The Ultimate Social Media Best Practices 2017 [Infographic]

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When I began my work with Bonfire, it wasn’t my first experience with content marketing. And I knew my way around most social channels (except Snapchat — I’m not hip enough for Snapchat). But I had virtually no experience with where the two merged in the constantly evolving world of social media marketing. It became my goal to curate some social media best practices for our agency.

How does B2B marketing differ from B2C marketing on different social media platforms? Which channels require more buttoned-up language as opposed to fun, witty wordplay? And most importantly, how much should I write for social media posts? Twitter is, of course, limited (at least for now) to 140 characters. But I could write paragraphs for Facebook and LinkedIn. What’s the character count sweet spot to boost engagement?

In my research, I learned that LinkedIn is more formal B2B language, Twitter is my chance to flaunt linguistic levity, and Facebook lands somewhere in between. Resources abound to guide the amateur digital marketer, but none combine tips for writing, image design guidelines, and character count best practices for the posts and social ads of every prominent channel — including Instagram filter recommendations and Pinterest board best practices.

It’s my pleasure to pass these best practices on to you. They’re based on our research, in-house social analytics and testing, and guidelines Bonfire has developed as part of our house style. We promise to keep it updated with the current standards as best we can. Below are some infograms to get you started on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Then, for a deeper dive, check out the entire infographic for free!

Facebook post best practices

Facebook post best practices for status character count and image size recommendations.

The takeaways:

  • To increase the likelihood of clicks by 66 percent, keep Facebook posts between 40 and 80 characters.
  • If you must go longer, try not to exceed 120 characters, especially when posing a question.
  • Questions actually perform well on Facebook; they prompt discussion among your customers.
  • Though hashtags are fun, they don’t do anything for engagement or metrics on Facebook, so keep them to a minimum and use them for visual emphasis only.
  • The ideal image size for Facebook posts is 1200 x 630 pixels.

Facebook paid ad best practices

Facebook paid ad best practices for status and link character counts and image size recommendations.

The takeaways:

  • To boost engagement, keep the paid ad status text between 90 and 110 characters. Be sure to create a clear CTA using urgent verbs and language of exclusivity. Keep the most important content within the first 90 characters.
  • The link headline should be no more than 25 characters.
  • An ideal link description is 30 characters to optimize for mobile. The link description should not exceed 200 characters.
  • The ideal image size for Facebook paid ads is 1200 x 628 pixels.

LinkedIn post best practices

LinkedIn post best practices for B2B and B2C status character counts and image size recommendations.

The takeaways:

  • Your writing should change based on your audience. When speaking to a business audience, keep posts between 75 and 100 characters. A consumer audience is more likely to engage with a status of 100 to 125 characters.
  • Keep your status below 128 characters to avoid cutoff across platforms.
  • Avoid question marks; exclamation points perform better.
  • The ideal image size for LinkedIn posts is 1200 x 627 pixels.

LinkedIn sponsored post (ad) best practices

LinkedIn sponsored post best practices for B2B and B2C status character counts and image size recommendations.

The takeaways:

  • In addition to the writing guidelines above, keep in mind that the language for your status will vary depending on your audience. Keep B2B posts around 75 to 100 characters and B2C between 100 to 125 characters.
  • To avoid a status being cut off across all platforms, keep it under 128 characters.
  • Question marks perform 25 percent less for B2B and 45 less for B2C, perhaps because they come across as too salesy.
  • Exclamation points actually perform better.
  • The ideal image size for LinkedIn sponsored posts is 1200 x 627 pixels.

Pinterest Pins best practices

Pinterest Pins best practices for boards description and Pin frequency recommendations.

The takeaways:

  • The ideal title board length is fewer than 26 characters.
  • Write keyword-rich board description between 75 and 150 characters. Longer board descriptions receive less engagement, but can be valuable for SEO and extend the life of the Pin.
  • Never include hashtags, excessive symbols, prices or promotional sales info, exaggerated claims, or implied affiliation with Pinterest in descriptions and Pins. Pin between five and 10 times throughout the day.
  • The five types of Rich Pins include Article Pins, Product Pins, Recipe Pins, Movie Pins, and Place Pins.
  • The ideal image size for Pinterest Pins is a vertical image (2:3 or 1:3.5 aspect ratio) of 735 x 1102 pixels.

Pinterest Promoted Pins best practices

Pinterest Promoted Pins best practices for board descriptions, CTA language, and audience targeting.

The takeaways:

  • Pinterest is the one platform where vertical images perform better (specifically for Promoted Pins).
  • Keep your Promoted Pins geared toward audiences with relevant interests. For example, don’t promote a Pin about gardening to an interior decorating audience.
  • Always include a CTA, but don’t yell it or include exaggerated claims like, “Lose weight now!”
  • CTAs should be kept to one or two keyword-rich sentences with a positive sentiment.
  • The ideal image size for Pinterest Promoted Pins is a vertical image (2:3 or 1:3.5 aspect ratio) of 735 x 1102 pixels.

You can download our free infographic to receive guidelines for the rest of the social channels or simply view it on Visually. We hope you use these best practices in creating your own house style guide and simplifying training for your writers and designers on the current standards of every channel.

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By | 2017-06-26T09:09:07+00:00 January 25th, 2017|Categories: Social Media Marketing|Tags: , , , |

About the Author:

Adam Collins
Adam Collins is Bonfire Marketing's editorial director. His professional portfolio includes editing, writing, and design experience in marketing and print publications. During his free time he enjoys writing poetry, hiking, and tasting craft beers — or all three at once.

2 Comments

  1. Brian July 20, 2016 at 2:34 pm - Reply

    Very well written!

    • Adam Collins
      Adam Collins July 20, 2016 at 2:36 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much, Brian! I hope you find it useful.

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