Social Media Character Count Best Practices

character count best practices

By Jenn Burgess, Graphic Designer and Michelle Greenbaum, Copywriter

You may think one piece of copy will work across all social networks, but that isn’t always the case. What works on Facebook may not fit on Twitter, and the hashtags you use on Instagram may not be best for your Facebook post. Instead of writing the perfect piece of copy and having to cut it down or bulk it up last minute, bookmark and reference this guide for all of the best practices for social media character counts. 

Facebook Character Count

When writing your link post headline, avoid clickbait like, “You’ll Never Guess What Happened When This Guy Opened His Front Door!” Not only is it lengthy, Facebook has created a new algorithm to detect this type of copy, and the social network is working to reduce the distribution of these posts. “We want publishers to post content that people care about, and we think people care about headlines that are much more straightforward,” said Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s vice president for product management for the news feed.

Twitter Character Count

It took ten years, but Twitter finally rolled out an update that social media marketers everywhere have been waiting for! Now, you can focus on counting your retweets instead of your punctuation marks because photos, videos, GIFs, polls, and Quote Tweets no longer count toward Twitter's 140 character limit. Despite the update, links will remain to account for 17 of your tweet's characters.

Instagram Character Count

On Instagram, photo is first priority, but there are some copy rules to keep in mind. When it comes to limits, keep your bio short and snappy and don’t overdo it on the hashtags. Pair your photo with a fun caption, but stay around 150 characters to keep your followers engaged. If your caption exceeds 76 characters, your followers will have to click an ellipses to read more.

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