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Social Media Marketing Blog

How Later's Team Writes Engaging Social Media Captions

Updated on October 20, 2023
6 minute read

Insert clever caption here. ✍️

Published October 20, 2023

A strong social media caption can help you connect with your target audience, drive engagement, and even make sales.

But writing social media captions is easier said than done — especially when you have a lot of upcoming posts.

In this blog, we're sharing our top tips (according to Later’s social team!) for writing social media captions that'll win over audiences, with ease.

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What Are Social Media Captions?

To put it simply, a social media caption is the text that accompanies a photo or video on social media. 

It can be used to give context to the visual content, share a personal story, or even add some humor to your post. 

social media captions - olipop

Alongside your content, captions are an important lever for community-building and can also be used to spark action — whether it's encouraging followers to click the link in your bio or share with a friend.

FYI: Over 7M social media managers, creators, and brands use Later's social media management tools to write captions, plan content, and analyze results. Create an account today.

What Makes a Good Social Media Caption? 

A good social media caption has the power to grab a user’s attention, convey a message, and evoke emotion.

According to Later’s Social Media Specialist, Chantal Hermetz, “A good social media caption summarizes your content while adding value, in as few words as possible.” 

social media captions - taco bell

In other words, don’t overthink it.

Instead of writing several long paragraphs, opt for something more concise — whether it's a few short sentences or five simple words.

Ready to supercharge your social media captions? Bookmark our free Instagram Captions Ideas Library page.

5 Tips for Writing Social Media Captions 

Writing compelling social media captions takes some practice, but here are five tips to help you get started:

  1. Create Captions That Match Your Goals 

  2. Use a Compelling Hook  

  3. Include a Clear Call-To-Action

  4. Use Keywords and Hashtags 

  5. Encourage Conversation 

Tip #1: Create Captions That Match Your Goals 

Before you put pen to paper, it’s important to ask yourself: what’s your post’s goal? 

Are you hoping to elicit more comments? Drive traffic to a specific link? Reach new audiences? 

While you might have multiple goals for your overall social media strategy, honing in on one per post will help create clarity around your messaging.

For example, take a look at Later's carousel post:

social media captions - later carousel

Since the goal was to drive more clicks, we provided a snippet of free education to compel our audience to click the link in our bio to learn more.

Speaking of goals, learn everything you need to know about goal-setting in this post: How to Set Social Media Goals in 2023 (+ Free Course)

Tip #2: Use a Compelling Hook 

With increasingly short attention spans, front-loading your caption with an engaging hook is more necessary than ever. 

And with the right text, you can actually stop users mid-scroll and compel them to stick around and read the rest of your post. 

On Later’s Instagram posts, we typically start with a one-liner that feels relatable or funny: 

By using a caption that tapped into pop culture while providing value, we were able to reach a wider audience — reaching over 100K people, with more than 5K likes, and nearly 600 shares.

So, however you approach the first line of your caption, aim to grab attention! 

Got a case of writer’s block? Write your social media captions with Later’s Caption Writer feature — create an account today.

Tip #3: Include a Clear Call-to-action (CTA)

While engaging posts are key to capturing short attention spans, a clear CTA is essential if you want your audience to take action.

At Later, we like to make our CTAs stand out with a clear line break:

social media captions - later instagram

Many captions will end by letting users know that to read the full blog post or get a free downloadable, they’ll need to click the link in our bio

However, you can also take a less direct approach when it comes to creating a CTA like did here:

social media captions -

Whatever approach you choose, opt for clarity over cleverness to get conversions. 

TIP: If you're in need of more caption inspiration, bookmark this blog for later: 65 of the Best Instagram Captions for Brands

Tip #4: Use Keywords and Hashtags 

One of the easiest ways to increase your reach and engagement is to have a strong SEO (search engine optimization) and hashtag strategy

That means writing relevant, descriptive captions using choice keywords to improve your content’s discoverability.

Take the keywords “best time to post” for example. When searched on the Explore page, a relevant post from Later’s Instagram account populates:

instagram seo

And since hashtags are used with the intent to discover new content, using the “right” hashtags can put you in front of your target audience, even if they haven’t connected with you before.

At Later, we focus on smaller niche tags created by social media managers to help our target audience discover our posts: 

The takeaway? With a strong SEO and hashtag strategy, you can ensure your posts reach your target audience to give your content the visibility it deserves!

PSA: Later’s Hashtag Suggestion tool is an easy way to find hashtags based on the content of your post and similar hashtags in your industry.

Tip #5: Encourage Conversation

The tell-tale sign of a great social media post is plenty of comments. 

But in order to create a lively comment section, you need to write copy that naturally invites it.

Whether it’s by asking a question, making a bold statement, or using humor so your audience can’t help but add a few cry-laughing emojis to the mix — being conversational is key.

And if you really want to seal the deal, make sure your content is relatable by providing commentary on popular pain-points or shared moments of joy. 

And that’s it!

With captivating social media captions, you can increase your engagement, while building connections with your target audience. 

Experiment with these tips and you’ll be well on your way to writing social media captions that encourage plenty of double taps and comments galore! 

Level up your social media captions by planning, previewing, and scheduling them in advance with Later — sign up today.

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