Instagram is a visual-eccentric platform with little use of text. Despite this, having a killer caption accompany your picture can do wonders for your post. The few lines of text you use for your caption help provide context for your image and display your brand’s personality. Compelling captions make your posts more interesting and attract more likes and engagement.
Most Instagrammers find it challenging to come up with a caption that will instantly add taste to their post and capture the viewer’s attention. They wonder what to write, how to engage their audiences and the length of the captions.
Below are tips to help you come up with better and killer captions:
1. Start With the Important Information
Instagram is optimized for a mobile viewing experience which means that only the first 125 characters in your caption appear on the user’s feed. To read the rest of it, the user has to tao ‘more.’
To get your user’s attention away from that other blog they follow, you need to instantly catch their interest before they scroll past your content to a more interesting post. Getting users to follow you is easier said than done.
2. Structure Your Instagram Captions
Since for any caption with more than 125 characters the user has to tap ‘more’ to view all of it, most Instagrammers avoid taking advantage of the entire 2,200 characters that Instagram allows. Therefore, you can write around 400 words on average.
When writing a long caption, you format it and avoid a single huge block of text which is difficult especially on a mobile screen. Instead of writing a full article, you can use spacing to break up your body of text and separate some of the points.
If you were writing a recipe, you can break the text to separate the ingredients. You can also use asterisks and emojis to separate the recipe and notes steps. Using such structural elements makes it easier to skim and read the entire caption on mobile devices.
3. Include a Call to Action
Always include a call to action telling your audience what you want them to do. You may tell them to head over to your bio and click on the link, ask them to like to participate in a challenge for a chance to walk away with a prize, or request them to tag their friends. You need to clearly indicate what action you want them to take and give your post a purpose.
4. Add Emojis
When you use emojis properly in your caption, they add a bit of spark and creativity to your entire post. Did you know that half of the adults use emojis as part of their everyday texting? This means that adding emojis in your captions makes your brand more relatable to a large audience.
The use of emojis is a trend worth embracing. On Instagram, you can even include emojis in your branded hashtags and include them in your posts close to the caption. However, you should not overuse them or misuse them.
5. Include Relevant Hashtags
Did you know that a post with at least one hashtag receives more likes and comments than posts without any? Even as you try to increase your engagement, you should also ensure your posts help you boost your reach and follower count.
Hashtags have become more efficient now that users can follow a specific hashtag. If you include a hashtag in your caption, you will reach random users who follow the hashtag as well as your followers.
6. Treat Captions Like Short Blog Posts
Since you have plenty of space for your caption, you can treat your caption like a short blog post that relates to your photo or video. This way, it may be easier for you to come up with something to write when elaborating heavily on the content you are sharing.
7. Ask Questions to Encourage Engagement
The best way to increase your reach on Instagram is by growing your likes & engagement. Having interesting content is great but you can still motivate users to actively engage in your posts through your caption.
Asking users questions gives them something to directly respond to. They engage by coming up with an answer instead of struggling to come up with a comment for your post. Avoid irrelevant questions to your brand that do not generate any meaningful engagement. The various types of questions you can ask include:
- Getting-to-Know-You Questions – you can share a personal story or experience of your brand and ask your audience to share something relatable.
- Asking for Feedback – post one of your products and ask customers to give input about it. This generates high engagement and provides you with insight into the views of your customers.
- Close-Ended Questions – Ask a multiple-choice or a yes-or-no question that requires minimal effort for users to respond.
8. Tell a Story About Your Brand
The majority of Instagram users prefer engaging brands with an authentic, personalized, and honest, social media presence. You can effectively use Instagram captions to tell a personal story about your brand that creates a deeper connection with the readers. It can be a brief history of your business, product, personal story about you or an employee, or a business experience you may have previously encountered.
9. Use Quotes
You can always use famous or inspirational quotes but they should align with the content you are sharing. This is efficient for business and motivational brands but can also be applied in other niches. If possible, use personal and user-generated quotes that are completely unique to you and your brand.
If you are not sure what or how you should be using your Instagram captions, you can borrow a few ideas from your well-performing competitors. Their posts can provide you with an insight into how to connect with your ideal audience.