The Art of Irresistible Social Media Captions

It’s hard to imagine a world without social media. When they first hit, social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram allowed us to connect with our friends and family and share life moments. Nowadays, social media encompasses so much more. We can get news updates as they happen with Twitter, upload short videos and Boomerangs with Instagram, network and find jobs with LinkedIn, record live videos with Facebook—and these are just a few of the options social media allows.

But with all of these expansions come some unspoken rules for creating “good” content instead of posts that annoy your followers—especially if you’re a business posting to consumers. You want your followers to be attracted to your post—because more traffic leads to more followers, which can boost brand recognition. However, you can post all the good content you want—but followers won’t click on your posts unless they want to. That’s where irresistible social media captions come in.

For most social media posts, captions are the first things followers see. You want your post to make a good first impression—something that will make your followers say, “I want to know more!” Here, we have narrowed it down to the three pillars of caption writing: length, hashtags, and calls to action. Follow these tips and you’ll not only get more clicks—you’ll get more business.

Hashtags

Hashtags help increase discoverability, but should be used prudently. For your business to get the most use out of hashtags, research keywords and phrases most relevant to your business. Remember, hashtags rose to prominence on Twitter, but have since branched off to almost every social media platform. Depending on which site you’re using, the rules can be different. Tweets only allow 140 characters, so use them sparingly. One or two hashtags should be enough. With other social media sites, use your best judgment. In a recent study, Facebook posts with hashtags got less engagement than those without. Only use hashtags that are relevant to your business or post—any extra hashtags create a length problem.

Length

Speaking of length—it varies with each social media platform. On Twitter, you’ve only got 140 characters to leave your mark. That’s not much space, but there is still opportunity for creativity. Instagram cuts off user feeds after just three lines of text. Not many other sites limit your characters, but in a way, it’s better to pretend you have a character limit—it prevents over-sharing. Only on rare occasions will people want to read a 500-word social media caption. When in doubt, make it short and sweet. After all, humans have shorter attention spans than goldfish thanks to the abundance of technology. Get to the point and don’t bore your followers with a long-winded post.

Calls to action

Because captions often limit creative space, you aren’t always able to post everything you want to. When this happens, direct your followers to a link by saying “Watch: (link)” or “Read more: (link).” This will provide a call to action for your followers, telling them how to learn more. But if you decide to include a link, make sure to explain why it’s worth clicking on. Don’t simply write “Listen to this!” Tell your followers WHY they should listen: “Surprise! Beyoncé dropped a fire LP last night. Listen here:” With that in mind, avoid clickbait. Nothing is more annoying than reading “She put a House Plant in Glue. What she does next will Shock You…” Don’t trick people into clicking on your link. Respect your followers and give them an organic reason to visit your site. This reaction can lead to more brand awareness or even more business for you.

As you work on social media campaigns, test different caption styles and see which ones work best. You’ll most likely enjoy the most success with captions that make good use of length, hashtags, and calls to action. This may seem like a small detail, but it’s a must creating successful social media campaigns. Successful captions should be simple, well thought-out, and memorable. They’re the first things your followers see—make them irresistible.

Sources:

https://blog.bufferapp.com/a-scientific-guide-to-hashtags-which-ones-work-when-and-how-many
http://www.amyporterfield.com/2012/06/the-10-commandments-of-using-pinterest-for-business/
http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/write-good-instagram-caption#sm.00001nab52sqngdmswxnuvvuyg0pg
https://blog.kissmetrics.com/how-to-write-headlines/
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016/03/12/humans-have-shorter-attention-span-than-goldfish-thanks-to-smart/
http://www.wired.com/2015/12/psychology-of-clickbait/
http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/character-limit-social-media-blog-posts#sm.0001wftkcf15vre1it0liwlkga1us

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