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Perfecting ‘The Social Post’ Part 2

Last week we shared the winning formula for the visual component of your posts.

Now, let’s break down the next crucial part of your post.

Your image’s right hand man. The jelly to your video’s peanut butter.   Your caption.

Part 2: Your captions

Who even reads anymore?

Reading’s popularity has taken a real dive over the last decade or so. Frankly, if you’ve already stopped reading and started scrolling at this point, we’re not surprised. 
However, when it comes to social posts, it’s a different story. Captions play a powerful role in the success (or failure) of your posts.


Here are our 7 tips for crafting the perfect caption.

#1

Start with the good stuff

Front-load all the important things like your hook question, announcements, prizes and call-to-action. Leave all your hashtags, @shoutouts and minor details for the end.

Hey @Unilever, #IsThisYours? Plastic trash like this doesn’t belong in our oceans. ❤️ if you want to see companies like Unilever do their part to #BreakFreeFromPlastic! . 📷 by @justinhofman . . . #PlasticPollution #GreatPacificGarbagePatch #Unilever #recycling #waste #trash #plastic #eco #zerowaste #greenliving #oceans #nature #underwater #photooftheday #instadaily #Greenpeace #environment #activism

24.6k Likes, 191 Comments – Greenpeace International (@greenpeace) on Instagram: “Hey @Unilever, #IsThisYours? Plastic trash like this doesn’t belong in our oceans. ❤️ if you want…”

#2

Emojis: 👌 or 💩?

Emojis are super versatile.

They can be used to add personality, increase engagement and even replace emotions or feelings you can’t quite express through words.

They can even be used ironically. However, if the whole emoji look doesn’t fit your vibe, your brand, don’t feel compelled to pepper them in. Stay true to your brand 👍

Looking ⬆️

12.1k Likes, 136 Comments – @pepsi on Instagram: “Looking ⬆️”

#3

Always be CTA-ing

Implementing a call-to-action is the best way to increase your posts’ share potential.

Use action verbs such as “go” or “claim” to make your followers take notice and take part.

Ways that you can encourage people to stop scrolling and participate include:

Ask a question

Direct people to a link in your bio

Invite people to tag other people

Get people to join your competition

Lefties have not had it easy. So this International Left-Handers Day, we created a limited-edition Left-Handed OREO cookie package. Sign up so you can twist, lick, and dunk the left way at lefthandedoreo.com.

7,771 Likes, 223 Comments – OREO (@oreo) on Instagram: “Lefties have not had it easy. So this International Left-Handers Day, we created a limited-edition…”

#4

K.I.S.S


Keep it simple. Unless you have a story worth telling. 

Dreams don’t have an expiration date. #justdoit

379k Likes, 2,888 Comments – @nike on Instagram: “Dreams don’t have an expiration date. #justdoit”

#5

Count your hashtags

If you were stranded on a desert island and could only bring a few hashtags, which ones would you bring?

Hashtag fatigue is a real thing and #using #too #many #in #your #posts #can #not #only #be #distracting, but downright #annoying.  

Research on the topic reveals that “Instagram posts with at least one hashtag have 12.6% more engagement than those without” (Adweek), and that the optimum number of hashtags is actually around 10 per post.

Keep them relevant, pointed and to a minimum and if you absolutely need to use more, place them away as a first comment.

To all the women that inspire us every day, happy #InternationalWomensDay!

8,085 Likes, 128 Comments – Coca-Cola (@cocacola) on Instagram: “To all the women that inspire us every day, happy #InternationalWomensDay!”

#6

Sometimes the best caption is no caption

When an image is arresting, it doesn’t need to say “look at me”.

When you hashtag and @mention everything and everyone under the sun, sometimes it can come off like you’re trying a little too hard.

A captionless post, when used correctly, relays a certain level of boldness. It’s confident in its silence. And all brands benefit from confidence. Give it a go.

Instagram post by Beyoncé * Sep 16, 2018 at 3:10am UTC

2.3m Likes, 7,163 Comments – Beyoncé (@beyonce) on Instagram

#7

Give yourself a promotion

Why not take the opportunity to cross-promote? Use the caption to promote your other social media accounts. This is a great way to:

  • Keep followers engaged
  • Recruit new followers
  • Use other channels to your advantage e.g. for their formats and features.

The Razer Phone 2 is now officially – STILL the only phone with a 120Hz display, and a bunch of adjustments to make it more flagship-ready. Full video live on the channel!

98k Likes, 490 Comments – Marques Brownlee (@mkbhd) on Instagram: “The Razer Phone 2 is now officially – STILL the only phone with a 120Hz display, and a bunch of…”

Look forward to Part 3: Your Feed.

 

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