Wouldn’t it be great if you could know how long the perfect piece of online content should be? What’s the best number of words, or better yet, the perfect number of characters to engage your donors online?
You can find experts all over the place that will cite one study or another telling you what’s best.
In fact, Fast Company recently ran an article that literally gave “the proven ideal length of every tweet, Facebook post and headline online.”
I’ll save you the trouble of clicking over.
Here’s the perfect length for:
Tweets: 100 characters
Facebook posts: less than 40 characters
Headlines online: 6 words.
Usually, I’m a big fan of what Fast Company does. This time, not so much.
Please don’t be fooled by this or anyone else using this kind of statistic.
Length or word count doesn’t have anything to do with relationship or value.
Completely ignore “experts” who want to make your online relationship with your donors about national metrics based in what works for for-profit companies.
Over and over, as Lindsey and our team review the analytics from our clients’ e-dipsticks, we see that supposed “best” practices for national and for-profit companies aren’t best practices for our clients when we look at their individual metrics.
Real metrics based in real reporting is far better than any national survey.
So what is most important about your online content if it’s not length or word count?
You should be thinking about:
1. Creating relationships. Remember that people give to people. Tell stories. Show faces. Be real and show the real problems you’re solving. Draw donors into the narrative of your cause. We say, talk “around” your ask in social media to support your work. Show. Demonstrate. Prove. Engage.
2. Communicating validation. Show and tell donors how their support is changing lives. Demonstrate to a supporter that they made a great decision to give. Show them the lives they changed. What does that look like? How do you know your organization is making a difference? Give the donor feedback about how their giving is helping!
So ignore national statistics and this kind of babble. Focus on what your own metrics reveal. And if you don’t know how to sort that out, give us a shout, we’ll help you figure out what works best to engage YOUR donors.
What do you think? How do these studies impact your work? I always love to hear what you think.
(photo credit: Steve Harris)