Short and Sweet Wins the Race


In the social media race, engagement is everything. Likes on Facebook, retweets on Twitter, YouTube video views prove you aren’t just speaking to an empty room; your message is reaching an audience and your post is compelling enough for them to respond, comment or share. We continually track these engagement metrics (and more) in order to measure the success of a campaign, the impact of a message and the effectiveness of our strategies.

Therefore, figuring out what content works (read: what content drives engagement) for a target audience is crucial to any social media effort. One “best practice” from traditional writing that has carried over to social media: keep it short and to the point. Now, thanks to research by Kevan Lee from Buffer Blog, we have the data to prove the effectiveness of  being succinct. Across multiple social media channels, from Twitter to YouTube, even in the subject lines of emails, brief content drove measurably higher engagement than longer posts, according to their study. Among their findings they note the best number of characters for Tweets (71-100), Facebook posts (40), email subject lines (28-39) and domain URLs (8), just to name a few.

While what you say is important and “content is king,” this study serves a good reminder that how you say it can be just as important in getting your message to the masses.

To learn more, check out Buffer Blog and Kevan Lee’s post.