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How long is too long for your social media posts?

We thought we’d put together our thoughts on how long your social media posts should be to gain maximum engagement and reach, here we good VA look at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, the main platforms we work on.

We commonly see incredibly long posts on Facebook and Instagram but even though those platforms allow larger character limits, (Instagram for example allows up to 2,200 characters), shorter posts usually receive more likes and comments (and shares on Facebook).

Social media posts should come to the point quickly, it’s a fast-paced world with the majority of users checking their social media on the small screen of a mobile phone while on the move, so make your posts punchy and to the point. A helpful tip is to start your posts with trigger words, words such as who, what, when, where, how and why, this should help gain an emotional response and hopefully draw your audience in.

“Why are Facebook posts of less than 80 characters more likely to grab people’s attention?”

The above question is a statement containing 72 characters or 15 words, so you can see you really need to select your information and words carefully to optimise your organic Facebook post. As Facebook now uses hashtags you can add perhaps 2 or 3 hashtags to that post.

The same is true of Instagram, although this is a media focused platform you still need good text content to gain optimum engagement, particularly hashtags, of which your post can contain a maximum of 30. You need to bear in mind that only the first 5 to 8 words of your post will be visible in your followers feed before they have to click ‘more’ to see further, so make those first few words meaningful.

“An Instagram post of around 150 characters will keep your content concise & to the point, making it more likely that your followers will read it, digest it & hopefully engage with it.”

Again, the above statement is around 150 characters long so you can see exactly how concise you need to be, you can add your hashtags to this and although 30 is the limit this is possibly a bit excessive and you should aim for perhaps 10 – 15.

Twitter is altogether more straight forward and the increase of the character limit from 140 to 280 characters in 2017 has opened up the possibilities for small business marketing. Those 280 characters have to include your hashtags, but this limit on characters is a helpful limitation and continues to keep twitter a successful micro-blogging platform.

If you need help with your social media content then get in touch: lindsay@reddesk.co.uk

 

How to manage your Twitter follower ratio

As part of our social media management, we carry out housekeeping on our clients’ social media accounts. For Twitter you are perceived to be an account worth following if you have more followers than you are following. In order to have a healthy ratio of followers to those you follow, we often clean out inactive followers (those who haven’t tweeted for 30 days or more). Up until now ManageFlitter was our tool of choice.

But what went wrong?
In January 2019, Twitter contacted ManageFlitter and other tools that offered following/unfollowing features and said that “in application” management in third party social media management products would no longer be allowed.

ManageFlitter removed the follow/unfollow as Twitter said that this now needs to happen in Twitter directly.

You can read more in their announcement Changes to ManageFlitter – Removal of Follow/Unfollow Functionality. If you are affected by these changes you can voice your concerns to the following twitter accounts:

@Twitter

@Twittercomms

@Twitterapi

twitter follower ratioSo what now are the options for keeping a good follow to follower ratio?
If you look at the various articles suggesting twitter unfollow apps, you will see that many suggest switching to Circleboom (Make Tech Easier and Social Media Explorer). Sadly the free package no longer allows you to unfollow 325 as suggested by Social Media Explorer. It is limited to 3 results. However eSocMedia do have a comprehensive guide to CircleBoom if you wish to upgrade to a paying package.

Other options include Unfollowerstats but there doesn’t appear to the option to unfollow inactive accounts on the free plan.

Or our new favourite, Untweeps. It’s simple to use and allows you to unfollow multiple accounts from an inactive list (you can select how many days you consider “inactive”) and once you are finished it will remove them for you. On the free plan, you can unfollow up to 2500 accounts, 3 times in a month. That is a whopping 7500 accounts per month! We have already tidied up our @reddeskvirtual account and will now be using this for our other Twitter clients.

If you are looking for ways to increase your follower to following ratio then Hootsuite has 44 ways to get more follows on Twitter.

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