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Shorter Copy Generates Higher CTR on Facebook

by • November 24, 2015 • Experts TalkComments Off on Shorter Copy Generates Higher CTR on Facebook5423

Facebook is great at driving traffic to websites. In our industry, most media outlets and content creators rely on link posts to bring more users to their websites. And that is the correct way to go at it, because many experts also agree that link posts are the type of Facebook updates that generates the most engagement too.

Great. But is there a way to maximise the amount of traffic generated from link posts on Facebook? Apparently yes: write shorter copy!

Also Read: 10 Facts That Show Facebook Is An Unstoppable Success Story

NPR‘s Digital metrics analyst, Dan Frohlich, recently conducted a study, looking into over 3000 link posts that were published on their Facebook page. Dan analysed and compared the posts performance based on the length of the copy used to share the links on Facebook.

Let’s redefine CTR before we start. CTR – or Click-Through Rate – is the number of link clicks divided by the number of impressions a post got on Facebook. It is the common indicator to measure the efficiency of a link post or ad whose role is to drive traffic to an external website.

Here is what Dan found:

wersm-npr-research-short-copy-facebookAs you can see from the above graph, shorter posts delivered higher CTR. In fact the results clearly show that post under 120 characters in length performed best in their task.

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Why Do Shorter Posts Generate Higher CTR?

Following the quantitative analysis conducted by Dan, I tried to understand why shorter posts did indeed generate higher CTR. I came up with 2 possible reasons.

  • 1. Shorter posts create more intrigue

This is the logical answer. The less you say on Facebook, the more people will be likely to click-through to find out more. I based my reflexion on the techniques of traditional advertising. Long before the digital era, advertising was all about short, to the point. The objective was to drive people in store to buy your products. And it worked, most of the time.

Also, I think we will all agree that curiosity is a strong driver. Longer copy can often be too descriptive or too insightful and some readers may feel like they got what they wanted from the post itself, without the need to click-through to discover more.

  • 2. Shorter posts are harder to craft

This is the copywriter answer. Short copy is simply harder to craft. Because you need to say so much in a few words, you may actually put more effort into getting it right. And naturally, this could translate in better copy that simply does a better job. Think about the press industry this time. What makes a good headline? For years, great journalists have used short powerful headlines to incite people to grab the journal and read the full story.

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I don’t have the absolute answer as to why, but the fact is that numbers have spoken, and I think it is safe to conclude that shorter copy does generate higher CTR on Facebook according to the research conducted by Dan. And I for one, totally agree with his findings.

How long are the posts you usually share on Facebook? Have you noticed a difference in CTR performance between longer and shorter ones? Share your experience in the comments.


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