January 25, 2017
Categories: Social Media, Research, Marketing, PR, and Social Media

Animal adoption organizations can add this to the “conventional wisdom is often wrong” list: Shorter posts aren’t always better on Facebook — at  least, depending on your definition of “short.”

Facebook is a powerful tool allowing shelters and rescue groups to get pets adopted, recruit foster homes and volunteers, reunite lost pets with their families and raise money. The success of those efforts is dependent on making sure that the most people possible see and share your messages. That’s why being aware of research and best practices both within and outside animal welfare is so important, as the ever-changing Facebook environment can make it difficult to identify the best types of post without a lot of quickly-outdated trial and error.

Ad Week recently took a look at an analysis of Facebook post length from content marketing and measurement agency Keywee. After reviewing more than 200,000 organic (non-paid) posts from 300 different publishers, they found, contrary to usual recommendations to keep things brief on social media, that longer posts performed better than short posts on Facebook.

At least, that’s true once you’ve gotten above 20 words. After that, no matter how many more words were in the post, the increase in reach flattened out.

The word count included both what you write yourself, and the headline in a shared link.

If that doesn’t match your experience, and you’ve noticed that you get better reach and engagement from posts of less than 20 words, by all means go with your actual data rather than this aggregate of many different Facebook posts. But if you’ve been keeping things very short because that’s what you’ve been told to do, don’t hesitate to experiment with longer posts and see if they get more adoption listings, fundraising pleas, and other posts out to a wider audience.