I was asked a question just the other day, and as I was jotting down a few notes to answer it, I realised that it would make a GREAT blog post!
“How do I create super engaging social media captions? Mine just get a couple of likes and nothing else … What am I doing wrong?”
Learning how to make your social media posts look more exciting could make so much of a difference to how much engagement you get. The more fun, exciting and eye-catching your Facebook/Twitter/Instagram posts are, the more they are going to be engaged with — likes, comments, shares, new page likes, etc. The more you invite engagement, the more engagement you will get. Sometimes, that means simply asking for it. We’ll talk about that in just a moment.
The secret behind a booming social media page, whether it’s for a blog, a small business, or an influencer, is a combination of unique, eye-catching images + fabulous captions.
So let’s make ‘em fabulous!
How to Create Super Engaging Social Media Captions
There are actually LOADS of ways that you can make your social media posts so much more entertaining, engaging, and inviting. I’m going to throw a bunch of tips and tricks your way, but don’t feel like you need to use them all, especially not right away.
Don’t forget: people who have followed or liked your page for a while are going to notice if you radically overhaul things. They might think your page has been taken over by someone brand new!
(And yes, I have seen this happen. I once took over the Facebook page for a small, local business and one customer asked why everything had changed!)
If you’re going for a massive image overhaul on social media, it might be a good idea to give people a little ‘heads up’. Let them know that you’re livening things up, and maybe even ask them — your audience — to get involved.
They’re the people who follow your page; what do THEY want to see more of?
1 – IMAGES, IMAGES, IMAGES
If you’re not using images in your social media posts, you’re doing it wrong.
A picture says a thousand words, and your picture could say a thousand words that a passerby WON’T take the time to read in a caption. You could have the wittiest and interesting caption in the world, but if you don’t have a decent image, you’re probably not going to attract the attention of those whose feed it pops up on.
A study* showed that only ten percent of the information someone reads on social media is going to be remembered two or three days later. Throw a decent image into the equation, on the other hand, and things fair a little better: sixty percent of that information is remembered.
2 – USE MORE THAN ONE IMAGE
Seems so obvious, doesn’t it? Simply add a few more bright and eye-catching images into the mix and you’ve got yourself a recipe for success!
Because you’re actively encouraging people to stop, take a moment, and actually scroll through a couple of, if not all of, your images.
When there’s just one picture, people can see everything they’re going to see.
When there’s more than one picture, and they look like they could be really good pictures, you might just steal an extra few minutes of attention on YOUR content. Grabbing attention like that on social media is a tough job, but posts that contain more than one image ALWAYS and CONSISTENTLY generate better engagement than posts containing just one image alone.
Source: Every social media account I’ve ever had the pleasure of managing.
3 – IMAGE SIZES
There is nothing worse than taking the perfect photo, only for your social media platform to crop it weirdly and cut out the best bit. Knowing the image sizes for Facebook/Instagram/Twitter can help you to create a page that is beautiful and uniform, without any of that weird cropping business.
Things get a bit complicated with social media and images, mostly because they change from laptop/desktop to smartphone formats. I found more information on the exact and up-to-date image sizes for Facebook here:
Social Media Photo Size Guide 2018 on havecamerawilltravel.com
4 – USE LINE BREAKS
I once saw a tweet that said something along the lines of:
“Please put lines in your social media posts so that it isn’t just one solid block of text. Some of us have real trouble reading it, and breaking it up would make life easier.”
That’s not an exact quote, and for the life of me I can’t remember who posted the original tweet, but they were words that really resonated with me. I’m quite a fan of large blocks of text personally, too easily distracted by dancing gifs and images, but I do appreciate I’m in the minority there.
I did take a look and realise that many of my social media posts looked like long, boring lectures, though, so I decided to add some blank lines in and break things up a bit. I share more tips n’ tricks to make Facebook [/social media] posts more exciting and easy to read here: 8 Ways to Make Facebook Posts Look More Exciting.
Personally, I believe that people engage with social media posts much more when the text is spaced out and easy-to-read, especially when there’s a lot of text involved. People love to see/read websites and blogs with plenty of white space, and it would appear that they like their social media posts that way, too.
Throw a line break or two in there.
Hit that enter button.
Make it easier for people to read the important and witty stuff you have to say!
5 – ADD EMOTION WITH EMOJIS
Hi, my name’s Kim and I’m an emoji addict 🙋🏼♀️
I love emojis. I use them all the time. Too much.
On social media.
In blog posts.
In text messages.
Sometimes, I even use them in little notes I leave for myself. (As if I needed an angry face to remind me that someone had scribbled in my brand new notepad and ruined it for me and I needed to buy a new one … )
Is there such a thing as too many emojis?
Nah. Not now.
If you had asked me that question a couple of years back, even a year back, I would have said to be mindful of your emoji usage, but everyone’s going nuts with them now. Entire marketing campaigns have been created using them. Successful ones, too.
You know what they say: if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.
6 – HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT THE ‘OTHER’ EMOJIS?
I only found out about the OTHER emojis a while back. Admittedly, they’re more like little symbols than actual emojis, but they’re cute and I love them and now I use them all the time.
I have a Mac and I use the shortcode: ctrl + cmd + spacebar to bring up the little emoji box.
Go right to the end, where the little arrows are, and it’ll bring up a whole bunch of brand new symbols that are just dying to be used. They’re slightly less garish than actual emojis, which can see overly childish if you’re trying to write a sensible blog post or social media status.
(How many of you IMMEDIATELY checked out those ‘secret’ symbols once you read that?!)
7 – AVOID YAWNFUL CAPTIONS
Are your captions boring?
Look at them again … Are they boring?
People don’t like boring. They like fun and humour and all things brilliant or witty. So, go be witty. Have a laugh with your audience — make things seem a little more personal. Inject some of your own personality into your Facebook update, and actually ASK for some engagement.
Ask questions, for opinions, for advice — it doesn’t matter, just ask for it.
If you’re having a hard time coming up with witty and interested captions for your Facebook, Instagram or Twitter posts, I’m about to throw a truckload of suggestions your way.
Are you ready?
- Are You Using Your Blog Posts for Social Media Content?
- 100 Tweet Suggestions for Bloggers (Also great for blog posts, Instagram, and Facebook!)
- Where to Find Content for Instagram When You Have Nothing to Post
8 – USE YOUR BLOG CONTENT
I’ve shared the link to my blog post discussing this one already, in point no. 7, but I want to talk about it some more.
If you’re not using the content you’ve ALREADY written for your blog, in your social media captions, you’re doing things totally wrong.
Absolutely all wrong.
You’ve ALREADY written a bunch of wonderful words. That’s what your blog post is. And how many words does that blog post have? 500? 750? 1,000? More than that? That’s PLENTY of content for you to use as fabulous, witty, engaging social media captions.
As I said before:
“You’ve already written that content. It’s great content. Why would you try to REWRITE already-brilliant content so that it fits for Facebook? Just use the already-brilliant words.”
9 – ASK A DAMN QUESTION
I’ve got a secret to tell you. Okay, so, it’s not much of a secret, but I still feel like so many bloggers need to hear it …
Are you ready for it?
The best way to get engagement on your social media posts is to ASK. FOR. IT.
- Ask for opinions.
- Get your audience to shout out suggestions or recommendations.
- Start a debate.
- Kickstart a conversation.
When you personally engage with your audience, they’ll be more inclined to engage with you. And what’s the best way to do that? Actually, ask them questions.
You could ask your audience ANYTHING. Literally, anything. People on the internet simply can’t wait to tell you THEIR side of the story, or THEIR opinion. Why not take advantage of that? Ask them to give you their opinions or recommendations. Ask them to engage with you.
10 – USE THE TOOLS ON OFFER
And by tools, I mean polls on Facebook and Twitter, Facebook Live, Instagram Stories, social media advertisements, etc.
There are too many tools on social media platforms these days (in my opinion), but that’s a good thing for you — the blogger or small business owner. The more tools you have and use, the more chances you have of actually engaging with your followers.
Are you planning on buying something new? Have you narrowed it down to three different choices but you’re still not sure which one to buy + try? How about asking your followers via the method of a poll? Twitter offers polls. Facebook offers pools. I think we should all use them a bit more! They’re fun!
Spend a bit of time learning what each of the social media platforms has to offer in terms of posts and updates, and start using them to your advantage. If you need a hand understanding and working it all, feel free to give me a shout!
11 – TALK TO OTHER PEOPLE
They don’t call it SOCIAL media for nuthin, ya know?
It seems like the most obvious thing in the world, but have you ever tried actually talking to people on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram?
Do you like another blogger’s photos on Instagram? Tell them on Twitter, share their Instagram link, and tag them.
Ummmm, why not?
Wouldn’t it be lovely if someone did that to you? I’d love that. Also, and I feel this is an even more important point: if you’re following the 80/20 rule on social media (80% your content, 20% content that is not yours), you’re going to need to fill that 20% with something. Why not with a share of someone else’s blog or socials?
- Compliment other people on Twitter.
- Say “thank you” when someone shares your stuff.
- Give shoutouts to other people.
- Ask other people questions.
12 – RESPOND TO YOUR COMMENTS
Like, all of them. Delete the stupid troll comments that have no place on your page, of course, but respond to all the rest of them. Even it’s just to say “Thank you!”. And yes, I’m talking about those annoying 25-emojis-in-a-row comments.
It’s all engagement.
13 – GET VIDEO-TASTIC
Video does so well on social media, and you can create a video without actually being on or in a video yourself. I hate being ON camera. I’m much better behind it. But there are so many — too many — apps that you can download to your phone or tablet to create funky, slideshow-style videos.
Do you have a hundred and one photos of a beauty product? Love them all and can’t work out which ones to share on your social media platforms?
Share them all!
Facebook even gives you the option to create a slideshow when uploading photos, so I definitely think you should give it a try, practice a couple of times, and work out whether or not it might be a good engagement generator for you.
14 – SWITCH UP YOUR PUBLISH TIMES
One of the very first questions small business owners and bloggers ask me is:
“What’s the best time to post on social media?”
They usually hate the answer I give them:
“I don’t know, you tell me?”
The reason I respond with that is because the “best times” will differ from business to business and blogger to blogger. If everyone followed the most popular-times ‘rules’ that social media experts publish online, those time periods would be so saturated with content that a whole bunch of it would never get seen. Those popular times might very well come with best results in terms of engagement, but it’s also incredibly high competition. If you’ve seen that suggested time frame on a blog, a hundred other people will have seen the exact same information.
I personally recommend switching up your times and days of published blog and social media posts. Stop scheduling your posts for the same times every day or week. Be more creative than that — perform your own experiments. Instead of posting at 5 pm on a Friday afternoon, post at 11:30 pm on a Friday night instead. You won’t know whether or not that time+date combo is good for you and your business or blog until you actually try it.
Use a weird mix of times and days for a while, like, 3 am, or midnight on a Saturday, or 6:30 am on a Sunday morning. Make a note of what happens when you do. You’ll soon get an idea of which times and dates work for you. If you get lots o’ likes and comments, you know that particular time is a really good one for you.
You’ve got nothing to lose.
You might gain a couple of awesome new “best times” to post on social media, though.
So …. what d’ya think?
Have I suggested a few tips you’ll definitely try for yourself and your own blog’s social media pages? I’d love to know how you got on if you do, so please come back and let me know. If you have questions, feel free to get in touch, too.
Just remember — to have a successful social media strategy, you actually need to post to your social media accounts. So, go post!
RESOURCES + READING: