The templates I create are meant to stop the scroll and make the first half of the posting process as easy as possible.
The second half, which is the caption, is up to you! This is your time to shine and really offer value and deep connections with your community. 🌈
So what makes a great caption and gets you results? There are 3 things that go into a great caption: hook, story and call-to-action (CTA).
The Anatomy of a Great Caption
A hook is like a headline that peaks interest and can quickly sum up what the caption is about.
Some great hooks are:
. Ways to do [x]
. What you're doing wrong in [x]
. How to have the best [x]
. Solve [x] by doing [x]
A great way to become familiar with hooks are to read headlines from Buzzfeed. They are super clever and catchy.
The main part of the caption is the story. This is where you can literally tell a personal story, share your truths or give educational value. This is where human connections form and where your community builds their trust in you.
It's really hard to build a strong community without some vulnerability on your part.
Go through some of your favorite accounts. I bet the reason you're following them is because they have a lot of personal stories to share and those are the ways you connect with them.
The CTA is where you ask your audience to do one easy thing that will help with your engagement or post goal (liking, commenting, messaging, sharing, saving, visiting a link).
Don't think of it as being bossy, but rather easy decision making. It's easier for your audience to keep scrolling unless you mention they tap on a link or share the post with a friend they think will need it.
If you're unsure what kind of CTA to do, think of the desired result you want. Do you want your audience to head over to your website and make a purchase or share the post with their friends for more brand exposure? Sometimes it helps to know what result you want before you create a fun way of saying it.
Try to stay away from super personal questions (unless that's how your community rolls) or questions that might be too hard to answer. If you're unsure, stop for a minute and ask yourself the question. Is it easy for you to answer? If it's too long or complicated, try to switch it up.
Above all, keep the CTA simple and easy.
*A CTA isn't necessary for every single post, but do try to add one every once in awhile and especially when you are in a marketing phase.
Other Caption Necessities
After you've written your caption, go back and re-read it to make sure it makes sense and to catch any grammatical errors.
Use line breaks so it's easier to read. Have you ever read through a long caption that was one big chunky paragraph? If you did, I'm sure it wasn't pleasant or easy!
Emojis are proven to be more appealing and are easier to convey emotion. Use them where it's relatable.
Use short lists. Anything more than 6 bullet points is going to lose the reader's attention span and overwhelm them.
Hashtags are a great and easy way for members of your target audience to find you. When used correctly, you have better chances of attracting your ideal client. When thinking of hashtags, think of them in terms of SEO (search engine optimization). Search out hashtags that are relevant to your niche, that are things your ideal client would search for and hashtags that are relevant to that specific post. Add a geotag if you're in a specific area that needs recognition.
Hashtags are not a quick growth strategy, but another way for your post to be found and seen. Use them on every single post so you up your chances of getting seen by new audiences.
Tip: It doesn't matter where you place your hashtags, whether they are at the bottom of your caption or in the comments.
Optional - Alt Text:
Alt text describes your photos for people with visual impairments. It also aids as an additional SEO for your post so it can be found more.
Most of the time this needs to be manually added in when you post manually, but some scheduling apps do have the option to add alt text to scheduled posts.
To help you get in the habit of making sure you're hitting each target for your captions, here is a Caption Checklist freebie!