In addition to the visuals you use, writing an effective social media caption is just as important for your social media content strategy. Whether your goal is to encourage conversation or get your audience to take a specific action, the quality of your caption is what will ultimately give you the results you're looking for.
Why Are Captions So Important
Photos are great for stopping your viewers from scrolling, but it's ultimately your captions that connect you with your audience, build trust, and encourage them to take whatever action it is you want them to take. Captions really help sell what you're actually trying to sell by providing your audience with a deeper understanding of the value you have to offer either through education or storytelling.
How well written your captions are can also be the ultimate differentiation between you and your competitor. If your caption provokes some sort of emotion your viewer is more likely to remember your product or service over your competitors.
Viewers don't engage with photos, they engage with captions. Your captions are what gives your audience a reason to follow you and come back to your feed for more. However, for many of us, followers aren't what pays the bills. So, more important than more followers, effective captions are what encourages people to invest in whatever you're offering, whether that be a product, booking a service, or simply getting more people to read your blog.
Two Main Types of Captions
There are two main types of captions: Conversion-focused and conversation-focused captions. It's important to understand each of these and how they will play out in your overall content strategy.
Conversion Focused Captions
The first type of social media captions we're going to talk about is conversion-focused captions. This caption type is focused on providing value through education, usually in the form of tips, tutorials, or news/announcements. We are strong believers in this caption type because we understand the power of building trust with our audience by providing information that will improve that person's life. We all have something we can offer that can solve another person's problem. When we help solve a problem, no matter how small, we build trust with our viewers that eventually lead to conversions.
We also love a good conversion-focused caption that gets straight to the point, but in a fun and entertaining sort of way. Sometimes we don't want to read those long lengthy captions, we simply want to know where we can buy that product your showing off in your photo or video!
It's important we mention that "conversion" doesn't always mean selling a physical product or service. For you, a conversion might be simply leading them to watch a tutorial video on your YouTube channel or reading a blog on your website.
Below are examples of conversion-focused captions we found particularly well written and presented:
Conversation Focused Captions
A conversation-focused caption capitalizes on storytelling which evokes emotion in the viewer leading them to either relate to what you're saying, reply to what you're saying or share what you're saying. When writing a storytelling caption to boost conversation between you and your audience, it's important to also understand how this personal story relates to your brand and your audience. Sharing a personal story not relevant to your brand to try and get more engagement will likely backfire and only create confusion.
When sharing a personal story, consider sharing things like why you're passionate about what you do, how got started doing what you do, or a recent setback in your business you had to overcome. It's especially important to be authentic when writing these captions considering your goal is to make a personal connection with your audience. Your audience is made up of real people who want to feel an emotional connection to your brand. Tell your story in a way that lets your viewers know you relate to them and you genuinely want to hear from them.
Or, if it doesn't make sense to share personal stories but you still want to boost conversation, sharing a cute or funny video you know will spark a reaction from your audience or an inspiring quote is another great way to boost conversation. We like to refer to this content as "share bait". Picture the posts you're sharing with your friends via DM and in group text messages or the ones you're resharing to your stories... These are the types of posts we're talking about.
To better help you understand how to write conversation-focused captions, check out these examples:
Writing Your Caption
Now that we've gone over the two types of captions, let's get into the formula of writing great social media captions!
Strong Opening Headline
The main objective of writing a caption is a strong headline. When your audience is scrolling through social media, they'll stop when they see an image that captures their attention then they'll move on to reading the first sentence, the headline. If your headline doesn't spark their interest or curiosity they're moving on. You want a headline that will ultimately make people stop scrolling and click that little "more" button to read more.
Start your caption off with either a question, a bold statement, or a cliff hanger. We also like to include fun emojis that draw attention, such as message-related emojis or the hand pointing down emoji to further motivate the reader to continue reading. See a few examples of great headlines below. Can you guess which one's which?
The Meat of Your Caption
Within the body of your caption, this is where you want to deliver on the statement you made in your headline through either education or storytelling. No matter how short or long this portion is, make sure you include a beginning, middle, and end. You want to guide the viewer through the information in a way that holds their interest and locks them in until the end. If the body of your caption is too long and doesn't feel like it's leading the viewer anywhere they will again lose interest and move on, leaving the most important part of the caption unread - the Call to Action.
Final Call to Action (CTA)
Now that you've given your viewers a taste, encourage them to take the next logical step whatever that may be. A CTA could be encouraging them to "click the link below to continue reading" on Facebook and Twitter, "click the link in my bio to learn more about my new course" on Instagram, or "tag a friend in the comments below" primarily for Instagram but works on Facebook as well.
When writing your CTA, we encourage you to get a bit more detailed. Rather than abruptly ending your caption with a "LINK IN BIO" sentence, try something a bit softer that helps the reader understand the value of taking the next step. An example of this is, "To dive deeper on this topic and get my formula for writing social media captions that convert, click the link in my bio."
You got this. Now get out there and start writing better social media captions for your business! We'd love to hear how you used our tips to improve your captions. Drop a note below.
much love & honey,