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I believe you will find that the character count includes the "markup" for font, bold, etc. effects on the text. Unless you have written a purely plain-text post, the actual size of your composition may be larger than you realize.
There are free apps online that allow you to count your characters. There may even be such an option in your document options if you use something as advanced as Word. I mention that because other characters that get "hidden" in messages are those for embedded links. For instance, if you have copied something from another source with such links, the full url and HTML tags are added to the character count. If you want to know what all such hidden characters in your lengthy posts are, you can select the far right hand side icon option above the message box to toggle bb code. When you do that, it converts your plain text message to show all hidden code and links, etc. You could then copy that into an app that will give you an accurate character count