Less really can be more, especially when it comes to the size of your individual posts on social media. We might as well use this first entry to begin to tackle an issue that we encounter regularly while working with clients who are interested in increasing their social media presence. Lots of people write entirely too much when trying to promote something through their social media accounts. Many write more than most of their audience will ever see, or even care to see at one time. You might be unintentionally alienating your audience, without even realizing it.
There are so many downward forces that you need to attempt to fight against, while marketing on social media, don't let your own posts be one of them. People's attention spans are shorter than they've been at any point in history. To make matters worse for you, there's a good chance that the members of your audience are briefly glancing at their phone for a moment when they see your post, and you need to consider things like that when crafting one. What's going to grab someone's attention in one second?
To complicate things even more on top of that, platforms like Facebook have settings in place to specifically limit the amount of people who see a post, if it sounds too "markety", or is trying to implore the audience to do something. There are a few reasons for that, but certainly, if you're trying to promote something that may pay you, and you're doing it through Facebook, Facebook would like you to pay them for that opportunity to be there. If your page has an audience of 10,000 "Likes", and you're only seeing your organic reach for a certain post is a few hundred people, that could be part of the problem.
What's more, after a certain number of words, Facebook and Instagram automatically truncate text behind a "Read More" cut. So, on a user's feed, even if the post gets seen by them, they'll only see part of what you wrote, as they scroll through - which in reality, will likely be for less than a second. And you can't possibly assume that most of those people will bother to click "Read More", when there might be something far more interesting if they continue to scroll past your post.
Have you ever noticed that when you start typing a certain number of words or include a link in a post, that Facebook prompts you to boost it? That's not a coincidence. Have you noticed that Twitter is limited to 140-characters? That's not a coincidence either. Much of the draw of social media lays within the fact that what you see from any given person or group in your feed is bite-size, and if the audience doesn't like what they see for that second, they can scroll on by, and there's an infinite number of other flavors to sample.
If you are in fact seeing weirdly low numbers on your organic reach, we highly recommend to start engaging in small talk with your audience. Pretty much as a rule, really. You shouldn't always be marketing, you need to just talk to your audience. It's called social media for a reason. If you're having trouble, a good exercise is to think about what's most relevant to your audience, and ask them a question about it - get them to share their own experience with you. Get their input on what they're interested in. In doing so, you'll begin to build a better relationship with the people who follow you, establish an emotional connection with your audience, which can pave the way for gaining people who might really listen to you, when you are trying to market something. If you engage in enough small talk, it's highly likely that the friends of the people who are interacting with you, will also see the post. That increases the chance that they may end up following you, as well.
If you'd like to use way less text, ideally, if you have a fascinating, eye-catching photo to use, it could potentially get a far better reaction than almost anything you write. People understand and react quicker to photos, than they do text. Throw in literally a few words in the description, and a link to whatever you want the audience to check out, and that could do tremendously well. You'd even have the potential for a captive audience, if they're visiting your website (much like you're visiting our site right now - see how long we have your attention for here?), or something where there's more information that you want them to see. Plus, users who cared enough to click the link to leave whatever social media platform they were on, may be more likely to complete another action that could benefit you, once at the site you've directed them to.
In our experience, one of the the only places where incredibly long text posts work, is when they are completely original content, heartfelt, and are put in front of an audience that may be sympathetic to whatever the topic is. Even then, they have to begin with something that draws the audience in within two seconds, and maintains their attention away from the possible allure of whatever else might show on their feed long enough for them to want to click "Read More". If you write three or four paragraphs about trying to get someone to do something that will cost them money... it likely won't be seen by many people, unless you pay more for it to be shown.
In conclusion, if you want to get some better reach and engagement without having to pay more money for people to see it, seriously consider shortening what you were planning on saying. If you can say it in a sentence or two, instead of a paragraph, do it. If you can say it in three words, instead of five, do that! The harsh reality is, you might have a few seconds to grab someone's attention, give them time to process the post you've made, and react to it.
To maintain, engage and grow your audience, leave them wanting more.