You have that perfect photo or article ready to post on your Facebook or Instagram, you sit down to post it and your mind goes completely blank when you try to think of a caption! Sound familiar? Sometimes inspiration just doesn’t come, and I hear many of my clients say that this is one of the main reasons they don’t post consistently. The struggle is very real, even I have days where my mind feels completely BLANK. Unfortunately, though, captions are a very important part of achieving social media success. They are one of the main ways we connect with our fans and increase engagement, and for both Facebook and Instagram, the amount of time someone spends looking at your post (or if they click the “read more” button), affects the organic reach your post will get. You can have a beautiful photo and if the caption isn’t right, it will not do well. But you can have a crappy photo with a great caption, the post can still do amazing. So the long and short of it is, captions can literally make or break a post!
Everyone struggles with writer’s block occasionally, but here are some tried and true things to get you back on track.
1.Hone in on your message.
The most important thing you can ask yourself when you sit down to write a caption is, “what am I really trying to say?” Am I trying to get people to click a link? Do I want to highlight a service? Laugh? Be inspired? Do I want them to book an appointment? When I think through the point of my post, it makes it easier to write a caption because I am more focused on what I need to get across. Sometimes we get caught up in the details, instead of focusing on what we are trying to convey.
2. Get in touch with those feelings.
Authenticity is the most important part of social media. Successful captions connect people with emotion. So how does what you’re about to post make YOU feel? If you want people to book an appointment, then think about the real reason they should. Is it to feel more confident? Take care of a problem? If you want people to laugh, then make that the focus. Do you want to show your work? Then tell them how YOU feel about whatever the item is.
3. Put the important info at the top!
Write solid catchy first sentences for every caption, think of it almost like a headline. Don’t bury your main message. If your caption is really lengthy most people won’t read the whole thing, so be sure the pertinent info is at the top and that the link (if there is one) is easy to see and click. Studies do show that starting with a question is a very powerful way to catch a reader. I love asking people questions in my captions. Something that can set the tone for the rest of the caption.
4. Pack a punch and pose a clear call to action.
Be very intentional with the words you use and try to make the caption skimmable and engaging. Think of the caption from the reader’s perspective. People see hundreds of posts every day, what can I do to make yours stand out? What matters to the person reading this? I also like to use capitals for emphasis, bullet points, emojis (SOOO many emojis) and give a very clear call to action i.e. “click the link to get yours”, “read my blog post here>>>” at the end. This rounds it out and makes it easier for the reader to understand what you want them to do.
5. Edit, edit, edit.
Lengthy and drawn out posts are pretty hard to pull off (though there are exceptions), so try to really edit and be concise in your post. I don’t have a specific word count I go for, I just try to make sure every word counts and packs a punch. Edit your post a couple of times to see what sentences or words you can remove. I often find that I can say the same thing more effectively if I remove excess words because the message becomes clearer.
6. Focus on the reader.
How can you make this social media post applicable, intriguing and enticing to the person scrolling? Another way of saying this is, how does this post affect your followers life? If you are talking about a service you offer then the first thing you should focus on is how the service will benefit the customer.