What to Write in Your Social Media Captions When You Think You've Said it All
(with 10 social media prompts to help kickstart new ideas)
Have you ran out posting ideas for social media?
Odds are, you’ve posted your daily routine, you’ve shared a product or a service (probably more times than you can count), you’ve promoted a thousand how-to posts, and maybe even a bit of your home life.
After repeatedly posting all of these things, you feel like there isn’t more left to say.
You want to be unique.
You want to stand out.
You don’t want to sound like everyone else.
But you feel like you’re repeating yourself daily and running out of content.
Here’s one of the reasons that may be happening.
You’ve not clearly defined your target audience AND defined your avatars.
Yes, contrary to popular belief, they're 2 different things.
“What are you talking about Alicia, I’ve already done this.”
Bare with me.
Let's look at this again. There's a rule you need to know:
The broader your audience, the quicker you’ll run out of content ideas.
Let me tell you what I mean by that:
Serving “women over 40 who want to lose weight,” is too broad.
You’ll want to make this as specific as you can so that you know EXACTLY who it is you’re speaking to.
Step 1: Narrow down your target audience.
Instead, try serving “women over 40, with teenage children, who want to lose weight, feel healthy in body and mind and learn how to make easy affordable meals from home that taste great.”
Nowww we’re getting somewhere.
Narrowing down your audience is the first step to figuring out what to post.
Often times we stop here – and create content that’s centered around this generalized group of people.
But you’ll quickly realize that talking only to “women over 40” will limit your content.
Next you’ll need to:
Step 2: Identify multiple avatars that make up your “audience.”
Defining your audience with avatars is one of the missed yet CRUCIAL steps to creating content that reaches the right people.
After all, audiences don't buy your products and services, specific avatars do.
An avatar is a specific type of person, with distinct character and behavioral traits, defined by you, that is one of many in your audience. They are a type of persona that is the ideal candidate to purchase a specific product or service.
Creating multiple avatars, gives you various scenarios and personas to speak to as you write your content.
It's impossible to run out of things to say when you have multiple types of people to speak to.
For example, we could break our new audience into smaller avatars that describe an ideal character’s:
Name and location
Kid's sports or interests
Typical weekend plans
Favorite brands and tools
Strengths and weaknesses
Cooking habits and favorite things to do in the kitchen
Cooking shows they like to watch
The list could go on and on.
Your job as the brand and marketer is to identify and FULLY describe multiple avatars and their lifestyles so you can speak directly to these identifiers in your content and captions.
For one avatar, a post could be about some of the best places to get organic food.
For another avatar, it could be how to prepare meals when their kids are at soccer practice.
For another avatar, it could be promoting a cookware set you think they’ll love.
For another avatar, it could be a post about dancing in the kitchen and how you love doing that too.
Once you’ve identified various avatars and their personalities, traits and behaviors, you then shape your content to reflect that.
Content for “women over 40,” a broad, unspecific audience, isn’t going to give you enough ideas to find more content to share.
Get specific, develop these characters and write them down. And once you do that, you now have a better idea of what to post.
Try these 10 new prompt ideas using the avatars you created and see if you can come up with fresh captions for your social media content.
What to post on social media when you think you’ve said it all:
Now, choose 1 avatar. Depending on how many avatars you’ve created (and try to create as many as you can), you can create captions and content for each avatar using these 10 prompts.
So, for example, you’ve created 10 avatars, multiplied by 10 prompts – you should have 100 new pieces of content.
With this new strategy, now, try to come up with various captions from these prompts:
Share the 1 thing your avatar must do to achieve X by the end of the month.
Share how to overcome 1 obstacle your avatar has.
Share the “BEST thing about X,” related to your niche.
“Here’s what you’re probably doing wrong.” Share something your avatar should do differently to be successful.
Share something that your avatar should add to their to do list today.
Share the Do’s and Don’ts of X that will benefit one of your avatar.
Share 1 thing your avatar can do this week to give them X result.
Share a person (or type of person or professional) your avatar should have in their corner.
Share a tool that your avatar should add to their life (digital, physical, etc.).
“Today’s challenge.” Share a quick challenge your avatar should do or take on to help them solve a problem.
Breaking your audience into avatars is how you create a wholistic brand that speaks directly to the people you’re trying to sell to.
No more speaking to the “whole” and gaining a few. Doing that is the quickest way to run out of unique ideas.
Every day, as you post to various social media platforms (not just Instagram), speak to a smaller group of people and use relevant hashtags so you reach the right people.
Define 3-5 avatars to start. List each one, define their character traits, and descriptive traits using the bullet points above as a starting point. Write a caption that speaks to each of the avatars you’ve created directly.
Drop a comment and let me know if this was helpful!
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So that you can maximize your styled stock photos and subscription. Save time and money by getting as many, “micro images” as you can from one stock photo.
After all, stock photos like being used…
Here's what I'm talking about:
This image is taken from the Pixistock image library. It's one image, but it's a large image at 4608 x 3072 pixels.
Optimal sizing for Instagram images are 1080 x 1080 pixels, so let your micro images be at least that size before your upload to Instagram.
When looking for the right image to do “stock photo surgery,” look for ones with a lot of elements in it. For example, photo props such as notebooks, scissors, florals, etc. are great for extracting smaller images. An images with say, only a notebook, would be difficult to get the variety of photos you need for a whole month.
I also love to work with images that have white, negative space. This is the perfect place to add a logo or text to help promote your brand on Instagram.
How to Resize the Stock Photo
To start, you'll need an image editing software like Adobe Photoshop (my go-to for photo editing).
No worries though, if you do not have Photoshop try a FREE online image editing software like Canva, Pixlr or PicMonkey. These are simple to use and can do the basic editing you'll need there.
So, before you dissect the photo, remember these key elements:
Scale (makes the image larger or smaller)
Crop (cuts the image into smaller pieces)
Rotate (turns the image different ways)
Apart from overlaying your own text or graphics, these elements are all you need to extract micro images from this one photo.
Start with SCALE.
Ask yourself, how can I make this image larger or smaller? Can I zoom in to specific elements? Can I make parts that stand out in the image bigger?
Click the bottom corner of the image in your image editing software and drag it in and out to make the image larger or smaller. The image below was simply zoomed in slightly using scale.
You can extract smaller bits of the image by cropping it. Crop out parts that make sense for the post you are trying to create. For example, the watch in this photo can be used for an Instagram post saying, “time is running out!” Flex the muscles in your brain here and think of ALL the parts of the photo that can be cropped.
The image can be turned in a variety of ways.
Don't only think of it in the perspective of which you downloaded. Think of it upside down, turned 90 degrees, or what the mirror image would look like.
Play around with turning the image different ways and see what looks good and makes sense for the post you are trying to create.
Now combine the three – Scale, Crop and Rotate.
Combine the three elements to create tons of unique images for your Instagram feed.
Add quote posts to supplement and graphics and text overlay to create a unique, one-of-a-kind Instagram feed.
Focus on those three concepts to start. Yes, you can do things like warp the image and add texts and graphics (which do make them even more unique), but for beginners, this is where you begin.
So, to recap:
Make sure you choose a large photo with many photo props, elements and white space.
Find a image editing software (Paint, Photoshop, Canva, PicMonkey, Pixlr)
Make sure the image is 1080 x 1080 pixels for Instagram image optimization.
For some applications, it's not necessary to buy multiple images in one stock photo collection. You can find one stock photo that works for the look you need and maximize that purchase by cutting it into bitesize pieces.
Let's face it. Posting daily to Instagram is definitely necessary if you want to build your brand. But it doesn't have to be a chore.