Ever get stuck staring at the screen wondering what caption to write for that epic social media post, you know the one that will go viral if you just get it right?
It happens to everyone.
Captions in today’s social media realm should be smart simple and strategic. While they should be describing your imagery in more detail, they can also encourage your followers to engage via the comments or take action to send them down your sales funnel.
Captions vary in character length based on the platform you publish your content to.
Instagram: 2,200 characters with the “read more” cut-off comes in at 140 characters.
Facebook: 63,206 characters with 477 characters on display before any remaining text is hidden behind a ”read more” link.
Twitter: 280 characters
LinkedIn: 1300 characters but scrapes the caption behind a ‘see more’ tab after 140 characters.
Google My Business: 1500 characters but truncates after approximately 100 words The thing is no one wants to read a caption that is too long.
Tips for writing social media captions to captivate
Here are a few tips to keep in mind for creating social media captions that will drive action and engagement.
Know your Intentions
Knowing why you are posting is the first step in creating your caption.
What are you trying to do?
What do you want people to do?
All great social media captions (honestly, ALL marketing copy) starts with a purpose. We aren’t just telling stories or spouting features for the heck of it, we must have a reason!
Know your Audience
Understand who your audience is and what they want.
Your brand should have a voice that’s appropriate for your target audience. Each age group and demographic will require you to design your messaging to their interests. When you stay relevant and consistent, and your audience will too.
Make your audience feel important, they will be far more engaged with your business or brand.
A great caption will provide the proper context to describe or add to the imagery you publish. Don’t confuse or lie to your followers.
Use your social media captions to entertain, inspire, educate or inform your audience. Giving valuable content will encourage your audience to give back.
Write the important stuff first
Use your most important words first.
The human attention span is getting shorter and you can easily lose a follower’s attention within seconds of them coming across your posts.
Using headlines in your social media captions to grab readers attention means that if written correctly the ‘read more’ link gets clicks.
Your reader should immediately know the context of the post, and your intentions of it. Write about what is important, but don’t exaggerate.
Tell a story
The best way to create an engaging social media caption is to tell a story.
Writing your captions through story will show your personality, and can create moments of real connection with your audience. People connect with people through stories.
Yes or no answers are ok but when you ask open ended questions you are more likely to receive a response.
Use Call to Actions
Occasionally. All your social media captions don’t need to be (and shouldn’t be) salesy, but for action and engagement using a call to action can help.
A great caption will end with some sort of conversion, whether it encourages readers to comment, share the post, or check the link in your bio. Asking questions and requesting feedback from your audience are two ways to build engagement.
Keep in mind, a call to action doesn’t always mean pitching an offer.
Put yourself in the place of your reader
Every person that follows you on social media is subconsciously thinking: what’s in this for me?!
People want to feel included and acknowledged. By using pronouns such as ‘you’ in your social media captions, you can quickly see how connections are made faster.
How does the caption make you feel – happy? used?
Write as you speak.
To stand out from the competition and break through the noise is to be yourself to reflect your personality.
It is vital that the same personality is conveyed throughout your content. This enables your audience to build familiarity with you and your brand, and recognize it more readily.
Be true to your voice and the way you communicate as it’s the easiest way to stay consistent.
Some will say your social media captions need to be brief. Like any piece of written content, only use the maximum number of words to get the point across.
Other tips for captivating social media captions
Tagging others in your social media captions can drive engagement where it’s relevant. Some platforms have taken this to the extreme and it’s now become spammy.
The key is to choose hashtags that are relevant to your brand or the content, and are easily searchable. Trending tags can drive your content further, and always check out how a hashtag is being used by the platform’s community before using it yourself.
Emojis can be attention-grabbing and a useful addition when creating social media captions. They will give your caption some personality, but be careful not to overdo it, the focus should remain on readability. Emojis are useable across all social media platforms, so try it out!
Ready to write better social media captions that engages and drives action from your audience?
Keep in mind that social media success requires preparation. Developing content that helps your social media presence grow takes time and strategy.
Writing a captivating caption is a great start, but there are many elements to consider when managing your brand on social platforms.
If you would like a partner in your social media efforts – basically social has a plan. Contact us today to get started!