How to Craft Effective Social Media Captions

A person holds a smartphone with the Twitter social media app open

Finding the best word choice and length for your social media captions is a crucial part of online marketing.

Social media marketing relies heavily on the use of captions. Whether on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or Instagram, the copy you choose to place with your social media can either work for or against your marketing goals. No matter how small your social media captions may seem, every word counts! Read on for tips on how to craft the best captions for each social media account. 

Character Limits and Recommended Lengths


In general, there are a few guidelines for each social media platform and what kind of captions are successful for them. For example, Facebook statuses that are 40 to 80 characters long often do best. However, the most popular Facebook headlines are about five words long. 


On Instagram, you can add captions that are 2,200 characters long. However, captions that are just 125 characters or less are most effective. That’s not including hashtags, which most companies add four to nine of to each post.


On Twitter, you have a 280 character limit. The most common lengths for tweets, though, are between 71 and 100 characters. 


Pinterest allows you a title and a caption. The title limit is 100 characters, and the description is limited to 500. It’s important to note, though, that only the first 50-60 characters will show up in people’s feeds, and if you don’t add a title, the description is seen instead. This practice means that the first few words of your caption should already be communicating your message. 

Plan Your Copy First, Visuals Second

Often, social media captions are driven by visuals. But what if you wrote your copy first? Some social media managers swear by it, and it can be useful in freeing up your options. Focus on your message first, as that is the most important. Then, find an image that will pull attention towards your message. Either way, find the method that works best for you. 

Consider Trending Content

Looking at social media trending topics can be helpful in the initial planning and crafting of what to say. If you can incorporate a trending topic, you should. Additionally, you can look ahead to see if there are any future trends (holidays, events) that you can anticipate.

Plan Keywords and Hashtags for Discoverability

Depending on the social platform and your audience, you can sometimes get away with clever wording over precise keywords. This is most often effective on personality-based social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram. However, when you are optimizing your content for discoverability and search, you want to consider which keywords and hashtags you use. Be clear about your message and what you are promoting so potential customers or fans can find you. 

Think About Word Choice

Copywriting isn’t just about promoting your product or service. You have to communicate your message in a compelling way, which means that word choice is crucial. The English words considered the most persuasive are: 

  • You
  • Free
  • Because
  • Instantly
  • New

Stop and Glide Consonants

You can even consider the very letters that you’re using. You can avoid using stop consonants, which cause the vocal tract to block when spoken and use more glide consonants, which are frictionless when spoken. A sentence full of stop consonants is going to feel choppy and awkward when read, while one with glide consonants is a little more attractive and appealing. 

Stop consonants include: t, d, k, g, b, and p. Glide consonants include l, r, j, and w. 

Use Strategic Sentence Structure

Once you’ve chosen the right words, you can arrange them most appealingly. You can take inspiration from literary techniques, including ones like “parallelism.” With parallelism, you strategically repeat words, so phrases mirror each other. 

You should also know where to place your most persuasive words and sentences. You want to guide your reader through your text, so you need to start by grabbing their attention. You can grab them by using a power word to start, placing your key message in the first sentence, or using short “be” sentences at the beginning. “Be” sentences include a “be” verb like am, is, are, was, were, and be. 

Once you get to the end, use a “climax expression.” This climax will contain your most important phrase, to leave a strong impression with your readers about the product or service you are using social media to promote. 

Contact Adventure Web Interactive Today

For more tips on how to optimize your web content and drive more traffic to your Facebook page, follow our blog. Adventure Web Interactive offers expert marketing solutions, including blog and copywriting and social media management. Take the stress of planning, posting, and plotting off of your team and contact us online or by giving us a call at (410) 788-7007. To see more information about our team and services, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn.