Whether you’ve been on social media for years or are just starting, use these 7 Tips for Writing a Strong Caption.
Marketing strategies continually evolve as social media becomes more and more influential in everyday life. If they want to remain relevant, brands need to stay on top of new social media features and popular trends. While new social media marketing strategies are important for successfully growing your online presence and following, it’s important not to overlook the basics of a post.
Let’s look at the key elements of a social media post to better understand the caption’s significance.
May I Have Your Attention Please…
I’d be lying if I said I’m the only user guilty of quickly skimming through my social media feeds. It’s so easy to find yourself scrolling aimlessly through social media, only pausing when something catches your attention.
Regardless of which platform you’re on, there is one objective behind every post you come across: Attention. As a brand, your goal is to share content that convinces users to pause for long enough to fully digest your post.
You can spend all the time in the world brainstorming new and innovative ways to reach your target audience but without a strong caption, your post is likely to get lost in the endless abyss of social media.
While forming unique and creative content has the potential to attract users to your page, a caption has the ability to make or break the engagement your post receives. Before we jump into the 7 tips for writing a strong caption, let’s keep a couple of things in mind.
Two Things to Consider Before Captioning Your Post
What is the purpose of your post? Are you aiming to drive engagement with your existing target audience? Maybe you’re hoping to reach new potential customers? Consider what it is you hope to achieve through posting and determine how each element will support that goal.
As a brand, the general goal of your post will likely be to increase website, platform, and/or account traffic. With this in mind, your post’s image, caption, and all other components must cohesively portray your goal to viewers.
2. Brand Personality
In order for your brand to be successful on social media platforms, it must portray some sort of personality. I can only speak for myself when I say I have yet to meet someone who enjoys talking and listening to a blank screen, but I am almost certain many others would agree.
Remember the consistent objective behind every social media post? Attention. To gain the attention you’re seeking from viewers, you must bring your brand to life. Give it some personality, and originality, and don’t forget to add a little bit of pizazz.
One of the most important things to consider when forming a caption is your brand’s personality. Is your brand witty? Maybe it’s sincere, or educational. Determine how you want the brand to be perceived, and incorporate that into your social media marketing strategies. The image, feed and caption should all represent the brand’s personality.
Now that you have considered these two important components let’s get to the fun stuff, captioning!
7 Tips for Writing a Strong Caption
The caption is a place to flaunt what you’ve got. Give scrollers a reason to pause, think, and take in the content you’ve worked so hard to create.
1. Hit ‘Em With a Punch
Start your caption off strong with humor, statistics, promotions, or any attention-grabbing trick you have up your sleeve. You only have a couple of words to catch the viewers’ attention so make each one count.
2. Keep It Conversational
If there’s one thing no one likes, it’s being talked down to. As a brand on social media, it’s important to keep your captions conversational. Think of social media as “working the room” at a party. You’d never walk through a room telling people what to do or how to feel. Instead, you’d invite them to chat with you about mutual interests. Even if YOU know what to do and how to feel, leave room for discussion. Users are more likely to engage with content that is inviting.
3. Don’t Be a Textbook
You know those thick, heavy books we paid a lot of money for in school only to be used a handful of times? We’ve moved on from those, and so should you. Users should not have to google the definition of a word in order to make sense of your caption. You can still sound professional by using everyday vocabulary. Viewers will likely be more impressed by something they are able to understand anyway.
That’s not to say you must avoid all technical terms. Your product or platform might require some definition… Find a creative way to incorporate that into your social media marketing strategy, but keep the “textbook” explanations to a minimum.
4. Create an Appeal
To attract users to your brand and its content, you will likely need to include some type of emotional appeal. Consider what the post has to offer and whether users may be attracted to a caption with a humorous, emotional, factual, or surprising draw. All of these appeals have the same goal, influencing the way viewers interpret the significance of a brand’s offerings.
Executed well, effective appeals are among the most powerful tools for driving audience engagement. When including an appeal in the caption, be sure to consider what the post is about and how you hope the viewer interprets it.
5. Add a Call-To-Action
Another great way to boost engagement is to include a call-to-action in your captions. You have likely seen call-to-action captions all throughout social media. Encouraging users to, “Comment below,” “Tag a friend,” or ask other questions is a simple way to include a call-to-action in your caption.
Not only do these questions and comments form a stronger sense of community between your brand and the audience, but it also gives your brand the opportunity to be discovered by so many potential customers.
6. Space It Out
Remember 2020 when we needed to keep 6 feet away from everyone? Well, keep that in mind when writing a caption. Captions sometimes get long and that can be okay, but don’t forget to space it out.
As with quality long-form literature, there are paragraphs and spaces between thoughts in a caption for a reason. It allows for easier reading, and in my opinion, it feels less overwhelming than a wall of text. Give the reader a chance to dissect each piece of information without losing interest.
On certain social media platforms, hashtags hold a lot of power. Not only do hashtags have the potential to introduce your content to a wider audience, but they also allow you to connect with similar brands.
When considering which hashtags to include in your caption, it’s important to ensure they are all relevant to the content, your brand, and the rest of the caption.
Look Back on These 7 Tips for Writing a Strong Caption
Next time you’re stuck captioning your posts, consider these 7 tips for writing a strong caption. Not only do these tips make the caption writing process smoother, it also invites more users to engage with your account. Get ready–to deal with all your new traffic, you’ll need a strong community management strategy.
Set Yourself Up For Community Management
We’ve all been in those customer service calls that seem to last an eternity, getting increasingly frustrated at each automated ‘press one for…’ questionnaire. Or the chat room asking if you’ve tried turning it off and then back on again.
What does that have to do with writing a caption? Glad you asked.
Believe it or not, technology and social media are still exponentially growing in significance. As more customer service representatives turn into automated algorithms, social media platforms are transforming into a preferred method of communication between a brand and its customers.
Over 60% of customers believe the most significant aspect of the customer service experience is timeliness. Social media is a rapid and personalized way to connect with your audience and assist with any questions, concerns, or feedback. While a strong caption is not required for customers to reach out, it does play a large role in satisfaction. Rather than being an automated message, it directs customers in a personable way to the service that they need.
In Need of Assistance? We’ve Got You.
Social media is the space to bring a brand to life but it may not always be easy. If your brand needs a little TLC, all of us at SH1FT would be more than happy to help. We’re a group of creative individuals who love taking on new challenges. If you’re interested in chatting, reach out to us here.