Social media has become an essential tool for businesses and individuals to reach out to their audience and grow their community. With platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and LinkedIn that continue to have such a large influence on over 4.8 billion social media users worldwide as of April 2023, it is essential to be able to write for these platforms effectively.
Captions play a huge role in social media marketing. They are the written content that accompanies your visual upload and can help you communicate your message, increase engagement, and drive traffic to your website (or other platforms/links/etc.).
In this blog post, we’ll explore what you need to know about writing for social, specifically on TikTok, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Understand the platform
Each social media platform has a different focus on content types and features. Being able to understand each platform and how they each function is crucial for writing captions. Instagram, for example, has an emphasis on photography, stories, and a recent push for more video content as reels. TikTok is a short-form video app with the purpose to either entertain, educate, or sell. Lastly, LinkedIn pushes leadership content and company/brand news.
Know your audience
It is important to remember that each social platform has a unique user base. Knowing your audience will increase your chances of engagement and will allow you to tailor your writing to their preferences. TikTok’s and Instagram’s audiences are made up of Gen Z and millennials with 30.8% of their user base being 18-24 years old, while LinkedIn’s users are more seasoned professionals. Consider the age, values, and interests of your target audience when writing your captions.
Keep it simple. TikTok captions can be short and snappy, 100 characters or less. With such a young audience on the app, it’s best to speak the language of social media — utilizing capital letters, emojis, and authentic language. Additionally, using keywords in your captions will optimize search results and drive more people to your content. According to The New York Times, Gen Z considers TikTok the new search engine. Users find information on TikTok to be more personalized and authentic when looking for reviews of products, travel destinations, and so much more. This means that being specific with captions and using the closed captions feature is ideal, as well as specific hashtags.
Instagram captions typically fall into one of these categories: a call to action, a description of the photo(s) or Reel, or a caption that provides more content to your post. Instagram captions can be lighthearted in tone and perform best with 3-5 hashtags included. When including hashtags in your captions, be specific about your content to be sure you optimize reaching your target audience or niche.
LinkedIn is the largest professional network, so its emphasis is on educational and thought leadership content. It is important when writing for LinkedIn to have a hook, as longer posts tend to perform best — so you want to engage and pull your audience in from the start. Another writing style that has success on the platform is lists: These usually produce higher engagement from likes, comments and reposts. LinkedIn is different from other social media platforms in that keeping people on the platform itself can often produce better engagement.
In conclusion, writing for social media platforms like TikTok, LinkedIn, and Instagram requires understanding your audience, keeping your content short and sweet, using visuals and hashtags, and being authentic. By knowing how to adjust your writing style for each platform, you will increase your chances and opportunity for engagement, building community, and driving sales.
Ready to ramp up your brand’s social media efforts — and to see them drive more results for your business? To learn how you can put our team of social media professionals to work for your brand, contact us today.