Crafting a strong and creative caption on social media should be a priority with every post across every platform.
Formulating a succinct caption that is straight to the point with an intriguing opening sentence is what will garner your agency’s social posts more engagement, comments, and likes.
A strong caption can be powerful for your social channels as it also poses the ability to help grow an audience. Sure your photos and graphics may be top-notch, but is the text interesting? Remember, if people enjoy the text that your agency is posting, they’re even more inclined to start following the account, as they know they’re going to receive a post that is straight to the point but still informative at the same time.
It’s important to garner engagement on social media, but it’s even more important to garner engagement from the right audience, i.e., community members, other law enforcement agencies, and stakeholders; this can be achieved by simply strengthening the strategy on your captions.
“On Instagram, strong imagery is what stops users in their feed. However, captions are what drive engagement. Sharing candid personal stories, asking for specific feedback, presenting thoughtful or playful questions are a great way to start a conversation.”
Stephanie Cartin, Co-CEO at Socialfly
With the pandemic, agencies, businesses, and organizations faced having to elevate their social media strategies since the digital landscape became so over-saturated due to everyone being at home. They found that simply having appealing visual content was not going to cut it anymore; captions are key now and in the future to garner more engagement and further dialogue.
From drafting a compelling lead sentence to avoiding jargon, making the text concise, and curating professional, but relatable captions are all tactics you can use to craft strong and creative text on social media.
Curate a compelling lead sentence
Writing an intentional, strong opening sentence is everything. This is the space where you basically share the gist of the entire story in one sentence. The most important information should be in the first sentence, always.
With social media users constantly scrolling through their feeds at light speed, the opening sentence needs to be strong and captivating. Tell us what happened, share the data (if available), pinpoint the problem or implications in the opening sentence.
Crafting captions on social media to drive engagement can be achieved simply by grabbing the user’s attention and compelling action amongst them; also, do not forget to spell-check.
“The human attention span is getting shorter and shorter, and you can easily lose a user’s attention within seconds of them coming across your Instagram posts. To give them the most contextual information in the shortest amount of time, use the most important words at the beginning of your caption. That way, it can either entice them enough to keep reading and potentially engage with your content or give the most basic understanding of your image.”
We know you’re probably tired of hearing us say, “avoid jargon.” Welp, we’re here to say it again…avoid jargon in social media captions! A caption aims to further the knowledge and context of the post, not to confuse the audience.
It’s always best to write where every person who reads the caption can understand what is being communicated. This can be achieved by writing your caption and finding alternative words to use in place of the specialized terminology.
Put yourself in the shoes of the general public when writing your social media captions and ask yourself, “If I were on the outside, would I understand this subject matter?”
Keep it short and sweet
Now, we’ve all seen the type of social media posts that can almost pass as an actual book. Don’t do that. No one wants to read a caption that is as long as a CVS Pharmacy receipt.
Keep it short, sweet, and to the point. Keep in mind that the perfect amount of text in captions is generally about two to four sentences long. This is where it gets tough. You would think that it’d be more challenging to write a long caption, but it’s actually harder to write about an entire topic or, let’s say, an entire incident in two, three, or four sentences.
“Remember that most people scroll through their Instagram feeds at a brisk pace. If there’s any doubt as to how long your caption should be, keep it brief. Give context where you need to, but if the post speaks for itself, let it. Note: for posts in feeds, only the first three lines of a caption will be displayed. For captions longer than three lines, people will have to tap “More” to read the whole thing. If you want your entire caption to display, Instagram recommends using 125 characters or fewer.”
You have to get creative. Take the time to craft your captions and only include information pertinent to the topic; if more information is needed, refer your followers to your link in bio for more information.
Be relatable, but remain professional
When writing captions, always keep your social audience in mind. Be relatable, but remain professional. Meaning, get creative, have fun and be lighthearted (when applicable), but always remain professional and consistently speak in the voice of the agency or organization.
Being relatable on social media will strengthen and forge a tighter relationship between the agency/organization and its followers. That’s the goal of an agency’s social media account, to create a network of supporters. So do not be shy to show personality here and there.
Emojis and hashtags
Now, we feel that the subject of emojis and hashtags deserve an honorable mention here. In terms of emojis, never post a caption with only emojis. It will confuse your audience and their understanding of the context; a couple or a few emojis accompanied by text is acceptable as it will draw the reader’s eye in.
Finally, remember to not overdo it with the hashtags in a caption. Social media platforms such as Instagram allow users to post up to 30 hashtags; this is unnecessary. Be sure only to use hashtags that are applicable to the content of your tailored post.