What is the ideal length of online content?

In a digital world of instant gratification and swipe-by perusing, it’s important to ‘make a point of getting to the point’ when it comes to communicating your message online. A bit of style will never go astray, but if your snappy words are planted in a wilderness of superfluous content, your audience won’t be able to see the wood for the trees. With that in mind, we’ve put together a go-to guide for the ideal length of digital posts to help you optimise engagement and give your wisdom a thriving chance.

Perimeters of posting to Facebook: 40 characters

When it comes to Facebook, going to great lengths with post content can be your biggest shortcoming. According to Facebook’s Journalist Notes, single-line posts have the greatest potential for feedback, with shorter posts in general showing strong, stable traction. That said, it’s important to make such concise content count – ineffectively cropping your posts won’t work if it means your message appears too cryptic to snatch a reader’s attention or the main details have been compromised.

Short and sweet Tweets: 100 characters

While Twitter already imposes constraints with a 140-character limit, their business page for best practices advocates Tweets of less than 100 characters, in line with a Buddy Media report which demonstrated that mid-length Tweets achieved a 17% higher rate of engagement (#easypeasy).

Less is more with Google+: 60 characters

Just like in the old days when print was king, a catchy, concise headline is key to snaring readers. The tipping point for a single-line Headline on Google+ is 60 characters, with one-liners being noted as the most aesthetically pleasing and ‘scannable’ to a fast-paced audience. The Headline here really needs to pack punch, as does the sub-line.

Engaging Email Newsletter Subjects: 28-39 characters

A 2012 blog post by Mail Chimp stated that the length of an email subject line has absolutely no impact on click rates, however, a later post in 2013 negated this somewhat, describing the ideal subject line length as short and descriptive, and giving a rule-of-thumb guideline of 50 characters or less. Perhaps a better study is one by MailerMailer, which analysed 1.2 billion messages and identified a (slightly) greater click rate for subject lines of 28-39 characters, with very short and very long subject lines producing the worst results.

The parameters of a paragraph: 40-55 characters

According to social media guru Derek Halpern, it’s all about width when it comes to paragraphs, and that width should be between 40 and 55 characters. In terms of effective communication online, this boils down to readability, perception of content (the first-glance judgement we make about content before we actually try to absorb it) and the subsequent facilitation of comprehension. To hit the ideal on this one, format and font sizes need to be considered to ensure maximum impact. Don’t be afraid to break it down (in a communication optimisation way, not an MC Hammer way) to give your audience bite-sized pieces of content to feed on.

Get a starring role in the digital tap dance

Businesses want to get busy with what they’re passionate about – not worry about the nuances of digital marketing and the management of online communication. Luckily, the business of assisting with this is what we are passionate about. iFactory is a Brisbane-based digital agency specialising in online marketing solutions, including web design and social media management.

Over the last decade, we have established ourselves as highly experienced professionals dedicated to delivering high quality services to all levels of industry, with a focus on driving sales through digital strategies.

To put it succinctly, we’ve got this covered – and we’d love to work with you.

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