How Long Should Social Media Posts be on Various Channels

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Jacqueline Puga
Jacqueline Puga
November 29, 2016
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Social Media
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When creating content for social media how long are your Facebook posts? Do you include a link with each tweet? How many hashtags should you use on Instagram?

What once was common practice becomes user annoyance as hotel marketing trends constantly change and a world of paranoia arises from debating whether your content strategy is good practice or “spammy”. A prevalent question recurs: how long are the best captions for hotels on social media?

Facebook

Posts longer than 400 characters hide part of the post and users must click “see more” to read the full message. Making users go through more steps can diminish the number of people who view useful information. Overall, shorter posts will gain the most engagement. Anything above one sentence that gets the point across will suffice.

Google+

Google+ is a visual platform with photos taking up a large portion of each post, leaving text to compete for attention. At quick glance, text can be mistaken for photo captions but these may also include hashtags and links. Users should keep in mind that links to external articles bring up article titles. Limit text, including hashtags and links, to two lines or less to gain attention in this competitive environment.

Twitter

Brevity is a must for Twitter! Users are only allowed 140 characters, links count for 23 characters, plus a picture for each post. Posts should be less than 100 characters to allow for re-tweeting, but realistically not every post will meet that condition. Aim to have short posts in conjunction with longer posts.

Pinterest

If you are looking for Pinterest best practices, then a crucial step is optimizing your posts to use various sized pictures. These pictures may include text on the actual photo to tell what the post is about. Captions on Pinterest are small and only display four lines of a title and three lines of text in a small font below the photos so keep to these numbers.

Instagram

After three lines of text Instagram hides the rest of the post so keep to the three line cutoff to get your point across. Although hashtags will still be tracked if they are below the cutoff, don’t over do it. You can decide how many hashtags you want to use as these have no limit. Instagram is another visual platform that must use vibrant photos to entice users to read the captions. Everything about Instagram isn’t perfect but if you have general good use, users will notice. While scrolling on a user’s profile captions are hidden until the photo is clicked. No great photo, no users to read your hotel captions for Instagram, so make sure to take advantage of all of Instagram’s great features!

Here is a review of the numbers:

Facebook

  • Use 40-120 characters
  • Less characters lead to more engagement

Google+

  • Less than 25 words
  • Keep all text, links and hashtags within the first two lines

Twitter

  • Less than 100 characters
  • Leave room for re-tweeting sometimes, but it’s ok to use all 140 characters

Pinterest

  • Less than 11 word for the title and less than 10 words for the preview
  • Use photos of various sizes

Instagram

  • Less than 15 word, give or take, must fit on the first three lines
  • Must be accompanied by an eye-catching photo

Overall, there is no single magic number that will tip the scales in your favor when it comes to captions. The user experience is key to building relationships with clients and customers who seek quality content, so give the people what they want. Straying from these guidelines will not damage you social media strategy as long as you keep your audience engaged! Remember, quality over quantity in conjunction to functionality!

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