Do you feel like writing social media captions is taking you a lot longer than you’d like? Or are you getting frustrated that no one is commenting or engaging with your posts? Or maybe, you’re feeling a little bit of both!
I’ve been there too. Which is why I spent time analyzing and being inspired by the storytelling of some of my favorite social media gurus, like Jenna Kutcher and Ashton Longsmith.
That was when I discovered that each of these wonderful women follow a simple yet powerful template to write captivating captions.
And I’m spilling the beans so you can write captions that get noticed, connect with your audience, and bring your stories to life!
Just as you may follow a recipe to bake your favourite cake, there are a few guidelines to follow when writing a strong Instagram or Facebook post.
Follow these 5 steps while adding a dash of “your voice” to the batter to create posts that not only sound like you but resonate with your audience too!
Step 1: Stop the scroll with your photo/video.
Have you ever flipped through a recipe book and instantly stopped because the photo looked delicious? You want to do the same on social media. Whether it’s an image, graphic design, or video, make sure it’s eye catching, clear and bright!
Tip: If you are posting a video or Reel, create a custom graphic that includes a title so people scrolling know what your video is about.
Step 2: Start with a Hook!
On Instagram, you only have about 75 characters (basically 1 sentence) before people have to click “more” to read the rest of your post. That means your first sentence needs to be enticing to capture the attention of your audience.
Think of your hooks like the title of a recipe or magazine article. They are usually short and sweet, and intriguing.
Write an engaging first sentence that entices your followers to click “more” and read the rest of your post.
Step 3: Break Up Your Caption
The body of your post is where you get to dive deeper into telling us your story, sharing with us tips, educating us on a topic, or inspiring us. Include words or descriptions in your post that your audience can relate to or that helps to tell a story!
But while doing that, you also want to keep the body of your post concise and clear.
Majority of people are scrolling through social media on their phones. That means a post may look longer than it actually is.
How can you make it easier to read? By following the “recipe” rule.
A recipe is broken down into steps to make it easier to read. Do the same with the body of your social post by using bullet points, emojis, and paragraphs. Or, literally break things down into steps.
Tip: Copy and paste your caption into your phone, like you would be sending a text message to a friend. Does it look too long or hard to read? If so, tighten the post up or add a few more paragraphs. Remember, sometimes less is more!
Step 4: Include a Call To Action (CTA)
All recipes have a CTA. They tell you what temperature your oven should be at and how long to bake your goodies.
Social media posts should have a CTA too! They are usually found at the end of your post (the last sentence), and they tell your audience what you want them to do next.
Keep your CTA simple, and literally, tell your audience what to do. This helps with engagement and will increase the visibility of your post to others.
Step 5: Increase Your Reach with Hashtags
Hashtags are like the ice cream on top of your fudge brownie – optional, but in my opinion, a must!
Hashtags help you become discovered by new potential followers. You can include up to 30-hashtags for each Instagram post. It is recommended that you only use about 5 hashtags on Facebook.
Bonus Tip: Read Your Captions Out Loud
Remember, you want your posts to sound natural. Just like how you would sound when you speak.
Whether you are quirky, sassy, soulful, silly, or a swear-bear, let your personality shine through with the words you use.
Once you’ve written your caption, give yourself a breather, and then read it out loud. You might notice an awkward flow in your caption or a word repeated twice in one sentence.
Reading your caption out loud gives you a chance to see if the post sounds like you.
Now you have the winning recipe for writing delicious social media posts!