Most social media influencers and marketers understand that there is an important strategy not only behind the content of their posts, but the size, layout, and limits on information. Twitter is a famously short-hand media platform, and until recently they strictly limited the length of tweets to only 140 characters. There were ways around this, with many users making the most of sites such as TwitLonger or simply uploading screenshots of larger text. Twitter recently made a seminal move in doubling its purposely limiting character length to 240, changing the way the platform is used in a fundamental way.
While post limits on other social media platforms aren’t as obvious or widely-broadcasted as on Twitter, they do exist and are in place for a reason. To be a successful manager of any social media account, you not only need to know these limits, but also the strategically ideal post lengths. While certain platforms may allow you to upload thousands of characters in a single post, this is generally a poor idea in terms of engagements.
There are ways to optimize the length of your posts and even your bio on each different social media platform to maximize your engagements with other users. Adhering to these recommendations will help you to increase impressions, improve your click-through-rate, and better connect with your target audience. As this is always the goal with any post on social media, it’s vital to know these limits and ensure you’re reaching potential consumers the right way. For example, you need to use the right hashtags on Instagram.
Every social media platform has different limits in place, as well as different recommendations for how to proceed. Whether it’s the number of characters in your post, the number of hashtags you use, or the ideal size for visual media, you need to hit the sweet spot to make it to the top of your platform’s algorithm. In this article, we’ll provide all the information you need to optimize every area of your social media presence. As well as the maximum limits on the account name, bio, and text posts, we’ll share the ideal limits to make sure you get your message across.
Facebook remains the largest social network used by business, meaning with every post you’re competing with thousands of other social media managers who, just like you, are trying to make it to the top of the algorithm. There are more than a billion users with registered Facebook accounts, meaning this platform can be used to target almost anyone, anywhere. However, this means it’s one of the hardest places to gain traction because of the absolute saturation of content.
Increasing your organic reach on Facebook has always been difficult, and the past five years have seen it trend nothing but downwards. That means it’s more important than ever to optimize your posts and ads to the highest degree. The Facebook algorithm has a huge bias in showing users posts from their friends and family, which means businesses and influencers have a hard time unless they pay for promotion. In 2016, Facebook’s average organic reach was a measly 2% meaning only 2 out of every 100 followers of your account are likely to see your post on their news feed.
While this can be discouraging, you need to understand why this number is in place. The figure is low because Facebook is trying to eliminate as much low-quality content as possible. All you need to do is ensure that your content is good enough to make it to that 2%. There’s more competition than ever for attention on the web, so you need to make sure every post you make and every Facebook ad campaign you set out on has the best chances of success. Here are Facebook’s character limits in 2020:
- Facebook Name Character Limit: 50
- Facebook Bio Character Limit: 155
- Facebook Character Limit: 63,206
- Ideal Facebook Post Length: 40-80
Facebook limits your name to 50 characters, while your page description (the same as bio) can be up to 155 characters long. The general character limit requires a little more explanation because there are many different types of posts you can broadcast on Facebook. The maximum character limit across all kinds of Facebook posts including status updates, event listings, adverts, and posts containing media are all the same, upwards of 60 thousand characters. This is the largest limit on any platform, and allows you to post huge amounts of information at one time should you wish to.
Videos and images are also unlimited and the number you choose to attach has no effect on character limits. However, we can all agree that posts of this size would constitute a bombardment of information that is unlikely to have any value in terms of audience engagement. Most people will glance over their news feed in a short break throughout their day, of which they’re unlikely to dedicate the entire time to reading one extensive post. Instead, use a short post to entice users to your Facebook page where they can find out more.
To nurture engagement as well as make contributions to your following, your Facebook posts need to get the point across in an effective and succinct way. The results from several studies have found that a bracket of 40-80 characters is the ideal length for organic Facebook status updates. These are the text-only posts you make directly to your followers. This post length should be enough to get your point across without your reader getting bored, and are most likely to receive engagements. As well as keeping any information concise, this will prevent half of your post from getting cut off on the news feed. Longer posts on Facebook require you to click and expand the text, making it unlikely that users will read all of your content.
Organic posts aren’t the only content you put out on Facebook, and there are ideal limits for Ad campaigns as well. When you make a paid post, promoted by Facebook to the news feed’s of people not necessarily following your business, the number of characters you use changes. While the theoretical limit is still 63,206 characters, write an ad this long and you’re wasting your money. Here’s how long each part of your Facebook ad campaign should read:
- Headline: 5 words
- Main text: 14-19 words
- Description: 13-18 words
The headline, which is the first thing your potential customer will read, needs to be short and to the point. Both Facebook and its users prefer a title that is easy to read, much longer and the end of your headline could be cut off from view. The body of your ad, the main post text, appears just above the image or video you include. The recommended word count has actually grown in the past few years from 14 to 19 because readers are willing to read slightly more before they commit the time to watch your video or view your photo ad.
On the other hand, recommended description length (where you would post a link to your product or website) has shrunk down from 18 to just 14 words, as Facebook recommends a character count of only 30. The headline of your Facebook ad needs to be engaging and informative, while the main text tells people why to pay attention. The description, meanwhile, should be a call to action assuming people have enjoyed the ad and want to find out more.
Because Instagram is an image-based platform, the character limits on posts are given less attention. There are, however, both maximum and strategic limits which you can turn to your advantage:
- Instagram Username Character Limit: 30
- Instagram Bio Character Limit: 150
- Instagram Character Limit: 2200
- Ideal Instagram Post Length: 138-150 Characters
While Instagram allows for relatively long captions, people on the platform are there for images and videos and, simply put, they aren’t going to read them. Most users are scrolling through their Instagram feed without ever looking at picture captions, stopping only when the visual media has interested them enough to find out more. When you’ve managed to capture this attention, don’t risk boring your audience with the caption. A length of 138-150 characters performs best, although some research suggests the recommended Instagram caption character limit is even lower at 125. Instagram bios are limited to only 150 characters, so check out some of the best bio ideas for inspiration.
All you need to do in your Instagram captions is provide some context for the attached media, and give the audience a reason to engage. Whether it’s a call to follow particular accounts, reshare, or otherwise interact, the main goal of your captions is to drive up engagements with both the media and your page. Although your photograph, video, or animated gif is the star of the show, you shouldn’t skip adding a caption. They’re still necessary for optimal engagement, so doing so would be a missed opportunity.
Another limitation that needs to be addressed in Instagram posts is the number of hashtags you can use. Currently, the Instagram hashtag limit is 30 per post, including tags left in the comments. In previous Instagram versions, users could include 30 hashtags in their caption and then comment with an additional 30, but this trick is no longer possible. Read about the importance of Instagram comments here.
Utilizing hashtags is vital to getting your Instagram posts on search pages and making sure they appear to the correct audience, so think carefully about your choices in this area. Using all 30 hashtags in every post doesn’t come across well to users or to Instagram, as it can even risk your account getting shadowbanned. Instead, use 4-9 of the most relevant and popular hashtags related to your product or business.
The recommendation for captions on Instagram ads (paid promotions on a regular post) is also limited to 125 characters, although the maximum limit remains above 2000. This recommended limit comes from Instagram themselves, as it guarantees that the whole caption will appear on any screen size. Otherwise, you risk some of the information you paid money to promote disappearing, a bad strategy for both business and engagements.
For years, Twitter users had to deal with the most famous character limit of all time, but in 2017 it was doubled. The shortest hard limit of any platform for posts belongs to twitter at 240 characters, but the ideal length is still lower. Twitter in essence is a fast-moving social media platform, so your posts must reflect this in order to succeed. Here are the Twitter limits you need to know for social media posts:
- Twitter Name Character Limit: 15
- Twitter Bio Character Limit: 160
- Twitter Character Limit: 240
- Ideal Twitter Post Length: 71-100
It doesn’t matter if your Tweets are organic or promoted; keep them short and sweet. Posts under 100 characters are quick and easy to read and leave room for other users to engage and add their own thoughts in a retweet. Some social media managers might struggle to adapt to this platform and fit the information they need in such a short form, but it’s vital if you want to gain engagement on Twitter and catch the attention of the most difficult audience.
Luckily, there are a few exceptions that Twitter makes to help you stay within the limits. Images and user handles don’t count towards the Twitter character limit. This allows you to interact with your audience without being penalized for it. Although it might be difficult to complete complex ad campaigns and get your business out there with less than 100 characters, all the research shows that shorter Tweets receive more attention.
Twitter hashtags are not as popular as they once were and don’t have as big an effect on engagements as Instagram. However, they’re still a useful tool when used correctly. If you choose to include a hashtag in your tweet, it’s advisable to limit it to just 6 characters. This could be a single word or just a few letters, made to be catchy rather than informative. If you want to gain momentum with other Twitter accounts using your hashtag, make sure it’s something they’ll remember. Most people won’t bother to type out a long, convoluted, or uninteresting caption.
LinkedIn is the largest social media network used by professionals, and it’s also the most text-based out of any platform we’ve discussed. The main purpose of this website is resume building, but status updates are also a part of the network. There are also LinkedIn Publishing Posts, made to prevent people from linking to external blogs and instead write long-form posts directly on the platform. These posts are some of the only examples of where larger limits are more successful.
- LinkedIn Name Character Limit: 50-100
- LinkedIn Bio Character Limit: 2000
- LinkedIn Post Character Limit: 700-1300
- Ideal LinkedIn Post Length: 100-140
- LinkedIn Article Post Character Limit: 120,000
- Ideal LinkedIn Article Post Length: 1900-2000
There are several different types of LinkedIn accounts (such as business and personal) that employ different limits on names and bios. However, the character limits on status updates and blog posts are the same, as well as the recommended length for maximum engagement. When making a status update, shorter is better as on all other platforms. The hard limit is 700 characters for a business account and 1300 for individuals, but LinkedIn will cut your text at 140 no matter which.
Since you want your whole post to be viewed by other users, keeping status updates between 100 and 140 characters is recommended. After this, a “See More” button will appear which is famously poor at engaging other users. LinkedIn Publishing Posts were created to encourage those who needed to share long-form text to do it without leaving the platform, as unlike other social media platforms, LinkedIn sometimes necessitates for these longer posts. It’s theorized that you could write in excess of 120 thousand characters in a LinkedIn Blog post, but to optimize your reach and get higher engagements, keep it at around 2000.
Other Social Media Platform Strategic Limits
Our guide so far covers all the forms of social media you’re most likely to use as a business. However, there are a few others we’d like to mention before bringing this article to a close. One is YouTube, which is by far the most popular platform not mentioned so far. The video service totals about 2 billion monthly active users, so many social media marketing ventures will benefit from using it. What’s different about YouTube is that it is essentially a search engine. Sure, there are subscriptions where you gain followings, but getting your video on the first page of search results is what it’s all about.
There’s a large element of SEO included in this, because of the pure volume of content. Close to 400 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute, so yours needs to stand out. Make sure you use relevant keywords in the title and description of your video, which is recommended to total no more than 70 and 157 characters respectively. Regarding video length, studies show that the most successful uploads to YouTube are no more than 3 minutes long. This is plenty of time to get your message across in an ad campaign or product showcase.
Some social markets make use of less popular platforms such as Pinterest. Here, it’s image size and quality that needs to be carefully measured. The best performing images have a 2:3 aspect ratio and a width of at least 600 pixels, which basically ensures that your upload is of good quality and will be fully displayed in search results. The description of your image should ideally not exceed 200 characters.
While most social media platforms offer a lot of freedom when it comes to what and how you post, sticking to these guidelines makes exposure and interaction much more likely. The limits may seem difficult to fit all of your information into, but if you can manage it then an increase in engagements is much more likely! You’ll avoid overwhelming potential customers with too much information, providing just enough to pull them in and trigger some interest in your business or page. Remember to use your hashtags wisely, and keep your posts genuine and to the point.