Boost Social Media Engagement by Keeping it Short

Chart from Track Social’s white paper: Optimizing Facebook Engagement


I recently downloaded a white paper by Track Social titled “Optimizing Facebook Engagement.”

Track Social is a large-scale social media analytics platform that monitors the social media presences of more than 10,000 brands on the major social media platforms. The white paper presents the results of a major study and gives 10 keys for optimizing Facebook engagement, including type of content, frequency of posts, post length, timing and content.

One of the findings that grabbed my attention was the impact length of post has on engagement. Notice the image at the beginning of this post. The study found that as the length of the Facebook post increased, engagement dropped significantly. The Facebook post most likely to generate engagement is under 140 characters.

Why do short posts result in better engagement?

Why? As Facebook users scan down the numerous posts that fly through their news feeds each day, most don’t take time to dig deeper into the message. In Facebook, brevity is good.

It caused me to think about the length of all of our social media content. The ideal video, at least videos that aren’t created to provide detailed information, is shorter than two minutes. Most web copy should be 50 to 100 words. And effective blog posts should be well under 400 words.

Success of Instagram and Pinterest? Quick

Certainly a part of the success of Instagram and Pinterest is that you can quickly scan images to choose those you are most interested in.

Remember the importance of knowing your market. Our patients are busy, distracted, tired, and bombarded by messages. More than ever, healthcare marketers need to have a clear idea of exactly what we are trying to communicate, make the point quickly, and eliminate everything that is not essential. Our patients will appreciate it, and we’ll become better communicators for it.


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Hive Strategies helps health systems create HIPAA-compliant online communities for better health, lower costs and greater loyalty.

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