The lifespan of content depends on the type of content and platform on which you are on. For example, blog posts /articles vary on social media, but the different social media platforms vary from one another as well. Understanding the different lifespans can help determine what marketing strategy is best for your brand and business and allow you to understand what platform to spend more time creating highly engaging content.
In this article, we will look at:
- The lifespan of blog content.
- How to create a long lifespan for blogs/articles.
- Why a long lifespan is important for increased leads and sales.
- What the different lifespans of blog posts and social media posts is.
- How to increase the lifespan of social media posts.
The lifespan of blog content
How to create a long lifespan for blog posts and articles?
- Make a list of every question your buyer has asked about your service or product, or company.
Not all articles have to be long, however, it is advised to be at least 650 words. You want to consider what their specific challenges are, perhaps you can find information in your inbox or contact forms where questions were asked. Pulling out all of these questions and information will enable you to figure out what your customers and target audience are interested in learning about, and will give them valuable content to read. Furthermore, if you are able to recall conversations you’ve had with people, you can be using their actual words, allowing you to speak their language.
- Do specific keyword research and focus on 3-4 words in length, which also have low competition.
Similarly to the previous point, if you use certain keywords and questions your audience is using or asking about, which you now have provided with content around, you have won. Having said that, remember during this process to think about your target market. What would they type into a search engine when looking for answers?
- Answer specific questions your customers are asking in each blog post.
Aim to be genuinely helpful in your blog posts, providing good value and positioning yourself as a leader in the industry. Make sure to share product knowledge and do so in a way that is unique to your company’s brand approach. By providing answers to real questions, you will broaden your reach, which will help you to gain credibility and authority within your industry.
- Optimise your blog post title and meta description for stronger SEO.
Your blog post/article will appear as the blue link in search engines. Here it’s important to keep it short, using your keywords. Your meta description will show under the link in the search engines results page – this you want to keep under 155 words. The goal here is to look professional and for the description to include the keywords phrase and make it clear why readers should click the link and read the article/blog post.
The lifespan of a social media post is much shorter than a blog post/article. In fact, the lifespan of a social post will most likely be the amount of time it is shown in the feed and people engage with it, and with the constant algorithm changes, especially for Instagram content does not even reach out to everyone’s feed for it to be visible. Therefore, the window of opportunity with social media content is only from the minute you publish the post to when your post gets buried too far down the feed that people stop scrolling to find it is that post’s lifespan.
Then, once your post reaches the end of its lifespan, it stops giving value to your brand as nobody is seeing it or no longer engaging with it. This is, however, where repurposing your content can help create content from precious used content but in different formats, to save you time and continue to share what your brand is all about.
What may decrease a post’s lifespan?
As previously mentioned, social media has algorithms, which in a perfect world, would always allow the user to see content in chronological order (which was how it was when social media began) and the newest post at the top of the page. However, as the years have gone by and the algorithm become more advanced, users now only see content in which they engage, whether that is just watching, commenting, liking, sharing, or saving.
Is the lifespan of posts important?
Post longevity on social media is definitely important for your marketing campaigns. Because, the longer a post lasts on social media, the more likely it will generate reach and additional engagement for your brand – which is the goal of social media marketing. Your brand’s aim should be to get as much engagement and visibility, and clicks as possible. Because the better a post performs, the more it will attract qualified leads and eventually sales.
However, although you might be able to crack the social media algorithm, there’s another factor that directly affects the longevity of a post: human behavior. We can’t completely know why people do what they do always, which makes it very hard to know what content will go viral and not. Therefore, even if you work towards creating the best longevity content to post, it can never be guaranteed.
Nonetheless, what can help is knowing the lifespan of content on different platforms, as they do vary. Thus, if you can anticipate when one is about to end, you can be ready to follow it up with the next post, to stay in constant presence for your followers and their feed. Then if one of your posts does get an extended lifespan or go viral, it is more like receiving bonus marketing without expending any more resources or time.
What is the lifespan of social media posts on different platforms?
As briefly mentioned, the lifespan of posts varies depending on the social media platform and content type. Moreover, it can constantly change with algorithm updates and features.
Let’s begin looking at the different lifespans on different social media platforms:
Instagram: 21-48 hours
There is much debate on the lifespan of an Instagram post because the app is constantly undergoing algorithm updates. Thus take this with a pinch of salt, as there is little research and data to back up either time, of 21 or 48 hours. However, what is clear is how the app ranks content in the user’s feeds. They include:
- Usage: how much time a user spends time on the app.
- Interest: how likely a user is to care about the post.
- Timeliness: the recency of each post.
- Account relationship: the algorithm prioritizes content to show users who view the specific brand’s or account’s content regularly.
- Frequency: how often a user opens the Instagram app.
- Follows: how much content to show from every account a user follows.
Despite the lifespan of a post, it is good to know that the algorithm reorders new posts on a user’s feed between the times of your last visit and your next visit. This means that users have a better chance of seeing your content whenever they log on, no matter when you post it. Therefore, the time of posting content on Instagram is no longer as relevant as it once was, although knowing when your audience is most active can help kickstart your engagement to then be seen by more followers (scroll down to see the best time to post on Instagram).
Certainly, Instagram has one of the most unpredictable types of lifespan on posts. No one really knows or can seem to agree on how often you should post on there. Nevertheless, the average lifespan of social media posts on Instagram is between 21-48 hours.
Facebook: 5 hours
Facebook is definitely a crowded platform, with an estimated amount of 1,500 stories that could appear in your news feed every time you log in. This number only grows with the more people and businesses you follow. Therefore, Facebook posts don’t last very long, creating a lifespan on posts of around 5 hours.
Facebook determines how and when to show content based on:
- Time: How recently did the account publish a post?
- Engagement: The likelihood that a user will be interested in this post and engage with it.
- Characteristics: The elements included in a post. This includes images, videos, etc.
- Personalization: A user’s past behavior on Facebook.
LinkedIn: 24 hours
LinkedIn posts have a lifespan of around 24 hours, which makes sense that out of the platforms we have looked at in this article, LinkedIn has one of the longest lifespans, as it is considered a professional social network. Because although people may not access the platform after business hours they may still see and engage with your content when they log back on during the week.
LinkedIn’s content ranking factors that determine the likelihood of getting your posts in front of the right people include:
- Engagement: LinkedIn decides the likelihood of user engagement based on past account behavior.
- Personal connections: Content from business profiles, the users follow, and direct connections determine the length of the post’s lifespan.
- Interest and relevance: Like all other platforms, LinkedIn decides which posts might interest a user most based on their likes and interactions.
Twitter: 15-20 minutes
Twitter has one of the shortest lifespans of all social media platforms, with a lifespan of only around 15-20minutes. Due to the length of tweets being restrictive, and people posting multiple times a day, new tweets can become buried quickly. As a result, tweets that are older than a week may not even be discoverable in a feed or on a profile anymore.
How to improve the lifespan of your social media content?
Now that you know, on average, the lifespan of content on different social media platforms, let’s look at how you can actually improve and increase the lifespan.
- Create high-quality content
Content is king. The best and most obvious way to get more shares and engagement for your content is to create high-quality pieces your audience wants to see. For some businesses and brands, this may include links to blog posts, articles, whitepapers, etc, and for others, it relies on video clips and product photos.
Regardless of the elements your brand picks for your content strategy, it should have a purpose and help give value and convert your audience. Make sure each post has a meaningful and purposeful message, that also has a call-to-action (CTA), to teach your audience to engage, or lead them to another element, as mentioned. Not all CTA must be directed to something else; it can simply be to ask a question and give them a chance to answer in the comments ie. “let us know in the comments below if this resonated with you?” etc.
- Use the different tools on the platform
To make your content last as long as possible on each platform, we recommend taking advantage of the different platform-specific tools provided. This may be that rather than posting a YouTube link to a new video, perhaps you can upload videos directly to Facebook.
- Find the best times to post
Posting at the right time definitely increases your chances of connecting with your followers and getting more engagement, than times when no one is active. Thus, it can help to improve the lifespan of your content.
To determine when your followers are most active, we recommend analyzing the insights from each social platform and for the last 10-20 posts. Use these times to schedule your future content for the next 3 months and test and see the difference. Side note, you might also want to make notes of what it was about that post that made people want to engage with it.
Here are some guidelines on when to post on the different platforms:
- Instagram: Post between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. and again around 2:00 a.m.
- Facebook: Once daily between 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.
- LinkedIn: Once daily between 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.
- Twitter: 15 times daily every hour between 2:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.
- YouTube: Once per week; times may vary depending on your audience.
These are only suggestions and recommendations, however, each account varies and within each industry. Therefore, make sure to do your own insight research and testing before creating a dedicated long-term time schedule.
- Ask questions
By asking questions in your posts (or stories on Facebook and Instagram) and interacting with your audience, you can help the post generate more engagements and extend its lifespan. In addition, on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter, there are tools available to create polls or ask questions that followers can respond to directly.
Moreover, you may want to take a screenshot of the questions people ask (perhaps hide the person’s name) and showcase it on stories to answer, as if one person has a question, likely, others do too. This can encourage others to ask questions and engage with your posts in the future, and this continues to increase the post’s engagement. Additionally, asking questions is also a great way to learn more about your audience, allowing you to create more high-quality content.
- Repurposing content
Repurposing your old content is a fantastic way to recycle some of your best content pieces. It helps your account to increase engagement for popular trends and searches. Similarly, it helps your brand reach new audience members. First, look at some of your most popular posts and the engagement they have created on your insights. Then, see how you can use that post or content in new ways to make even more engagement. This might look like taking a plain image post and creating a carousel or taking a carousel and creating a reel.
Understanding the lifespan of content, whether it’s blogs/articles or different social media platforms, can help you determine what type of content and where to focus your marketing.
Likewise, knowing how long your post and content last is important so you don’t spend 45 minutes crafting a perfect post that will only last for a few hours, compared to days, months, and years. It is clear that blog posts and articles is king. However, ensure to include social media posts to stay relevant and active within your industry, helping you build brand awareness.