People Pulling a Banner Of Social MediaIt’s a point hammered over and over by career counselors: The key to getting ahead is effectively using social media to network. Of course, you also have to be cognizant that social media can work against you, too.

Now that we all know social media is good for us what is considered good social media practices? Not only is it important what you say but how you say it, according to guidelines researched by Buffer.com. As writer Kevan Lee says – and it’s a point all social media followers should adhere to – ” I want to stand out on social media, but I want to do it in the right way.”

Here’s his advice.

The ideal length of a tweet is 100 characters, Lee writes, based on research he discovered at Twitter. He quotes Twitter’s best practices for business page, which advises, “There’s no magical length for a Tweet, but a recent report by Buddy Media revealed that Tweets shorter than 100 characters get a 17% higher engagement rate.”

Lee says similar research by Track Social reinforces that point. “These medium tweets have enough characters for the original poster to say something of value and for the person retweeting to add commentary as well,” Lee discovered. By the way, in case you are totally new to Twitter, its tweets can be no more than 140 characters.

When it comes to Facebook, your posts much be as short – if not a lot shorter – than an average Tweet. Lee cites research from social media expert Jeff Bullas who writes at his website, that through measured engagement of posts, defined by “like” rate and comment rate, … the ultra-short 40-character posts received 86 percent higher engagement than others. The 40-character group also represented the smallest statistical set in the study (only 5 percent of all posts qualified at this length), so best practices on Facebook also include the next most popular set: Posts with 80 characters or fewer received 66 percent higher engagement.

Lee says another study by BlitzLocal looked at nearly 120 billion Facebook impressions and found that performance tailed off as posts grew longer. Their particular data found significant advantages to question posts between 100 to 119 characters.

Brevity is also desired at Google+ too. Lee advises, “To maximize the readability and appearance of your posts on Google+, you may want to keep your text on one line.” He cites research from Demian Farnworth of Copyblogger who studied the Google+ breaking point and found that headlines should not exceed 60 characters. Failing that, the post should have an incredible first sentence to be most effective.

Speaking of headlines, when you think of blog posts, craft headlines that are six words. That seems impossibly short but it makes sense when Lee quotes research from KISSmetrics . It says, ” … we don’t only scan body copy, we also scan headlines. As such, we tend to absorb only the first three words and the last three words of a headline. If you want to maximize the chance that your entire headline gets read, keep your headline to six words. But let me suggest that rather than worrying about length you should worry about making every word count. Especially the first and last 3.”

Finally, have you set up a website either to promote yourself as a job seeker or as a recruiter seeking job applicants? Lee has advice on something few people ever think of: the name of the website. He references a website called DailyBlogTips.com. Its seven characteristics of a good website name are

  1. It is short
  2. It is easy to remember
  3. It is easy to spell
  4. It is descriptive
  5. Or brandable
  6. It does not contain hyphens and numbers
  7. It has a .com extension.

Lee writes, “Daily Blog Tips also found the ideal length. They ran an Alexa report that looked at the domains for the top 250 websites. The results: Over 70 percent of the sites had domain names of 8 characters or less, and the average number of characters per domain was just over 7.”



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