How long should your online posts be?

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Is there any point in your internet-savvy life that you have stopped typing in the middle of a tweet or a Facebook status and asked yourself, “Should I really be posting this much online?” Some of us may have turned our social media profiles into an online diary of our daily lives. Others may be posting too little in each status, as if our lives should be completely obscured from the public.

If we are posting online for our own personal profile, the length of our posts may not really matter – unless we are creating a social “brand” for ourselves and want to maintain it as much as possible. But when it comes to actually tapping into the amazing world of social media in the hope of successfully promoting a business brand or service, the length of our tweets, status, and content of our online posts can be crucial to business. Yes, I’m talking about search engine optimization (SEO), or more specifically, social media marketing (SMM) folks.

And yes, there is such a thing as “ideal length”.

If you ask someone about the ideal length for the online post you publish, and you’re answered with, “it depends,” that person clearly knows little about the topic from an internet marketing or SEO/SMM standpoint. It probably will “depend” if you don’t care about being on top of search engine results pages (SERPS), which you need to be if you’re serious about effectively marketing your brand online. Social media is great tool to promote your business to billions of internet users all over the world.

To guide you in creating the best (and the most adequately worded) online posts so you can rank at the top of search engine results pages, here is a quick list of the ideal lengths of three of the most common types of internet content:

twitter

Tweets: 100, the sensible common denominator

Twitter itself has advised the online community that while there could be no “magical length” for a tweet, its referenced research made by Buddy Media has found out that 100 characters just hit the sweet spot for a bull’s-eye tweet. According to Buddy Media, “Tweets shorter than 100 characters get a 17 percent higher engagement rate.” Another research by Track Social has also shown that the perfect tweet length was about 100 characters, based upon their study of the top hundred most popular brands on Twitter.

facebook

Facebook posts: Less is more

Can you imagine how you might fit a search engine optimized post within a meager forty characters? That’s right. Just forty, according to strategist, Jeff Bullas, who has researched retail brands that take advantage of Facebook, and who has earned recognition in Forbes Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers 2013. His measurements on the engagement of posts, as defined by the rates of “likes” and comments, indicates that posts of forty characters receive an 86 percent higher rate of engagement than other brands.

blog

Blog posts: Bigger is usually better

While indications point to keeping posts short on social media networks, the ideal length of blog posts is a quite another story. If you are dedicated to gaining traffic, your SEO rule would probably be “the longer, the better”. SerpIQ has found that the more keyword rich text you incorporate in a blog post, the better your chance of achieving high rankings in search engine results pages. And by content, we don’t mean just the blog post itself. Content includes all elements in the page including the navigation and sidebar.

If you are having trouble fitting the pieces together, put yourself in the shoes of a wide-eyed internet user who needs to find the right landscaping company to beautify and maintain her yard. Of course, you would want a quick yet reliable result, right? Google and other search engines aim to quickly deliver the exact answer to the question you’ve transformed into keywords in its search box. They will rarely rely on pages that only contain a few of sentences about the topic, but will instead deliver page results with lengthier keyword-rich content that is more likely to address the query than a short blog post. With search engine optimization applied to a longer informative post, you can maximize your chance of appearing at the top of search engine results pages.

The bottom line

There should only be one overall realization that you, dear reader, should get from this article. It is to “mind what you say”—at least online. Aim short when it comes to tweets and social network status. Aim way longer when it comes to SEO blog posts. Doing otherwise will not only lead you astray from your brand marketing objectives, it will waste your time and effort.

Here is another quick tip: You can further optimize your brand in search engine results pages by linking your blog posts to your social media accounts. Trust me. It works a thousand-fold.

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