Study Shows How to Improve Your Social Media Posts: 9 Hints for Better Results in 2020

Brands, influencers and people post their ideas on social media, putting in their best effort to appeal to the public and to gain more recognition and ultimately to sell more. So here’s the question that arises: Is crafting the perfect post a utopian task?

There are more KPIs than ever before brands can use to monitor their social media strategies and posts. In a nutshell, a close-to-perfection post has to be both creative and engaging, but, most importantly, it has to be memorable. Standing out of the crowd is a must.

As good engagement and results don’t just come without effort, many brands work every day to achieve this ambition. But just swimming in an ocean of uncertainty doesn’t help.

Average engagement rate per post on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

We’ve put together 9 pieces of advice straight to the point that are backed by data from a  comprehensive social media content study conducted by Socialinsider and Planable. This helps in quest of finding the perfect formula to create the most engaging posts and captions on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

1. Adjust Your Style to Your Audience

Getting to know your audience is a crucial step when setting up a social media marketing strategy. Do this by leveraging conversations and encouraging your followers to speak up their expectations. This doesn’t mean you have to follow all their advice, as some might prove to be inconsistent. It means that you will be able to determine a footprint or a guiding map for their desires.

Brands are just like humans - they have a personality and a set of values. Without these elements, consistency and continuity can’t exist. So your customers are just an extension of the brand’s personality. Make sure you answer their request and your posts comprise their expectations too. Also, don’t forget to adapt your style to each platform you’re using.

Listen to your followers and encourage conversation as it might prove valuable in the long term. Instagram - and then Facebook - has introduced a feature that allows people to ask questions in stories. If you’re planning to release a product or a service, use this tool to learn about how people perceive it and use the feedback in the future social media marketing strategy.

On the other hand, reach a wider audience as your brand grows. It’s good to have a core of loyal followers and to build a community, but bear in mind the wider your audience grows, the more likely you are to reach the people who are interested or who might be interested in what you offer.

2. Post Short Captions

People are almost all always in a hurry and given the amount of information and data they’re exposed to, reading a long caption might prove difficult. To make their life easier, post short captions. This info is also backed by data. According to the study, less is better when it comes to writing captions.

If your post contains a link, make sure you correctly associate it with a relevant image and caption. Create an accurate description of the information. Stay away from clickbait or any other approach that might be considered clickbait or confusing.

Depending on the platform you’re posting, here’s what you should know:

On Twitter posts with short captions of under 10 words perform the best as compared to the ones between 10 and 30 words and the ones longer than 30 words. They have the highest engagement rate per post - 0,26%. The least recommended thing to do is to post links because the engagement is at the lowest point - only 0,04% for captions between 10 and 30 words.

Twitter avg engagement by caption length and post type

On Instagram captions of under 10 words perform best when combined with carousel posts - 2,56%. If you decide to post videos with a caption bigger than 30 words, you’ll get the poorest engagement, only 1,55%.

Instagram avg engagement caption length and post type

For the best result on Facebook, albums who had captions written for the entire album, not for every image. On the other hand, the least engaging posts are those who have a link and contain between 10 and 30 words.

Facebook avg engagement caption length and post type

Nonetheless, there are situations when short captions aren’t enough to explain the message. But as a general rule, the shorter ones perform the best. Also, out of the total posts analyzed on the three platforms, 9.8% of the posts were questions. The conclusion is that questions should be avoided. They are decreasing engagement, no matter the platform.

average engagement rate per post with questions

3. Take Advantage of the Platforms’ Features

Each social media platform has its strengths and weaknesses. Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter might have things in common, but they serve different purposes. With a drop of patience and dedication, almost anyone can master these three social media platforms.

Twitter is known for its ability to create buzz and even social mobilization. It has grown to be the platform that makes history. Straight on point and very efficient, Twitter posts can help your business gain exposure. Because Instagram and Facebook are very often cluttered with promotions, use this social media app to strengthen your brand awareness. Twitter has also proved to be an amazing place to promote events, releases or even insight from companies.

Facebook wants to connect people with their friends and brands with their communities. It’s also a source of information for many of us. Whether we’re in search of a friend, a company, a product or a service, Facebook encompasses all of them. Every brand has a Facebook page and for many, this is the main

On the other hand, Instagram has proven to be one of the most visual social media platforms. But apart from this, it’s known for its ability to engage with the audience and to receive feedback. Instagram stories have become a huge point of interest these days - and no one can deny it.

For your next social media blueprint, it might be useful to know that Instagram is the most engaging platform, average engagement rate/post of 2.26%, as opposed to 0.21% on Facebook and only 0.06% on Twitter.

4. Leverage the Power of Carousels and Albums on Facebook and Instagram

It seems like both Instagram and Facebook algorithms tend to promote posts that contain multiple images. On Instagram, they’re called carousels, while Facebook simply names them albums. While on Instagram there is a limit of 10 images per posts, Facebook doesn’t have this type of boundary.

By far, carousels with short captions under 10 words have the highest average engagement rate per post - 2.56%. The least engaging posts are videos with captions longer than 30 words.

When it comes to Facebook posts, albums with short captions also lead to the highest engagement rate per post. On the contrary, adding links within the caption have a less desirable impact on your followers.

5. Use More Videos on Twitter

Surprisingly, Twitter videos are those who perform the best on the platform. With an engagement rate of 0,26%, Twitter videos deliver better results than links, photos, or statuses. They are followed by photos who have an average engagement rate of 0.15% in combination with less than 10 words.

And it’s no surprise videos are here to capture people’s attention. The shorter they are, the better. People tend to share them more and this is why they can become viral.

6. Make Emojis Part of Your Dictionary

People speak emojis these days. So brands have started to notice their impact and importance in daily communication. Data shows that over 20% of all posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter contain at least one emoji.

average engagement rate per post by number of emojis

They also play a major role in crafting the perfect social media post, no matter the platform. When people look at them, their brains associate emojis with real human faces.

According to the study, the perfect post contains over 20 emojis, so don’t shy away from using them.

7. Use Giveaways for a Boost of Engagement

Giveaways have proved to be an investment for any company who wants to expand its awareness, to test a new product or simply connect with their target. This is the perfect opportunity for brands to create loyal customers.

On social media, they are always well received by people. Who doesn’t love free items or services?

Moreover, data proves that giveaways posts perform better than any other posts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The very nature of this post invites people to participate. Therefore, the engagement rate per post reaches on average 1.09% on Facebook, 3.39% on Instagram, and 1.13% on Twitter.

average engagement rate giveaway post

8. Avoid Posting Tutorials

There are a lot of brands who post their tutorials on social media platforms. They can be very valuable in terms of content, but their relevance is not as high as it may be on a dedicated platform like Youtube.

Besides, they tend to position the brand as a “higher authority” and many followers don’t know if they should trust a tutorial made by a brand and not by an impartial consumer.

Looking at the data, tutorials just don’t seem to be the best idea.

average engagement rate tutorial post

9. Measure Results

Posting your content is not the end of the process. Monitoring, analyzing and comparing posts helps the brand grow at a constant pace. If it’s the case, a monitoring and reporting tool gives you the freedom to see the complete insights and to act accordingly - rethink or reshape the strategy.

Monitor more KPIs such as a number of posts, fans' growth, engagement, average engagement, average engagement per post or per page and the evolution of posts and engagement.

Also, take a look at how your competitors are doing: see their best post, their engagement evolution and make a note of what you can learn from it.


The perfect post might have never been created. But if you aspire to make it, add a bunch of emojis, write a short caption in few words, make sure you post multiple images on Facebook or Instagram and if you’re on Twitter, try to engage people with a video.

Test it out, look at the data, and, if needed, make the right adjustments for your audience!

Read next: An All-In-One Infographic for YouTube Bumper Ads

Hat Tip: Teodora Lozan.
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