Social media tips: let’s go back to basics

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Your social media cheat sheet on best post length, timing and number of hashtags.

Sophie Al-Bassam

You produce some great content. You post it on social. And… not much happens. So how can you increase your organic social media engagement?

There are a lot of factors that will determine how successful your post is. You may want to consider:
  • How well you know your audience
  • If you should use influencers and how to get the most out of them
  • How interesting, relevant or useful your content is
  • How often you post
  • The social networks and formats you use, from YouTube videos to Instagram stories

A man is looking at his phone with his computer behind it. There are social media icons popping up, including emojis, like notifications and messenger notifications.
Want to increase your social media engagement? Make sure you're getting your basics right first.

If you want to get back to basics, how you craft your post and how you post it are both important too.

How you achieve success will be different for every industry and company. Use each social media tool’s analytics to assess what’s worked for you in the past. 

For example, with Facebook Insights you can see demographic data about your audience, such as the percentage of people who like your page by age, gender, country, city and language. This will help you narrow down the best type of content and how to post it. With Facebook Insights you can also see when your audience are on the platform.

But if you’re still learning about your audience, we’ve done the research to give a summary of some of the most successful times, length of posts and number of hashtags.

This can be used as a quick reference guide of social media tips to get you started.

Our social media post about the best time to post on social media.

When is the post time to post on social media? 

When you post can depend on a range of factors, like the type of post you’re creating and the industry.

Target the time zone where you have the highest number of followers, or where your target audience is.

According to Sprout Social and How Sociable, the best time to post is, on average:

Tuesday–Thursday, 8am–3pm
Best day: Wednesday

Wednesday 11am and Friday 10–11am
Best day: Wednesday

Wednesday 8–10am and noon, Thursday at 9am and 1–2 pm, Friday at 9 am

Wednesday and Friday 9am

12–3pm Thursday and Friday

Our social media post about the most effective length of posts

How long should my social media content be?

The most effective length of posts is, on average:

Organic: 40–80 characters
Paid: headline 5 words, main text 14 words, description 18 words

Organic: 138–150 characters
Sponsored: <125 characters

Organic and paid: 25 words, <140 characters

Organic and paid: 71–100 characters

2 minutes

Our social media post about the best number of hashtags.

How many hashtags should I use?

Hashtags help people find your content and helps indicate what your content is about. If you’re not sure about the right hashtag to use, try finding hashtag suggestions on Ritetag.

And when it comes to the recommended number of hashtags to use surprisingly, Hootsuite says less is more on all social networks except one:

Length: only use if they fit in the ideal post length
Best amount: 1–2

Best length: 21–24 characters
Best amount: 9

Best length: 6 characters
Best amount: 1–2

Best amount: 1–2

Best amount: 2–3

Is video content worth it for social media?

Video content is booming on social. And there are now more options than ever. Take Instagram – you can choose from Reels, IGTV, Stories or Newsfeed video posts. But it all comes down to one thing: if you’re not doing video, you could be missing out on increased social media engagement.

Video posts see 59% more engagement

Video posts see 49% more engagement

Video posts see 10x more engagement

Video sees 20x more shares

Sophie Al-Bassam, senior managing editor

Do you need a social media strategy that aligns with your content and brand? Email us to set up a chat.

Sources: Sprout Social, HowSociable, Influencer Marketing Hub, Hootsuite, HubSpot, Social Media Today, BuzzSumo