4 Tips for Writing Engaging Social Media Captions

By Rachel Peck

Every second, nearly 6,000 tweets publish. Instagram has 500 million active daily users sharing photos and videos each day and Facebook sees more than two billion users each month. In short, it’s no secret that businesses are competing with shorter consumer attention spans, boredom and are at risk of being scrolled on by.

In this ever-changing, fast-paced environment does your content – and more importantly, your social media captions – stand out? You’ve spent the time creating your materials, you publish it, but the engagement isn’t what you’d hoped for. How do you make your content stand out amongst all the rest? It starts with the caption. Below are a few tips on how to craft engaging, eye-catching social media captions that are worth sharing.

Keep it simple.
Create your social caption as if you’re writing to a class of middle-school children – easy to understand and digestible. Stay away from “big words” and overused phrases. Industry specific businesses should keep social content free of jargon, or industry technical terms. Your readers have another 5,000 tweets to read and weighing down your caption with confusing terms and lengthy words will leave your post in danger of being overlooked. 

Keep it short and to the point.
Focus on quality vs. quantity when crafting your captions. While some platforms aren’t able to show a direct correlation between caption length and engagement rate, general practice should be to keep your captions one to two sentences in length. In short, don’t make your audience click the “read more” button for the full social media post. Shorter captions give publishers the opportunity to get creative with their captions and a quippy sentence can encourage consumers to take that extra step and engage with the post. 

Beware of the sales pitch.
Though the goal of your social post is to either increase engagement and/or conversions, beware of a promotional call-to-action. A social media caption isn’t the place for a sales pitch. Some channels – like Instagram- have algorithms’ that are now favoring content that followers are most likely to engage with, instead of showing it in chronological order. This is putting additional pressure on producing content that will encourage engagement. Instead of an outright sales pitch, try and find ways to thoughtfully include a CTA in your caption. 

Choose your hashtags wisely.
Knowing when, where and what platform to use one or multiple hashtags can be tricky. Twitter, for example, is the ideal place to use relevant hashtags often. Properly placed hashtags will include your content into the hashtag stream, making it more visible to those outside of your usual network. 

Where can you go wrong with hashtags? Though they can bring extra exposure to your content, overuse of hashtags or the use of irrelevant hashtags can lead to a bloated post that appears untargeted and unpolished. Limit your hashtags on Facebook and LinkedIn to one or two per post. For Twitter, try incorporating your hashtags into the caption itself organically, as opposed to listing them all in one group.

Whether you’re posting to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram, your social caption shouldn’t be an afterthought. It should be developed with the same care and thought that goes into creating the actual content.