The Science of Post Length Online [Infographic]

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There’s a magic number for the performance of social media posts, right down to the length of the URL. The key is to understand this formula, use it to boost engagement and captivate your audience, for just the right amount of time.

According to Kevan Lee, a writer for Buffer Blog, tweets should use between 71 and 100 characters for a 17 percent boost in engagement. For Facebook, the ideal is very short: Use 40 characters for 86 percent higher engagement. If you need a little more room, 80 characters will net you 66 percent higher engagement.

If you keep G+ headlines below 60 characters, the text will appear all on one line. If that’s not possible, chief copywriter for CopyBlogger Demian Farnworth, suggests: “Your first sentence has to be a gripping teaser to get people to click ‘Read More.’”

In fact, headlines can be make-or-break in terms of catching reader attention. The ideal headline is only six words long. According to KISSmetrics, readers only register the first and last three words of a headline when scanning, and six words may be nearly impossible. The key is to focus on removing fluff.

And finally, we get to the actual content. Medium, the long format blogging platform, has found that the sweet spot for blog post length is what they refer to as a seven minute read —  or about 1,600 words. That may be a little overkill for most cases, and Medium isn’t saying every post should be over 1,000 words. “What it does mean is that it’s worth writing however much you really need. Don’t feel constrained by presumed short attention spans. If you put in the effort, so will your audience.”

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