In one of our recent Lunch and Learn workshops, we covered various topics related to writing for the web. One of those topics dealt with figuring out the appropriate length for tweets, Facebook posts and email newsletters, as well as determining how often businesses should be composing messages in these mediums to complement their online marketing strategy. For those of you who were unable to attend the session, we’ve made these need-to-know numbers available for your convenience.
Twitter messages can be a maximum of 140 characters. Remember that this small frame for sharing your content is cut even shorter because it includes the space for links. With this in mind, a 124 character tweet is a safe number to aim for so that nothing gets cut off. Online readers tend to skim through content anyway, so if you catch their attention with a short and sweet tweet, you can link them out to your website or a blog for more information.
Facebook is a more conversational medium for sharing content in comparison to Twitter, allowing you to post messages up to 63,206 characters. However, the ideal length to shoot for is between 100 to 119 characters. Similar to Twitter, Facebook users are also typically skimming through posts in their news feed, so try to compose shorter posts that pack a punch.
Another important number to remember with Facebook is ONE. Every post should include at least ONE link or picture. Facebook places greater emphasis on status updates with links and images in news feeds than those with just words.
When it comes to marketing through email newsletters, shoot for 500 characters or less. This may not seem like a lot of room to compose an entire newsletter, but keep in mind that you only want to include your best content in your newsletter. For everything else that you want to share, you can add links to funnel readers back to your website or blog.
Tweets only have a life span of about 90 minutes, which basically means you can post on Twitter almost as often as you want. If you’re going to Tweet about the same thing more than once, try to word the message in a different way each time. Your followers will appreciate the variety.
As a business, posting to Facebook one or two times per day is a great goal to have. But perhaps even more important than the frequency of your posts is the consistency of your post frequency and content. A company that posts a few times one month, then not at all the next, and then overloads news feeds with 10 posts in one day would not be viewed as having a strong social media strategy. There’s a delicate balance between quantity and quality to strike when using Facebook as part of your online marketing strategy as well.
Email marketing messages that are sent one or two times per month tend to have the highest open rates. Studies show that open rates drop for every additional email you send after the first up until the fifth email for the month, but then holds steady. In other words, more readers will open your emails if you send 1 email instead of 2, when you send 2 emails instead of 3, etc. until you get to 5 emails. Any additional emails you send for the month beyond 5 will perform about the same.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that all business should only send one email per month. Here at MayeCreate, we send 15 or more emails per month to our blog subscribers. Since we are sending the emails to super busy business people, we feel the content is more appropriately formatted for consumption by our audience when they receive only one topic at a time in each email. Though our open rates are lower with this frequency the click-through rates remain consistent from 1 email formatted with lots of content to 15 emails with abbreviated content. In addition our email marketing stats are similar to the industry averages for open rates and click-through rates.
If you’re interested in signing up for one of our Lunch and Learn workshops, check out some of our upcoming sessions here.
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