Listen up. You have two seconds. Maybe even less depending on who’s reading. You want to sound inviting, but professional. Cool, but not detached. You probably also want to include a few lines about…oh whoops, you lost their attention already.
In a world where almost everything is documented online, not many people think about their captions before posting them online. If you’re just making posts for the fun of it, carry on. Do what you want to do.
But if you are trying to market yourself or a company, you might want to spend a bit more time on your captions before posting them on social media. So what are some simple tips to remember when writing a social media post?
Generally, for all forms of writing, research about your chosen social media platform is important. Social media platforms are often used for different purposes. Thus, it’s important to understand how to utilise each platform in order to gain more engagement from the post. Here are some examples:
For more casual social media platforms, such as Instagram and Facebook, there’s no need to worry too much about punctuation and language structure, so long as it’s understandable. Yet for more professional ones, like LinkedIn, you might want to be more careful.
You should also try to get a sense of how you wish to market your brand. After all, how can you convince others if you don’t know what you’re trying to convince them of?
A good way to start is to use the 5Ws 1H technique: Who is your target audience? What are you trying to market? Why should your target audience listen to you? etc.
2. Find Your Voice
Going back to the train of thought you had at the beginning of this article: voice is crucial when thinking about how you wish to portray your brand on social media. Do you want to sound cool and sophisticated? Or would you rather have your brand be seen as fun and playful? Regardless of what you choose, you should try to maintain a similar voice throughout your social media posts in order to further establish your brand identity.
It’s usually a good idea to be positive in your social media posts, as the upbeat tone of your writing would cause your audience to become more excited as well! However, do keep in mind the context of your post. We don’t want to accidentally offend someone by maintaining a carefree tone in a post about a solemn issue.
3. Keep It Simple
In order to create a social media brand identity that is seen as stalwart and dexterous, it is of the utmost importance that you keep your audience agog with curiosity through your social media posts. Did you zone out from reading that sentence? I did.
Agora pulse suggests that the optimal length of a Facebook post should be around 40 characters, as any more would lead to decreased engagement. So it’s good to make your caption clear and concise. An easy way to visualise this tip is to pretend that you’re talking to an 8th grader when writing your caption. Not too simple that you sound condescending, but not too complicated to a point where no one knows what you’re talking about.
It’s also important to ensure that your intentions for each social media post are straightforward so that your audience is able to detect the post’s purpose almost immediately. For instance, if you’re posting about a blog or article, you could just give a brief sentence introducing its content and include a link to it.
4. Get Creative
Emojis! Hashtags! Come come, let’s get creative with them. Not only does it make your brand more relatable, but it’s also a good way to get more information across in a short timeframe.
However, make sure not to overuse them - otherwise, you might just sound slightly ridiculous. Even worse, the original intention of your caption may become lost under all the emojis and hashtags. Remember, they should complement the words in your caption, not take your audience’s attention away from it.
Exhibit A: Netflix viewers cringe as they watch character Paul from The Half of It attempts to ask his crush out through the use of way, way too many emojis.
5. Images and Videos are Your New Best Friend
A picture is worth a thousand words.
For photo and video-sharing social media applications like Instagram, it goes without saying that they are a necessity. However, for other platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, it wouldn’t hurt to include them when appropriate. Like emojis and hashtags, it’s a great complement to your text. It could also really elevate the engagement of your posts.
So here are the five simple tips to get you started on social media writing. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your captions, and good luck!