Captions are a vital piece of the social media puzzle. A good caption can serve as a stepping stone to help you engage with your audience — but a bad one can become a stumbling block for potential fans. Here are a few things to ask yourself before you hit PUBLISH on your next social media post.
1. Is My Message Clear?
In today’s fast-paced world, people’s time and attention are more valuable than ever. That’s why it’s important for your message to be as clear as possible. Leave no room for misinterpretation or confusion. It’s essential to get to the point of your message as quickly as you can. The last thing you want is to have the key point of your message cut off by the “See More” tab. One way to make sure this doesn’t happen is to make your wording as concise as possible — which brings us to the next question on our checklist.
2. Is My Caption Concise?
When it comes to social media copy — less is often more. It’s best to avoid being overly wordy or complicated with your vocabulary. Use simple and relatable language to convey your point.
3. Is My Caption Optimized for the Platform I’m Using?
The right word/character count for your caption tends to vary, depending on the social media platform you are using. For example, social media posts with captions containing 40-80 characters tend to have the best engagement for Facebook, while posts with 71-100 characters are ideal for Twitter. Check out this article from Sprout Social to learn more about the latest word/character count guides for all the major social media platforms.
It’s also important to make sure that any links you may have in your caption are working properly, whether it’s a link for your website, a current promotion you are running, an event, etc. When using Instagram and Twitter, be sure to include hashtags that are relevant to your brand and subject matter. If you’re not sure which hashtags to use, try searching for other brands or businesses that are similar to yours for ideas. For example, if you run a hotel in New York City, try #NYCHotels or #BestNYCHotels.
4. Does My Caption Capture the Right Tone?
The tone of your caption should match the subject matter of your post, as well as the overall voice of your brand. It’s always good to make sure you’re not coming off too fun/upbeat for something serious (or vice versa). But adding a little bit of humor and wordplay can go a long way to help spice things up. It’s a great way for your fans to relate to you. Just beware: there is definitely such a thing as being too clever! So, just be sure not to let cleverness, wordplay, or humor get in the way of your message.
5. Does My Message Have a Call to Action?
A call to action is simply a marketing message that prompts the reader to do something. The CTA can be anything from “Buy Now” to “Learn More” to “Comment Below.” But a CTA does not always have to be about selling something. It can be something as simple as a question or a fun quiz. A call to action is important because your fans need to know what to do with the information you’ve put in front of them. If you don’t have a clear call to action, you’re missing out on potential fans and future page growth!
6. Has My Caption Been Proofread?
This step is last on the list for a reason. Editing is your last line of defense against a bad caption. A final scan of your words can save you and your brand much embarrassment and frustration. Read your caption multiple times, extra-slow if need be, so you can catch any little mistake or typo. Double-check everything — from formatting to punctuation to spelling and grammar. Make sure your dates, numbers, prices, and any other logistical components are all correct. If you have time, step away from your draft for a bit (even if it’s only for a couple of minutes). Then re-read your words with a fresh set of eyes, as if it were your first time seeing them. This can save you and your brand from looking unprofessional, careless, and sloppy.
By taking just a few extra minutes to optimize your captions, you’ll soon begin to craft more engaging social media posts that will resonate with your current audience and future fans alike — creating opportunities for new engagements, connections, sales, and more!
Need more help with your social media captions? We love giving you tips for creating better content! Check out this blog: Creating Social Media Caption That Engage!
Pipeline Social Media is a Digital Marketing Agency that offers three approaches to help you increase your social media presence: we can fully manage your social media accounts, we can teach your team how to do it in-house, or we can monitor/coach your team along the way and report back to you. Ask us about our Google AdWords management, web design, and SEO website packages. Contact: 678-814-4601 | 280 Country Club Drive, Suite 101, Stockbridge, GA 30281