics have
a big influence on the end result. These are
diverse elements that are not easily measured. To skew matters, even more, some
of these platforms have a mix of pay per click running. This can drive traffic directly away or to you, which will also make
it hard to know if it’s the content or the advertising that is working.
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That’s my opinion; I look forward to reading yours.
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If you feel your business could use some help with its marketing, contact us at 904-410-2091 or fill out the form in the sidebar of this blog, we will provide a free marketing analysis to help you get better results. If you found this article useful, please share it with friends, family, and co-workers. You can find other articles on our blog by typing in “marketing, advertising, branding or audience” in the search box at the top of this blog. Also, check out the “Blog Talk Radio, Internet, podcast, that goes with this article ” and the Show Note Page, it has, even more, links for you to check out. If you have a useful comment or opinion related to this article, leave it in the comment section of this blog. Also, don’t forget to plus us, on Google+.
Hector Cisneros is COO and Director of Social Media Marketing at Working the Web to Win, an award-winning Internet marketing company based in Jacksonville, Florida. He is also co-host of the weekly Internet radio show, "Working the Web to Win" on BlogTalkRadio.com, which airs every Tuesday at 4 p.m. Eastern. Hector is a syndicated writer and published author of “60 Seconds to Success.”