Joyful impaired senior man in wheelchair using tablet computer at home. Positive retired male with physical disability browsing web on touch pad, watching video online indoors

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but how do you create a social media caption (or post) that enhances your photos, draws in the reader and garners engagement for your brand? The good news is that it doesn’t have to be a mystery.

At IlluminAge, we’re here to help you with your social media quandaries. We’ve put together these tips for writing engaging copy that builds brand awareness. Try them and get your audience talking to you:

  1. Use conversational language with proper grammar.

Have fun writing the caption, as though you’re talking to a family member or friend. Use a conversational tone that matches the photos. With time and practice, you’ll find the “voice” that best connects with your audience. If your initial post is very brief, think about how you would tell your family or friends about your day. Elaborate on the feelings evoked in those involved:

We celebrated CNAs this week with games, food and flowers! This team does amazing work all year long. You can see from these smiling faces they love what they do and appreciate recognition.

  1. Start with why.

Put yourself in your audience’s shoes and ask yourself why it is important to share your stories on social media. What problem can you solve with your captions? For a senior living community, your goal for your social media program may be sharing activities so that families are reassured that their loved ones are having a good time. If you are a care manager or home care provider, your posts may be focused around benefits your services provide. Knowing what you’re trying to achieve with your captions is an important step in creating engaging copy.

  1. Add a call to action.

Add something to the post that allows the reader to seek more information about your story or your brand. Add a link to your website—a page you want to highlight, a blog post, your employment page, etc.

  1. Encourage conversations.

Write captions or ask questions that encourage your audience to respond. For example, if you’re doing social posts for a senior living residence, a one-line sentence about a meal served to your residents probably won’t be enough. Try to ask open-ended questions to prompt interaction. Or try turning the scene in your photos into a question. For example, instead of simply saying, “The ice cream cones were delicious!” you could try something along the lines of “Here at our residence, we love ice cream at any time of year—what’s your favorite flavor?”

  1. Add new information.

The caption should add context to the image. If you’re having a holiday party, describe what’s happening in the pictures:

Residents and staff had a fabulous Halloween party! We enjoyed decorating pumpkins, a costume parade, and delicious monster cookies made by our talented dietary team! Congrats to Henrietta for winning the costume contest with her fairy costume.

  1. Play with #hashtags.

Hashtags identify posts that are on a specific topic—for example, “Come visit our #seniorlivingcommunity!” When someone searches #seniorlivingcommunity in that social media platform, your post will be included in the results. Hashtags can be used in the body of the caption or below the caption in a group. Use up to five hashtags in a post, and be sure they are relevant to the post or to your brand. Bonus tip: You can easily search for popular hashtags in Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram as you create the caption.

  1. @Tag your community partners.

The main goal of social is to get more eyes on your brand, which means getting better “reach” on the post. If possible, use the “@” sign immediately followed by a community partner or person’s name to tag them in the post. For example, if you want to thank Bob’s Ice Cream Shoppe for bringing treats to your residents, find their social account and their “handle.” You might say, “Thank you to @BobsIceCream for the great treats today!”  If there was an article about your company in the local paper, tag the newspaper—their social media account may interact with yours, enhancing your post’s visibility.

Bring on personality with purpose!

In short, personality with purpose is what makes social media posts shine! Purpose gives you something to work toward and makes it easier to track whether you’re getting the results you want. Personality differentiates you from other, similar brands and helps you create deeper connections with your followers. Regardless of what channel you post to, the product or service you’re selling, and the audience you’re targeting, these two things are absolutely crucial.

Here at IlluminAge, we enjoy bringing verve to senior industry brands and offer a suite of social media services that can help you with your brand. Customized plans start at $600/month. Please contact us and tell us how we can help.