Are We There Yet?

I’ve always known the length of certain things is important. Our drive to my grandparents’ house each summer, which, by the way, seemed to take forever. I would really have preferred to transport over.

What else? Well, the length of my high school essays was dramatically important to my English teacher. The length of football practice was super important to my football coach. The length of my drive to work is also important to me. If I can comfortably ride my bike to work, that’s perfect.

BL blog_tweet imageRecently I read an article by Kevan Lee about the lengths of things online. It was called “The ideal length for everything on the Internet.” Great food for thought.

What I found was that people have done some really important research on the lengths of things online. Things like Twitter tweets, Google headline, Facebook posts and domain names…there is a “sweet spot” length for each one of these.

Why is knowing the lengths of things online important to me? Digital marketing is what I do and it’s totally online, totally. Being aware of how these lengths of social media applications affect people’s interest levels, click and open rates, makes a difference in my business. So, let’s take a look at some of these statistics and how they could be important to everyone.

Twitter: 100 characters is the max.

Did you know the optimal tweet length is 100 characters? Neither did I. According to Lee, more people are engaged by tweets with 100 characters or less. This is based on research by Buddy Media and Track Social. What’s the point? 100 characters is enough for people to say something of value, but not tell their whole life story.

Facebook: under 40 characters, please.

I was a little puzzled by this next statistic: 40 characters is the ideal length of a Facebook post. Really? That’s even shorter than the ideal tweet. Apparently posts with 40 characters “received 86 percent higher engagement that others”, according to research done by Jeff Bullas who has studied retail brands on Facebook. Not quite enough room to express yourself? There’s good news…posts with 80 characters or less had 66 percent higher engagement.

Headlines: 6 words is ideal.

Here’s one that really interested me. According to KISSmetrics, the ideal length of a headline is 6 words. 6 words. That’s it. How did they come up with that number? I wondered. Actually, it was quite easy. Headline expert, Bnonn, says we only really attend to the first 3 words and the last 3 words of a headline. So, it makes sense that if your headline is 6 words, people will read all of it.

Presenting A Seminar: 18 minutes is enough.

18 minutes. That’s the ideal presentation length, according to the organizers of TED. I love TED videos. They are interesting, easy on my time, but most importantly I am just now realizing that I love them because they are both short and informational. 18 minutes is enough time to state your opinion, back it up with a couple of stories and examples, and wrap it up. TED curator Chris Anderson explains it this way: Keeping presenters down to 18 minutes forces them to “really think about what they want to say…It has a clarifying effect. It brings discipline.” I like that.

To read the article “The ideal length of everything on the Internet” by Kevan Lee, click here.


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