Creative writing is one tool that should be in every school communications professional’s toolbox. But let’s be honest. Creating captions that keep your online community engaged and excited to follow your school’s story is not always easy.
My creativity comes in waves. Sometimes I’m on fire and can create a fun photo caption on the spot, and other times I catch myself staring at the empty description box in Meta Business Suite, wishing the caption would write itself. Are you with me?
The storytelling “rut” doesn’t discriminate – it can hit anyone anytime. But here’s the good news: Your creativity can be sparked by simply reading the work of other school communications professionals!
Our team at #SocialSchool4EDU recently held a month-long contest to see who could come up with the best caption for the districts we serve. Let me tell you; our team is FULL of creative writers! I have never been so inspired to up my own storytelling game as I was after reading all 52 submissions.
Today’s blog will look at the top three captions from our contest and some honorable mentions to keep the inspiration train going.
If you want to learn more about using creative writing to drive social media engagement, check out this blog.
The results are in!
Top 3 Leaderboard
In first place, receiving 62% of our team’s final votes, was a caption used to celebrate some furry friends who visited Parkers Prairie ISD #547.
Parkers Prairie ISD #547, Minnesota
Happiness starts with a wet nose and ends with a tail! 🐾🐕❤️
#PPPantherPride fourth graders in Mrs. Toyli’s class had some cute visitors on Friday! 😊
This caption, paired with photos of adorable puppies and students wearing some of the biggest smiles you’ve ever seen, is a true standout. It is a feel-good caption that gives followers that well-known “Awww” reaction and leaves them feeling warm fuzzies. And who doesn’t love having the warm fuzzies every once in a while?!
The other two nominations that rounded out our top three best captions tied for second place, each receiving 19% of our team’s final votes. One of the posts promoted student involvement in a club at Beaver Dam Unified School District, while the other was a #ThrowbackThursday feature from Fall Creek School District. Check them out!
Beaver Dam Unified School District, Wisconsin
🎻 Join Violin Club, 🎻 no strings attached!
Violin Club is up and running at Prairie View! Fourth grade students at every #BDFam school will have the opportunity to participate in this 6-week club during the school year. 🙌💚💛
Next up is Washington, beginning in November – watch for the sign-up form to come home later this month!
Fall Creek School District, Wisconsin
This yearbook photo is kind of a pig deal. 🐷😃
“No strings attached.” “Pig deal.” Both captions incorporate a play on words that compliments the images and uses humor and voice to grab followers’ attention.
Let’s dive into this more with some “Honorable Mentions” from our caption contest.
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Wordplay was a common theme in our team members’ best caption submissions. Whether using words that sound similar but have different meanings or using words with multiple meanings as a way to be funny, wordplay can bring a unique and original element to your posts.
Here are examples our team members came up with at #SS4EDU:
School District of Neillsville, Wisconsin
🍎🍏 We simply couldn’t have “picked” better teachers who make learning so a-peel-ing! 🍎🍏
We love our #NeillsvillePRIDE teachers and staff!
School District of Rhinelander, Wisconsin
Baking me happy! 😊👩🍳👨🍳
ProStart had a fun lab to get back into the kitchens! They made crunchy peanut butter balls with dark chocolate drizzle!
Tag someone who would ❤️ love to see this!
East Jackson Community Schools, Michigan
👀 We’ve got our eyes on you! 👀
Funny moments from EJE. 😉 #EJPride
Weyauwega Fremont School District, Wisconsin
This past weekend our #WegaFremont Equestrian Team wasn’t horsing around! 🐴😉
They competed and were Grand Champions in Division B, WIHA District 6, outscoring second place by 144 points!
They move on to State in Madison October 28-30th.
Congratulations everyone! 👏
Did you pick out the wordplay in those captions? It doesn’t have to be over-the-top; one catchy word or phrase is enough to add some humor and voice to your posts.
Let’s talk about hooks!
No, not the hook used on the end of your fishing line, but the one that grabs readers’ attention from the start. The people seeing your posts are usually glancing quickly at their newsfeeds from their mobile devices. They may be in-between classes, on a work break, waiting for the second half of the game to start, or killing time in the student pick-up line at school.
Whatever the case may be, these short periods spent on social media mean the beginning of your post has never been so important. It needs to catch the attention of your readers right away; otherwise, they will keep scrolling.
Beginning with a question, quote, poem, riddle, or definition can grab followers’ attention and spice up your school’s celebratory posts on social media. Take a look at these good examples from our caption contest.
School District of Ashland, Wisconsin
Have you heard about the new construction project that’s underway on the playground at Lake Superior Elementary? We’ve hired the best crew! 🚧👷♂️👷♀️
Cadott School District, Wisconsin
“I can’t stop Andy from growing up. But, I wouldn’t miss it for the world.” – Woody
We feel the same about our #CadottHORNETS! 💛🖤
Toy Story Thursday of Homecoming week brought many fun costumes, but these were the student and staff dress-up day winners! 🎉🙌
Our school pride goes to infinity and BEYOND!!
School District of Mauston, Wisconsin
Some people walk. 🚶♀️
Some people take the bus. 🚌
And some people drive a tractor to school! 🚜
We loved seeing these students show off their wheels for Drive Your Tractor to School Day presented by our FFA!
Waterloo School District, Wisconsin
The best bubbles in town are made by #WaterlooPirates Chemists!
They designed the perfect mix, tested it, and recorded data to ensure their bubble solution outperformed the rest.
¡Las mejores burbujas de la ciudad están hechas por los químicos de #WaterlooPirates!
Diseñaron la mezcla perfecta, la probaron y registraron datos para asegurarse de que su solución de burbujas superara al resto.
School District of Altoona, Wisconsin
It comes on a cob, it can taste yummy with butter, and can sometimes be considered sweet! What is it?!
It’s CORN! 🌽
These #AltoonaRails 5th-grade musicians learned and performed this catchy tune, which went viral on TikTok, with a ukulele accompaniment! 🎶
Give this performance a round of applause! 👏
The introduction and styles of these captions are all different, yet they each catch readers’ attention.
What about #ThrowbackThursday features?
Many of the ideas shared so far pertain to present-day celebrations, but don’t be afraid to channel your creative energy when composing #ThrowbackThursday posts, too! Our caption contest brought out ways to do this with photos found in past yearbooks. Here are two of them:
Hibbing Public Schools, Minnesota
📣 Attention Bluejacket fans: We’re interrupting your regularly scheduled broadcast to bring you this awesome blast from the past! 😀
#TBT — #GoHibbing
Little Chute Area School District, Wisconsin
It’s a bird! 🦅
It’s a plane! ✈
It’s…this week’s #TBT! 😊🙌
Are you looking for another resource with caption suggestions for your #ThrowbackThursday features? This blog has a list of 52 captions that you can easily tailor to fit your school and your school’s yearbook photos. Not to mention – you can download it for free!
What’s with the emojis?
Have you noticed each of the top captions from our contest includes emojis? Emojis are a great way to enhance your caption, add expression, and attract followers to the content you’re sharing. With so many emoji options out there, the possibilities are endless when adding them to a post!
In addition to what you see here, this helpful blog has more ideas on adding emojis to engage your social media audience. It is worth the read!
Are you ready?
Now that you’ve seen fourteen of the best captions from our contest are you itching to give these ideas a try? I hope so! But before you get started, I want to share a word of caution with you. There is such a thing as using too much creative writing to tell your school’s story.
Consider this: If all of your celebrations incorporated this kind of writing, followers would become tired of seeing your posts. They’d spot your district’s celebrations on their newsfeed and scroll right by because it has become white noise for them. Or worse yet, they may snooze your page for 30 days or unfollow your district’s page altogether. Eek! – Cue the #schoolpr nightmares!
Our goal at #SocialSchool4EDU is to shine a light on the powerful stories of students and staff and connect schools and the community. We want as many individuals to see the positive things happening inside the walls of the schools we serve and beyond as possible. That won’t happen if followers decide they no longer want to see our posts on social media.
My advice for using creative writing? Sprinkle it in! Having a mixture of posts – informational, creative, emojis, hooks, etc. – will keep your followers interested, engaged, and stopping to read your post when it appears in their newsfeeds. It’s been said that variety is the spice of life, which is absolutely true when telling your school’s story on social media!
There you have it! Some of #SocialSchool4EDU’s top captions from our team’s Best Caption Contest, all in one spot. Just as our team inspires one another with new ideas daily, I hope reading these captions sparks your creativity and helps you tell your school’s story to the world.
How do you incorporate creative writing into posts on your district’s social media? Let us know below!
This is a guest post from Andrea Mueller. Andrea serves as the Executive Assistant at #SocialSchool4EDU and an account manager for our management districts. She is a former elementary teacher who has always enjoyed cheering on her students and celebrating their wins. Andrea says, “I love having the opportunity to highlight students and staff through social media. Great things are happening in our schools every day, and our communities deserve to hear these positive stories.”