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How to Write Effective Social Media Captions

Updated: Apr 1

Captions are the most important part of your content. SAY IT AGAIN. Why? They help your visual content get found. They allow you to expand on your visual content, telling a more robust story. They pull your audience in, and if they're good enough, give them something to consider. However, crafting a great social media caption can be challenging. Captions have guidelines and objectives and demand your creativity. What makes a good one? That's up for debate, but there are several great points to consider.

A photo of envelopes on a flat surface
How to Write a Great Social Media Caption

Social Media Caption Length: Short or Long?


One of the first considerations is whether your social media captions should be short and sweet or longer and more detailed.


For years, I've written quick, concise captions for my social media posts out of habit. However, I've recently experimented with slightly longer captions for myself and my clients. The results are....mixed.


According to Social Media Today, "Your captions don't have to be epic tales - Instagram's caption length might be 2,200 characters, but that doesn't mean you have to use them. Try to be creative and concise, and drive users to the actions you want them to take – i.e., viewing your content and taking action based on your visuals."


How to Write a Good Small Business Social Media Caption


To keep your audience engaged and maximize post engagement, a good caption needs the following key elements:

  1. Hook: Get your audience's attention with a first sentence that makes them have to click "read more." If you don't capture their attention with the hook of your visual or video, your caption better (if they've even bothered to read it).

  2. Call-to-Action (CTA): Include a strong CTA in your caption to encourage your audience to engage with your marketing content. (Learn more about CTAs here). If you don't tell your audience what to do next, they (most likely) won't take any action.

  3. Hashtags: Boost your posts by including well-researched hashtags in your captions to make your content more discoverable. Use them sparingly and make sure they're relevant.

  4. Most importantly - value. Give people relevant information that they're looking for. Don't waste anyone's time for clicks.


Give your captions a bit of thought, consider your audience and what they might best respond to, play around with them, test them out, and be creative.


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