Instagram marketing is all about graphics. The quality of your photos will be the differentiating factor when it comes to gaining Instagram followers, getting them interested in your brand, what it is, and showing the human side of your business.
But the work doesn’t end later. taking that beautiful photo and editing it to perfection. Your post caption is where you will voice that visual content.
A good Instagram caption explains what the photo is about, has a call to action or adds something that makes your content even better and shareable.
If you think your Instagram post caption is something more, you are missing out on the opportunity to get more engagement that you would not achieve with a simple visual impact . Here are some tips to help you write better captions.
1. Write several drafts first
Have you ever thought about the perfect line after it was a little too late to tell it? We all had a similar feeling when we created the perfect Instagram caption once the post was already published.
The lesson? Don’t rush the process . Instead, write down some subtitle ideas, think about it, and take your time.
Thanks to the change in Instagram’s feed algorithm, the level of engagement your posts receive is more important of the chronology. In fact, the Instagram feed no longer shows the posts in chronological order but rather the posts with which the user is most likely to interact.
So the visibility of your posts in your followers’ feeds will depend on the number of likes and comments of a post, your relationship with the user, time spent in the post and other factors.
That’s why it’s important to take the time to build a great caption that will keep your followers hooked on reading it, satisfy them enough to share your posts with their friends, and encourage them to engage with your content.
2. Write the important things at the beginning
The maximum number of characters for an Instagram caption (2,200 characters) is basically a formality. But the important thing to note is that the captions in the users feed only show three or four lines of text before the “show all”.
This doesn’t mean you should keep your captions super short so users can see 100% of them without having to click on “more”. Instead, s create your captions so that the important content and call to action are at the top and leave any hashtags and mentions at the end.
3. Include a call to action
The best way to increase the sharing potential of your Instagram posts and engage your followers is to have some sort of call to action on your photo captions. This means using action verbs to get people to do something, instead of passively swiping. We have found that verbs generate more shares on Twitter than nouns and adjectives: the same can be true for Instagram.
For example, you could say “double tap if you find it funny” or “write what do you think in the comments. ”
Here are some other ideas to get you started:
Ask a question.
Encourage people to comment with their experiences. You may be able to use these experiences to shape your Instagram strategy to come up with new ideas for your content. Also by creating conversations under your posts you can easily increase the engagement of your account.
H&M : “Everything you need for a weekend away from home. Where would you go? ”
Clickable URLs are only allowed in the “website” box in your bio. That’s why the optimized Instagram profiles frequently update that URL , to point to their latest blog articles, ecommerce products, YouTube videos according to their needs.
For example , would you like to increase traffic to your blog? Just change the link and then post a photo that mentions the new link in its caption.
To edit the link in your bio, go to your profile page and click “Edit Profile”.
Then, simply enter the URL to send traffic to in the URL box.
Invite people to tag their friends.
Encourage your followers to share your post by inviting them to tag their friends. Here are some examples of fun and clever ways some brands have asked followers to tag friends.
Frooti: “It’s the day of the beetle! Tag some friends you’d like to play with. ”
H&M: “Are you planning a luxury getaway with your best friend? Tag your offending travel companion! ”
Invite people to join a contest.
Contests are great for increasing engagement with brand exposure on Instagram.
Simply invite people to post their photos and tag you in the caption using a dedicated hashtag, like BuzzFeed Tasty does below.
Consider including the official contest rules in your caption for interested people and even a link in your bio.
4. Limit yourself to a few hashtags.
On Instagram, hashtags are used to merge similar conversations into one stream. As long as your account is public, anyone who searches for that hashtag can find your post on Instagram.
Hashtags are perfect for people who don’t know you yet, but who speak and are interested in the same topics, events, brands, and so on.
But use hashtags sparingly. Some Instagram users include a number of popular hashtags as a way to get more followers, but the truth is that it just seems like a desperate attempt to get noticed by more people . If you use a ton of hashtags, people will notice it and this will have a negative effect on your engagement. Limit your hashtags to three or four, at most.
And remember, you don’t have to use hashtags if you don’t want to. You don’t need hashtags to have a great Instagram caption . Here’s an example of a good Starbucks hashtag-free caption:
Unless the hashtags fit naturally in a sentence , do not list any hashtags until the end of the caption, this will make it more user-friendly.
Also, if the caption is long enough to be clipped, the hashtags that are only there for the post to be found from new people will be hidden.
5. Combine your brand voice with Instagram’s carefree tone.
Each social media has a different tone that works best. While a serious, professional tone may work well on LinkedIn, for example, that same tone won’t work as well on Instagram. The best Instagram posts tend to have a lighthearted and fun tone , showcasing the more authentic, human and likable side of a brand.
That’s why you’ll need to adapt the voice of the brand. your bran for the most lighthearted tone of Instagram. It will be easier for brands whose voices are already lighthearted and fun, like Wistia:
Or do you need space to write instructions or a recipe?
Or do you prefer a minimalist approach with a few words?
6. Use emojis
Emojis can add personality and emotions to an Instagram caption. That’s why many brands use them in their captions, even the most “serious” brands.
There are many different ways to use emojis in your posts. For example, you can use them at the beginning of the post to grab people’s attention, like this:
You can also use them in sentences to replace words or at the end of a post as a sort of “punchline” like this:
You can also use the caption to cross-promote your other social media accounts. This is a great way to know to your followers what other social networks they can find you in, so that your followers on Instagram can become your followers on Twitter, your subscribers on YouTube, etc.
For example, you could promote a campaign that is taking place on another channel, as Coca-Cola did here:
8. If in doubt, be brief.
Depending on the audience, captions may need to be longer than a few words or phrases. For example, if you are in the food niche, you could put entire recipes in your captions, and that’s okay, p urche write the most important information at the top of the caption (like the name of the recipe), so that it is visible at first glance.
But if you are still not sure what your brand voice is, a good rule of thumb is to keep it short. Some of the best Instagram captions are short punchlines, or somehow get to the point quickly and let the visual content do most of the work.