For years, almost every content marketing guru and expert has harped on about how longer articles are our industry’s gold standard. The more words you write, the more comprehensive your posts will be, and the more your audience will take away from your content.
But while longer articles can rank higher on Google and generate more website visits, shorter posts might be the key to retaining your audience’s attention.
In January of 2019, Contently, a content marketing platform that connects enterprise brands with freelance talent, surveyed over 1,000 people in the U.S. about their media and marketing preferences. What they uncovered about people’s preferred content length shattered a seemingly unbreakable convention that longer is always better: 75% of people prefer to read articles under 1,000 words.
With our ever-dwindling ability to concentrate on given tasks, Contently’s discovery makes complete sense. Writing shorter articles is better because people prefer consuming that type of content. So maybe instead of creating content that we assume our audience wants, we should start creating content that our audience actually wants.
Fortunately, microblogging can help you craft the concise content that your audience craves. Read on to learn exactly what microblogging is and the best sites to start a microblog on.
What is microblogging?
Microblogging is creating concise posts and sharing them to an audience on microblogging platforms, like Twitter and Tumblr. In addition to writing text, you can also include links, audio, images, and video in your micro blogs.
The OG of micro blogging sites, Twitter is not only one of the most popular microblogging sites around, but it’s also one of the most popular social media platforms around.
On Twitter, you can create a profile where all your posts — or Tweets — live. In your Tweets, you can include text, links, photos, videos, GIFs, audio, and more. Each of your Tweets also has a 280-character cap. Additionally, you can reply to and share — or retweet — other users’ Tweets.
With over 466 million different blogs, Tumblr is bustling hub of short form content. On the microblogging site, you can create a blog and include links, text, photos, GIFs, videos, Spotify tracks, MP3 files, and more in your posts. When you follow other blogs, their posts will show up in your dashboard. You can also comment on and reblog other blogs’ posts on your own blog.
Unlike most microblogs, Pinterest is purely visual. On your profile, you can create Boards, which are collections of pictures curated around a specific topic, post Pins of your favorite pictures, and add Tries, which are notes and photos of ideas you tried, like new recipes you cooked or new places you traveled to. You can also follow other people’s profiles and topics, which are the most popular Boards that cover specific topics.
While Instagram is mostly a visual platform — like Pinterest — Instagram also has some shades of Tumblr, letting you add 2,200 character long captions to each photo or video you post on your profile. Some media outlets are even leveraging Instagram to spark a new phase of journalism that focuses on crafting visually-appealing articles.
On Instagram, you can follow other profiles and popular hashtags, discover new content based off your user behavior and popular topics, watch long form videos and Instagram stories, comment on posts, tag your friends in posts, and direct message them.
You might know Facebook as the most popular social media network in the world. But it’s also the most robust microblogging platform out there.
On Facebook, you can create a profile where you can share text-based updates, photos, GIFs, videos, an emotion you’re feeling, an activity you’re currently doing, and the location you’re currently in.
You can also ask for recommendations on where to go when you’re about to visit a location, tag friends and events in your updates, poll your friends, support and donate to a nonprofit, answer a question about yourself, create fun lists, post Facebook Stories, record live videos, interact with your friend’s updates, message, call, and video chat with them, start groups with them, create events, watch long form videos, sell and buy products, and play games.
Short & Sweet Is Better Than Long & Lax
As you probably already noticed, most of the microblogging sites above are also the most popular social media sites — but this shouldn’t be a surprise. People love scrolling through social media because they can consume tubs of snackable content in a short amount of time. And marketers should take this insight and apply it to their content strategy. Because, just like eating a bag of Doritos, you never stop after the first chip.