All Praise to the Catchy Caption


When it comes to value-per-word, captions are hard to beat. Demanding minimal verbiage, they utilize concentrated power to grab attention and spur action. Just try to resist a catchy caption. You just can’t do it.

What makes the catchy caption? Clearly, brevity is a crucial starting point. In fact, social media marketers don’t have much choice. All prominent social media services impose character limits on captions. Currently, Facebook permits up to 63, 200 characters per post. Twitter, a slim, trim 280. The other services follow suit. So, whether you like it or not, short n’ sweet is the hand you’ve been dealt.

Brevity is only the first step to catchiness, however. Next up in importance is a solid commitment to personalization and cordiality. If possible, avoid sterile phrasing such as “XYZ Brands is hosting a special sales event this Thursday.” Instead, create a human connection with phrasing such as “We’d really enjoy having you with us for a grand celebration …”

Clutter-free messaging also enhances caption power. To that end, maintain a streamlined word load, eliminating every scrap of extraneous data. Basically, you want to communicate one or two key points – and that’s it. Any overspill invites confusion.

Once you decide on the key points, don’t wait until visitors click to read more. They may not. Social media marketers should make sure every one of those points is fully expressed in the caption. The ideal format for this approach is a series of concise sentences, each one communicating a particular point on your list. As in Great Sale on Pet Tarantulas This Week. Save 10%. In Store. One Day Only. This content reflects all vital info necessary to trigger the desired user action – whatever that is.

Remember, important points needn’t be stated – they can be asked. A poignant question or two can lend true catchiness to virtually any caption. Example: “Would you like to save big on pet tarantulas?” etc.

Finally, don’t shy away from the funny bone. As with the question format, a humorous turn of phrase can jazz up even the driest, drabbiest points infusing your caption. It also can make caption creation a whole lot more fun.

If you have questions or comments about social media captions, or about any other brand-related topic, feel free to send them our way. You can connect with the Young Company team at 949-376-8404 or And be sure to follow us for the latest brand marketing news and tips.