How (and why) to keep your online – blogs, instagram posts, pins – short and succinct.
I’m in a facebook group for entrepreneurs and recently a woman posted about how she was running into a problem on Instagram:
Her posts were soooooooooooo long that they exceeded the character count allowed.
My friends, the max number of characters is 2,200. That’s like 365 words – or a short blog post. (for reference, imagine reading half of this blog on Instagram, with no formatting)
Quoting Ruth Bader Ginsburg, on the secret to strong writing:
“Never use four words when three will do.”
Here was the gist of my response to her post:
Can you turn the posts into blogs or IGTV videos? Unfortunately most people these days are skimmers so if you don’t get to the point, they may keep scrolling.
Lead them in with a shorter post that leads to a longer blog – the goal (usually) with social media is to get them to your website. Or do a quick intro and turn it into a video. People are more likely to watch than read…
These days, our attention spans are less than that of a goldfish. [yes . . . really!]
We can only concentrate on something for about 8 seconds, before becoming distracted.
Think about it – do you like to read super long posts on Instagram? Or do you skim? And if you skim, are you really absorbing the information?
Make space for spacing
She also mentioned that she doesn’t use paragraphs / spacing because that takes away from the overall character count.
Dearest community, you gotta use spacing between sentences.
(Most) people need paragraphs to be broken up so that it becomes more readable.
Having one gigantic paragraph on a small phone screen makes reading so much more difficult – and more likely that your followers won’t even skim, they’ll just scroll by.
It’s also more often expected to have a short-medium post on social media which then, if the follower is interested, they can click through and read the entire blog. They inherently understand the blog is going to be longer.
On a blog, you can also format it with headings, colors, images to break up the text and larger fonts – making it so much more readable, even on a phone!
And getting them to your website means they may stick around, click on a few different pages, get to know who you are and what you offer. Maybe even sign up for your newsletter, join your community and (eventually) buy one of your products or services.
That’s the goal!
Here’s a quick assignment for you –
If you fall into the category of writing LONG social media captions or blog posts . . .
Try to write a post with LESS words. Edit. Then edit again. Then, yep, one more time, edit again.
Having thousands of words in a blog post (or the max on Instagram) may make some people think you’re more credible – because you’ve essentially written a chapter in a book and stuck it on a blog or IG post.
But really, if you’re capable of being succinct with what you’re sharing and your clients and customers can easily learn from you . . .
- Without you having to take the time to write a thesis and
- Your readers having to take half a day to read it and digest it), then . . .
Isn’t that better – for you and for them?
- It saves both of you time AND energy.
- It gets your point across so much faster.
- And your client / customer knows exactly what they need to do, very quickly. They can take immediate action on whatever you’re recommending.
I’d love to see what you do, so be sure to leave a comment below with a link to the post or email me and I’ll check it out!