Do Short and Sweet Facbook Posts Drive More Traffic?

Like you, NPR sure would like more of its Facebook followers to click through to its site. And like you, NPR is looking for a way to optimise its Facebook traffic.

Let’s face it – getting Facebook users to click on your links isn’t easy. Things were easier a couple of years ago – before Facebook fed organic reach and every single one of your followers saw your posts in their feeds. Now, only a small percentage of your followers even see your posts, and if they do, that’s only half the battle. You have to get them to click your links.

NPR recently looked at all of its Facebook posts over the past six months to see if there was any correlation between lead-in text length (what you write in your post above the generated link) and click through rate.

What NPR found was that it might be best to keep it short and sweet.

“Since driving traffic to is one of our main goals on Facebook we looked at click-through rate (link clicks divided by post impressions) to get a sense of how efficient each group was at delivering traffic. What we uncovered is that shorter posts (specifically posts that were 120 characters in length or fewer) tended to have significantly higher click-through rates. Meaning, when all things are equal, these posts are more effective at delivering traffic to our site,” says NPR digital metrics analyst Dan Frohlich.

Of course, all things aren’t exactly equal. Some posts are just more interesting – post length aside. Time of day of post, day of the week, the quality of the main image. As you can see, there are a lot of variables at play.

But the study did find a significantly higher click rate on posts with shorter intros:

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Posts of 0 to 120 characters performed better than all other ranges – including the average.


Like I said before, there are a lot of variables to consider. And this is far from comprehensive – just one outlet analysing its own data. But it does make you think – if you’re too wordy in your Facebook posts, are you giving away too much? And are people already tired by they time they get through the lead-in?