How the length of your content affects results
As a producer, you’ll always have to play a role in the content you distribute. Whether you’re at the start of your career and must create everything yourself, or you’re fully established and need to direct others to create on your behalf, content is something that should always be part of your artist strategy. Previously, we’ve discussed how to create optimal content visually, but what we’ll focus on in this article is the optimal length your content should be. Not simply for social media, but for emails, URLs and more.
The truth is, nailing your content for one platform doesn’t necessarily set you up to succeed across the others. Every single platform requires a different strategy, while the basics remain the same. Many artists simply create one piece of copy for their content and use the same text for every post they make across social media and beyond. While this may work well on one platform, on others it may completely miss the beat. For this reason, it’s important to make yourself aware of the different tricks that can help your content to reach optimum effectiveness on each individual platform.
While many view Twitter as the home of short posts, the optimum content length is longer when compared with other platforms like Facebook or Google+. In fact, the ideal character count for a post is between 71-100 characters. Research conducted by Buffer reveals that tweets shorter than 100 characters generally have a 17% higher engagement rate. If you keep your tweet length between these brackets, expect a higher engagement rate overall. It is believed that the way users respond to posts shifted when Twitter increased its character limit, changing the way content is shared on the platform.
— A State of Trance (@asot) March 21, 2019
Surprisingly, the optimum length for a Facebook post is much shorter, at just 40 characters. According to Buffer, posts with 40 characters receive 86% more engagement than longer posts. Facebook has undergone a shift over the last few years, where once it was a text-focused platform, now users draw attention through exciting video content. These findings are a reminder that you should ensure to keep your posts short on the platform. If you need to share a longer post, the way to work around this issue is to ensure that the very beginning of the post grabs the reader’s attention, thus securing their interest.
Hashtags are often a side of social media strategy that doesn’t get as much focus as it should. Many artists simply throw together hashtags that they think of in the moment and don’t plan their hashtags in advance. Even hashtags have an ideal length, and according to Buffer, it’s 6 characters. Buffer also points out the importance of not using slang. Although you can hide your hashtags to some degree, particularly on Instagram, some of your audience will still see them, so it’s important to take this into account.
Email subject line
As well as sharing analytics surrounding the optimum length for social media posts, Buffer has also given insight into email strategy. Namely, the ideal length of an email subject line, which according to Buffer, is 28-39 characters. Their research has shown that subject lines within this bracket will generate an open rate of 12.2% and a click rate of 4%. This may seem like a lot of characters, but it really isn’t, and most fail to keep their subject length this short.
Unlike the other outlets, LinkedIn post length effectiveness has been measured in terms of word count rather than characters. According to Buffer, 16-25 words is the ideal count to generate more engagement. This knowledge is important when sharing your recent career updates and trying to build relationships with industry professionals.
Not all artists run their own blog, but many find it a great method for generating interest surround their brand. Buffer finds that blog headlines should be 6 words, and the text should be 1,600 words. According to their study, 74% of posts that are read are under 3 minutes in length, and 94% of posts that are read are under 6 minutes long. It is important to make sure that your blog content is the right length in order to engage your reader.
With these findings, it is also important to conduct your own analysis. Change the length of your posts, and see how this affects your engagement rate. You may even find that you discover your own optimum post length that slightly differs from Buffer’s stats. As an artist, you should consistently be checking your own analytics to see whether your posts are performing as effectively as they should. While studies can unearth better strategies for reaching a large audience, the most accurate test to make sure that your posts are effective is looking through your own analytics.
This research is a great reminder that each platform is totally different, and should be treated as such. Simply copy and pasting your content to each individual platform isn’t an effective method for generating engagement. It is incredibly important that you strive to offer different content for each outlet. This doesn’t just mean adapting your character count but also making sure that you are providing something unique for each platform. Even if you are launching a campaign that spreads across all social platforms, your posts should not be identical. Many of your fans will follow you on every platform, and upon seeing your content multiple times they may lose interest. Engage them by offering something unique every time.