While you likely know Twitter’s 140-character limit by heart, there are other constraints all social marketers should be familiar with. At Rackspace, we primarily run campaigns on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, so I thought it would be helpful to have these character limits in one place to help out other digital marketers.
You’re probably not going to promote a text-only tweet. More often than not, it’s going to have some sort of link or rich media. Here’s how everything shakes out within those 140 characters.
Tweet with a Link: 116 Characters
Regardless of the size of the link, Twitter will “automagically” shrink it to 23 characters. And don’t forget the space that you need immediately before the link. This leaves you with 116 characters to work with.
Tweet with a Photo: 116 Characters
Using a photo in your tweet will chew up the same amount of real estate as the link — you’ll have 116 characters to spell out what you want to say.
Tweet with a Link and Photo: 92 Characters
This one-two combo is often used to visually engage a Twitter user, have them stop in their feed and click your link. But it comes at a premium — you’ll have just 92 characters to write compelling copy.
Twitter Card: 116 Characters of Copy, 70 Characters Card Title
To get around the character limitations of the link and the photo, you may want to employ a Twitter Web Card. This is a feature in the Ads Platform that allows you to have a photo, hyperlinked headline and CTA. As you set the card up, the important thing to know is that you have 70 characters to create a title. However, you should keep it under 35 characters or front load the important content because the headline can get clipped on mobile devices.
And the best part is that it costs you the same amount of characters as using just a link — you’ll have 116 characters left for the copy of the tweet, all while displaying an image with a clickable headline and CTA.
Most folks don’t realize there’s a 600 character limit for LinkedIn status updates — that’s because 600 characters on a social network is akin to reading a novella. You want to keep your sponsored posts brief to avoid your copy being truncated with “…see more.” Put bluntly, very few people are going to expand the update to read the rest of the copy (especially on a Sponsored Post).
Here are the three places where social marketers have control over the copy in a LinkedIn sponsored posts: Status Post Update, Link Title and Link Description.
Status Post Update: 128 Characters
The Status post update is the item people are most familiar with. Keep the post short and sweet to capture interest. Stay under a character count of 128 characters to ensure that users, regardless of desktop or mobile platform, can see your complete post without having to click “…see more.” Feel free to include that actual URL in your status post update as an additional clickable for users.
Link Title: 38 Characters
Don’t like what your blog team put as the title? Social Marketers also have the ability to change them on their LinkedIn sponsored updates. The Link Title should be between 38–46 characters, stay under the lower threshold to ensure that your headline can be seen in its entirety across all mobile devices.
Link Description: 100 Characters
The Link Description should be no more than 100 characters and should contain different information than the headline or status post to draw interested users in. I’ve noticed that this Link Description is not being displayed in the mobile phone app, but you do get the teaser information on the desktop environment.
Facebook has the most generous character limits, but once again you want to be as succinct as possible to ensure that your entire copy is displayed across desktop and mobile devices without being truncated. Facebook gets special props for giving you a “Preview Window” to see how your update looks across the different feeds.
Here are three places where marketers can control over the copy in a Facebook sponsored posts: Status Post Text, Headline and News Feed Link Description.
Status Post Text: 90 Characters
Only the first 90 characters are guaranteed to show up, regardless of platform. Staying under this limit will ensure that your message is seen on desktop and mobile alike.
Headline: 25 Characters
This may be a difficult limit to achieve, after all, 25 characters isn’t a lot to work with. Remember, this limit is to make sure that your copy is seen in its entirety across all devices. So if you feel it’s worth it to have a longer headline — which will probably be displayed on the desktop — front load your headline with the most important information so mobile users get the point.
News Feed Link Description: 200 Characters
This limit is primarily for desktop users as it gives the preview of what the link is about. While the link description is not shown at all on the “right rail” and is greatly truncated for mobile users, I would advise building out an ad that utilizes the entire 200 character set to enhance the interaction for those on the desktop.
Here is how that first example would look like on mobile if you adhered to the character count guidelines:
Whether you’re a social media marketing manager, or just a person who wants to start a social campaign, these values should help you get your social campaigns launched. And if you happen to forget the ins and outs of each of these values, just remember one thing: brevity is key.