Optimizing Facebook Engagement – The Effect Of Post Length

Size matters with regard to Facebook Engagement.

People on Facebook are tired, busy, bored, hungry and utterly bombarded with a wall of chatter from friends, acquaintances and brands. They don’t have more than a few seconds to glimpse a message, mentally shrug, and move on.

Brands need to use every means at their disposal to catch people’s attention, and draw them in.

You can create compelling stories on Facebook to reach your target audience. Unfortunately, this is not always going to be easy. You have to know how to edit a Facebook story to make sure it aligns with your objectives. You also need to know how to use images and other elements correctly.

One method is using images – a picture is worth a thousand words and our previous article dramatically showed the benefits of Photo posting compared to other types of posts on Facebook.


However, what matters equally dramatically is the length of the text message you include with your Post – be it a Photo, Video, Link or plain Status Post. We used the Track Social platform to analyze the effect of Post Length on response level.

Smaller messages show a significant increase in response levels.

We point out that writing a small post is no guarantee of success. Nor is a long post destined to fail. It is also true that the benefit of succinct posting varies from brand to brand, depending on many factors such as the nature of their product and the attitude of their audience. However:

Post Length is amongst the most consistent factors that we see having an impact on engagement levels across the board.

It turns that that Twitter got it right. There is a distinct roll-off in Engagement level beyond 140 characters. Though roll-off does begin before that point, the now traditional 140 character size limit is probably necessitated by the need to for Urls, Hashs and other references.

Our overall advice to brands is:

  1. Get to the point with short, punchy statements. Try to stay below 100 characters.
  2. Where possible, let images do the talking
  3. Avoid the temptation to add superfluous branding or product tie-ins as this is a common reason that message length increases unnecessarily

Track Social offers enterprise clients a customized analysis of Facebook Engagement as well as many other aspects of social media performance. For more information, and to apply for a free assessment of your brands posting patterns, go here.

Stay tuned for the next article in our series, which will look at additional variables that impact Facebook Engagement. To learn more about the methodology of this study go here. To sign up to receive alerts for our Facebook Engagement series and more, go here.