How to Write Social Media Captions that Convert
The Kate Show | Episode 72
Social media stresses out most interior designers and home stagers due to the lack of professional photos in their arsenal and perhaps, the even greater issue, the fear of not knowing what to write along with those photos even if they do exist.
Does this describe you? If so, you know that attempting to write a solid social media caption is hard work. Perhaps you, like me, have been tempted to post the photo of a designed or staged room and simply write, "We love this space!" ...And leave it at that.
However, there are a few problems with this approach and there are even more easy tricks you can use to make writing social media captions easier, faster, and more effective. I'm diving into all of this on today's episode of The Kate Show. Be sure to subscribe on iTunes or Google Play.
Listen to the Episode
What is More Important, the Photo or the Caption?
I consult with interior designers, home stagers, and workrooms owners all over the nation, and I've found that nearly all of them are fixated on one thing, regardless of how successful their businesses are:
"I need photos that I can post on social media, but my portfolio isn't big enough."
While this is a legitimate concern, photos are only a third of what makes a social media post successful at gaining attention. Captions can take a generic image from mediocre to meaningful just by telling a story, sharing a life lesson, a design or staging tip, etc.
That said, the caption is slightly more important than the image, and a good caption takes time to craft. Plus, in order for that lengthy caption to resonate well, it often has to be written by the main voice of your company - either you or someone on your team who truly understands your ideal client and your business goals.
Why the Length of Your Caption Matters
Just as saying, "We love this space," is a lame excuse for a caption, droning on and on about something that doesn't matter to your audience isn't a good strategy either. I like to aim for the middle ground - three or four sentences of meaningful words that, every so often, ends with a call-to-action like, "click the link in our bio to learn more," or "comment with your input."
The Content of Your Caption is Key
What should you say in those three or four sentences? You have options:
Share a design or staging tip
Share a customer testimonial
Share a personal story
Share a problem that you overcame
Explain what inspires you about each project
Describe the design elements or staging techniques used in the photo you posted - even if it's not a photo of your work
The Framework of a Great Social Media Caption
Below is a sentence-by-sentence break down of what your social captions could include. This is a rough framework that is meant to point you in the right direction, not a template that you need to follow religiously.
Ask a question or make an attention-getting statement. You could even dive right into a story, "One time I..." All of these tactics make it nearly impossible for fans to stop reading and sets the precedence for everything else you're about to say.
Explain how you felt / how the client felt about the situation or statement you just described.
Share what you learned or what your opinion is of the fist sentence.
Share a call-to-action, such as, "Click the link in my bio to learn more," or, "Click the link in my bio to book a consult," or, "Comment with how you would handle this," or whatever makes sense to say.
Tips for Efficiently Writing Social Media Captions
Because writing can be time-consuming and even intimidating, I suggest that you use one or all of the following tactics:
Choose a set number of days to post each week.
While posting daily is often touted as the only way to run your social media, posting 3x per week will also give you good results. Post on the same days each week to make it easier to stay consistent.
Use a scheduling tool.
If you are posting on Facebook, you can use Facebook's built-in scheduler for business pages. If you are posting on Instagram (or both), you could use Hootsuite's free plan or, my favorite tool, HopperHQ.
Batch-create your captions.
Decide how many times per week you will be posting, then sit down and write all the captions at once. If you plan to post 3x per week, you need to write only 12 captions. When you look at it this way, it's not that hard.
Focus your captions on a different theme every month.
Which service do you want to promote? You could talk all about color for a month, listing 3 color tips, 3 color palette inspirations, 3 testimonials about your business that involve color selection, and 3 spaces that you or someone else designed that you know your fans will love.
Reuse paragraphs from your blog posts as captions.
If you did the work once, why do it again? Just make sure you put a call-to-action at the end.
FAQS about Social Media Images and Captions:
Is it wrong to repost images from other people?
As long as you tag them to give them proper credit, reposting is not a bad strategy. However, don't make it 100% of your strategy.
Is it wrong to use stock photo images in place of or in between your own portfolio images?
You'll need to make sure those images are safe to use. Either buy them or get them from legal, free resources where each photo is protected by the Creative Commons Zero License, which means they can be used for business and do not need to be cited or paid for first.
Can I repost my own photos or similar photos, such as a photo of my recent project from a different angle?
Yes to all of the above. Most of your fans don't see every image you share, and next to no one will complain if you share the same or similar images multiple times. That can actually be a good way to make sure your portfolio or personal images get the most publicity.
What if getting personal in a caption feels too uncomfortable?
Don't say anything that will make you or your audience feel weird. "Getting personal" in a caption can be as simple as sharing what your favorite color is and why or as deep as sharing how you overcame the biggest disappointment of your life.
I feel that I don't photograph well. Can I get away with not posting photos of myself?
Certainly, but your marketing will be less effective as a result. People want to see and know you far more than they want to see your projects or hear about your services. In fact, the relationship their mind builds from seeing your face will make them more inclined to car about and work with your business.
If you feel that you don't photograph well, book a lifestyle photo shoot with a great photographer, someone who makes you feel comfortable. Get your hair and makeup done beforehand, and make sure your environment and outfit help you feel your best. Don't over do it, but don't let your fear of being a real person hurt your marketing, either. Don't post all the photos from that photo shoot at once. Post a photo and a fact about yourself once per week or at least once every two weeks.
Sample Social Media Posts from Socialite Vault
Captions and hashtags are always included.
Get social media images and captions done for you at Socialite Vault
Each post comes with a safe-to-use image, a caption that you can use as-is or expound upon, and a set of 25-30 hashtags for you to place at the end of the caption or within the first comment on Instagram.