With so much emphasis on the visual aspects of social media, especially Instagram, it can be easy to think your social media captions are less important than the images and videos you’re posting…
While strong aesthetics can make users ‘slow their scroll’ and hover over your content, it’s a carefully thought-out caption that’ll really encourage your audience to engage with your messaging and convert them into customers.
In essence, your social media captions are a BIG opportunity to build a stronger relationship with your audience!
Strategic and well-crafted captions can lead to increased interaction with your content, more followers, growth in website traffic, and, most importantly, an engaged audience that are more likely to become clients.
So, if you’re not giving proper attention to your captions, you could be missing out on a key marketing opportunity!
Indeed many of our clients tell us they often feel lost and confused as to what to say on social media, so here are our 7 social media caption writing tips to help you out…
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#1 Make Sure Your Captions Offer Value
Why is giving value important when it comes to writing social media captions?
Put simply, if your captions give value to your audience, those people will keep following and engaging with your content.
If the content in your social media captions is useful, people will also be far more likely to save and share your posts, both of which send positive messages to social media algorithms that this is useful content and should, therefore, be shown to more people.
So, what do we mean by value and how do you create it?
It’s quite simple really – value is anything that keeps users engaging with you. This might be because they find your content useful, funny or entertaining.
At Social Puffin, we think that any social media content that offers value can be split into 1 of 3 categories – it either informs, entertains or inspires. Us pufflings like to call this the ‘value tripod’.
If your content makes your followers more educated on a subject matter, more amused or gets them feeling more inspired and energised, that’s a good indicator that there’s value in what you’re posting.
To learn more about the value tripod and how you can give more value through your social media captions, check out this really useful article.
#2 Get the Tone Right
Remember that social media is essentially about connection, so try to connect personally with your audience through your social media captions.
We all engage more with content that feels like it really speaks to us, so one of our tips for crafting engaging captions is to write them as if you are talking directly to a single person, rather than writing formally or talking vaguely to a broad, unknown group.
Make this imagined person that you’re directly talking to, your ideal client – using the right tone of voice and language to do this.
You should have your ideal customer base, along with your brand tone of voice and key terms, all mapped out in a brand guidelines document so that you and your team are clear on who you are trying to reach and how you want to communicate with them.
Doing this will massively help you know what to say and how to say it when it comes to drafting your captions.
If you aren’t clear on your brand guidelines and your brand communication strategy, developing these is super important.
If you need help developing your brand identity and communication strategy, then we can help care of our brand strategy training sessions.
#3 Make Sure You Include Plenty of White Space
If something is hard or tiring to read, people will give up trying, so ensure that your social media captions are easy to read.
Including lots of white space, i.e. sectioning up your writing into smaller paragraphs and using line breaks in between, will really help to improve the readability of your captions for social media, meaning people stick around longer to read them!
#4 Utilise Relevant Emojis
Don’t overdo it, otherwise it might give your audience a headache or make your captions look ‘spammy’… this isn’t permission to go trigger-happy with the emojis!
BUT using a few appropriate emojis in the right places can really help to increase the readability of your social media copy.
Along with line breaks, emojis help to break up text, making it easier for people’s eyes to follow what you’re saying and keeping them engaged for longer.
Emojis can also bring personality, emphasis, fun and flair to your captions! They are another clever way to bring your brand values and tone of voice into your captions, so have fun with them and allow your character to shine through.
Some of our favourite emojis include the lightbulb, the selection of stars, the flame and the lightning bolt. We find these often work well for businesses because they are energetic and dynamic.
But do make sure you choose emojis that align with your brand and the messaging in your social media caption too.
#5 Don’t Forget to Include a Call-to-Action
A call-to-action (aka CTA) is a prompt to get your audience to do something once they’ve finished reading your caption.
It’s the part of your caption that invites a reader to, well, take action, make the next step.
Such steps could include encouraging your audience to read one of your blog posts, to visit a specific page on your website or to send you a DM.
Encouraging your audience to engage with your post somehow is another commonly used and valuable CTA; for example you might ask people to answer a question, give their thoughts in the comments or share the post with their followers.
Call-to-actions are an important tactic in social media marketing when you want to keep your audience engaged and lead them on a journey towards conversion (i.e. becoming one of your customers or clients!)
#6 Include Hashtags in Your Caption
Hot-off-the press folks, the newest advice from Instagram is to put your hashtags in your post captions – as opposed to in your post comments!
Yep, pay attention because this advice has changed!
Previous advice from Instagram was that hashtags could also go in your post comments as they’d still be searchable…
But now, the caption is definitely the best place to put them.
Why has this changed?
Instagram hasn’t given the full information, but it’s likely related to how the Instagram algorithm reads and categorises your post.
So make sure to include your hashtags in your Instagram caption from now on, so your post is searchable via your hashtags, allowing more people to find your content.
And that’s not all… the second bit of brand-new hashtag news is that you can forget trying to use all 30 hashtags – that’s so 2021! – the newest recommendation from Instagram is that it’s best to use 5-10 niche hashtags that really fit your content and appeal to your target audience.
I know, I know, it’s so hard to keep up with all these changes… but don’t shoot the messengers, we don’t make the rules!
With all these changes around how Instagram hashtags work, we want to make sure you really know how to get the most out of them for your business. This is especially important given how powerful Instagram captions and hashtags can be for your marketing.
Which is why, next month, we’ll be sharing a whole blog post filled with our Instagram hashtag tips, including more info on these latest changes, so watch out for that.
In the meantime, the take-away here folks, is to get really niche on your hashtags – look for ones that really match your business and content. And make sure to put them in your caption!
#7 Don’t Worry About How Long Your Captions Are
There’s no right or wrong on this one. The key point is to focus on getting your message across in an engaging way, rather than in a set number of characters.
Sometimes caption value can be conveyed in a few words, sometimes it takes a few more.
Either way, if what you’re saying is interesting, engaging and brings value, people will stick around to read it!
PIN IT TO PINTEREST!
We hope you’ve found our top tips for writing engaging social media captions helpful and that you’ll be using them to up your game when it comes to this important area of digital marketing.
However, if you’re still struggling for things to say on social, are continually lacking inspiration, or don’t have the time to write valuable captions that help ensure your audience become paying customers, don’t fret – we have the perfect solution…
Yes, Social Puffin’s new caption writing service has just launched and it’s our most affordable social media package yet!
Perfect for social businesses who want to get ahead, this cost-effective solution takes all the hard work and stress out for devising, crafting and proofreading your social media captions, so you can just get on with answering all those enquiries and packing those orders that’ll fly in as a result.
Or you can drop any questions or thoughts into the comments box below and we’ll get back to you…