Looking to write “thumb-stopping” social media captions like a pro? We’ve got you covered. Writing the perfect caption for your social media posts is all about aligning them with the audience of the platform you’re posting on.
For example, a post for Facebook should have a different caption than TikTok, and the caption for a LinkedIn post should be wholly different than that of a Tweet.
Let’s take a look at how to write social media captions that captivate on each social platform.
Writing Captions for Facebook
When writing for Facebook, keep in mind that Groups are the most prevalent these days. Facebook tends to cater more to people with specific interests, so Groups have taken a dominant hold on the platform.
This means your approach to Facebook caption writing should be all about connection and conversation. Get engagement happening on your post by posing a question or sharing an interesting story.
These get people reading and responding, either to say they’ve had a similar experience or to give you their expertise. Asking your audience to provide an answer to your question is a great way to position your post.
If you’re a landscaper, for example, you could ask your audience what they do to prepare their yard for spring. Or if you’re a roofer, you can ask people what the worst problem they’ve had with their roofing was.
These all help generate conversation, and if a question is enticing enough it may be further shared with the Groups. This will help in increasing your post’s reach and greatly elevate how people view your brand.
In terms of numbers, keep posts short at between 50 and 70 words, and use hashtags sparingly. They can get you a wider reach by making your posts searchable, but they should not be used excessively.
Writing Captions for Instagram
Much like the images that make up Instagram, the captions are also about aesthetic.
When writing for Instagram, make the captions as colorful as possible. Use line breaks to give them a “poetic” feel, and adding emojis will help bring your post to life.
Combined with a colorful and eye-grabbing image, a caption that includes both line breaks and emojis will give the whole post a more vibrant feel.
But keep your hashtags to a minimum! While Instagram allows 30 hashtags per post, dumping all of them at the bottom of your caption will make it seem spammy, ruining the otherwise perfect aesthetic of your post.
Instagram’s Head, Adam Mosseri, has said that increasing hashtags won’t be increasing your views. So if you’re hoping to go viral with your hashtags, use 1 or 2 that are specific to your audience and let your post do the rest of the work.
When it comes to calls to action, Instagram isn’t going to help you. There is no option for adding links into the caption (although you can add links in Stories), so your best bet at getting people to click on a link to your website is to direct them to “follow the link in your bio.” A link aggregator like Linktree can come in handy.
Much like with Facebook, asking people to comment, save or share your post will help with your engagement.
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Writing Captions for LinkedIn
With LinkedIn being the social media platform “for professionals,” it’s easy to think your captions need to read like an email, or that you need to use big words. In fact, it’s the opposite.
To really stand out on LinkedIn, your captions should fall into one of three categories: Coach, creator or curious.
Depending on what you’re trying to communicate, factor in whether your post will be seen as you being a coach, a creator, or just curious. Then, craft your caption accordingly.
For example, as an HVAC coach, you might share some advice on how to keep ducts clean throughout the year. Or you might put on your curious hat, and ask people how often they get their AC serviced.
Another thing to consider for LinkedIn is “microblogging,” which is a version of a blog post that is much shorter but offers as much insight as a regular blog post would. It’s a great way to share your expertise with a wider audience, too.
And that “See more” button at the bottom of long posts? You can use those to your advantage. By starting your post with an intriguing hook, you’ll reel in that click and increase the chance that the reader will dive deeper into your post, and eventually visit your website for more information.
Writing Captions for Twitter
Twitter has evolved away from the “train of thought” posting that it used to be, at least for businesses.
Nowadays, it’s a perfect place to share memes or GIFs, and to have a bit of fun. You can even use it to announce new products or services. Twitter audiences are more likely to be the first to purchase new products, so this is the perfect platform for these kinds of posts.
When it comes to captions, or in this case Tweets, understanding the platform’s 280-character limit is key. Short and simple does the trick here, and strategically placing your hashtags within that character limit will help you reach more people.
Unlike Instagram, Twitter allows URL shorteners like bit.ly, which means you can weave easy call-to-actions to your website into your Tweet.
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Lastly, utilize the short character limit to your advantage by maintaining an air of “mystery” around your caption. If you’re announcing a new product, direct people to the website or to the company blog to learn more.
Teasing what it could be with a GIF or a graphic will help increase the chances people will follow their curiosity.
Writing Captions for TikTok
TikTok’s captions are usually secondary to the main content, the video. This means crafting a perfect caption for your videos is a subtle art.
One-sentence captions are the way to go with TikTok. Imposing on the character limit is the fact that hashtags count towards this number, meaning you need to bring them into your sentence smartly.
You can do this by keeping it “niche.” For example, instead of using #smallbusiness, try #YogaBusiness or #HouseCleaning. Use your hashtag to connect people to your service who are looking for exactly what you do.
Regardless of the platform you’re using, lead with a hook. A strong first sentence will help guide your audience and engage them with your post, and getting crafty with hashtags will increase your reach.
Of course, juggling all of this can be a full-time job. Luckily, implementing the right social media software solution is always a helpful option.