Compelling Instagram captions will lead to more engagement. And engagement is one of the key 3 things the Instagram formula considers when ordering content in users’ feeds.
Get more likes and comments and your followers will see your photos and videos more often.
Read on for a listing of winning Instagram caption ideas and find recommendations on the way to write your own.
A great Instagram caption will add context, show off your brand’s temperament, entertain the audience, and/or compel people to take action. Captions may be up to 2,200 characters long, include emoji, and up to thirty hashtags.
Of course that doesn’t mean your captions should be hashtag-ridden essays full of cryptic emoji messages. Like any piece of excellent web writing, your Instagram caption should be attention-grabbing and simple to read and follow. It should additionally speak to the content and the audience.
Here’s the way to write your own captions to spice up engagement.
1. Understand your audience.
Who of Instagram’s one billion million users suit your business’ target client profile? Instagram demographics show us that the platform is used by people in all income brackets, and is slightly more widespread among women than it is with men.
But those are the broad strokes. The better you recognize your audience, the better it is to tailor your Instagram promoting strategy to their desires and expectations.
To that end, we suggest building audience personas. These archetypes outline basic details concerning your target customers, their goals, and their pain points.
The guide to making audience personas outlines the questions you need to ask yourself to determine WHO your customers are. How old are they? Where do they live? What kinds of jobs do they have? What do they do outside of work?
Once you know WHO you’re talking to, you’ll be able to answer questions which will inform what you put in your captions:
Will my audience understand this reference? Are emoji’s and netspeak appropriate to use here? Do I need to feature more context to the current post?
Answer those questions, and actioning on the following step will be much easier.
2. Identify your brand voice.
If you haven’t identified your brand voice as a part of a broader social media promoting strategy, ask yourself: ‘What are the qualities and values I would like my brand to embody?’ create a list and use it to form your voice.
You might also try jotting down a few adjectives that describe your business and use those to seek out the proper tone. “Bold,” “curious” and “authoritative” would possibly make sense for a travel brand, as an example.
In general, Instagram users don’t expect a formal or serious tone. in fact it depends on the business and audience, however you should try to keep things light, use humor where acceptable, and show personality.
A post shared by Tesla (@teslamotors) on Jun 5, 2018.
3. Think about length.
Remember that almost all people scroll through their Instagram feeds at a brisk pace. If there’s any doubt on how long your caption should be, keep it brief. Offer context where you need to, however if the post speaks for itself, let it.
Note: for posts in feeds, only the first three lines of a caption will be displayed. For captions longer than three lines, people will need to tap “More” to read the full thing.
If you would like your entire caption to show, Instagram recommends using 125 characters or fewer.
A post shared by BMW (@bmw) on Jan 28, 2019.
That said, if there’s an interesting story to tell behind the image, take the time (and the generous character limit) to tell it.
National Geographic’s Instagram account is one of the best at longer-form captions. As impressive as the brand’s visuals are, the related text always adds worth.
A post shared by National Geographic (@natgeo) on Feb 10, 2019.
4. Place the most necessary words at the beginning of the caption.
Again, captions are cut off in users’ feeds after some lines of text, therefore you need to convey your key point or call to action straight away. Place any @mentions and hashtags (more on those later) at the end.
Also, leading with the most vital words is simply good writing. Hook the reader in and give them a reason to tap “More.”
5. Edit and rewrite.
Take it slow and don’t be afraid to go through several drafts, especially if your captions are more than some lines long. Nice writing—whether you’re aiming humor or education—takes multiple drafts and edits.
Make sure each word supports the content and message you’re attempting to convey. Cut out words that are clearly inessential to keep it as concise as possible.
You should also have somebody else edit your work. A fresh pair of eyes can pick up mistakes you may have gone blind to after spending so much time gazing the text.
6. Use hashtags, however use them with wisdom.
Use hashtags that are relevant to your post and target audience. And don’t use such a big amount of that they crowd your copy and make it troublesome to read.
If you don’t need to litter your captions, there are two ways to “hide” your hashtags:
Separate your hashtags from the rest of your caption by burying them below periods and line breaks. Once you’ve finished composing your caption, tap the 123 key. Select return and then enter a period, dash, or asterisk. Repeat those steps at least five times. Because Instagram caps off captions after three lines, the hashtags won’t be visible to users unless they tap the “More” option. Don’t place hashtags in your captions at all. Instead, write them within the comment section right after you publish the post. Once people leave some comments, the hashtags won’t be viewable unless the option to see all is selected.
7. Create a question.
One of the simplest ways to get a lot of comments on your photo is by using the caption to create a question to your followers.
It can be a skill-testing question, an open-ended question, or multiple choices. You could also use the caption to get tips or recommendations from the audience. A post shared by Marvel entertainment (@marvel) on Feb 13, 2019.
8. Give a shout-out with a @mention.
Does your post feature another Instagram user? Include their username in the caption so your followers can take a look at their profile too.
By mentioning another user within the caption, you’ll probably compel that user—and possibly some of their followers—to comment on, like, or share your content.
A post shared by Housing subaru of America (@subaru_usa) on Nov 7, 2018.
9. Encourage engagement with a call to action.
Want to drive engagement? Ask for it by inviting people to leave a comment, tag their friends, or weigh in with an opinion.
Of course, the content of your post will need to be compelling for them to want to do that. So make sure to put your best foot forward before you put your hand out. It will reflect poorly on your brand if you are trying to solicit engagement but receive only silence in return.
Alternatively, you may make your decision to action too good to refuse. Run a comment-to-win contest with a cool prize. A post shared by Marvel studios (@marvelstudios) on Oct 10, 2018.
10. Don’t be afraid to use emoji.
Are emoji appropriate to use inside an Instagram caption?
The animated icons can help draw the reader’s eye in and are an excellent way to add a bit of personality.
A post shared by Ifyouhigh (@ifyouhigh) on Jan 6, 2019.
Emoji also can stand in for entire words, keeping your copy short and fun.
A post shared by Liz Eswein (@newyorkcity) on Jul 3, 2018
11. Try using quotes.
Not the cliché inspirational selection, but ones that are specific to the post. Perhaps it’s a quote from the person who captured the photo, as GoPro often does with their user-generated content or it might be a quote from the person featured in the post. A post shared by Gopro (@gopro) on Feb 1, 2019.
Now that you know the way to write nice captions, let’s have a look at some of the most effective caption sorts and the way successful brands use them to interact with the audience.
The follow-the-link CTA caption.
Airbnb uses captions to compel followers to click the always-rotating link in their bio for additional data, and/or check out their latest Instagram Story.
A post shared by Nivea uk (@nivea_uk) on March 20, 2018.
The behind-the-scenes caption.
Instagram is a great platform for behind-the-scenes content. Lush Cosmetics often explains how their products are created in their captions…
A post shared by m a k e (@makebeautyofficial) on Dec 17, 2018.
The informative caption.
Science channel’s Instagram captions are full of compelling facts regarding science and nature.
A post shared by Science channel (@sciencechannel) on Nov 7, 2018.
The instructional caption.
Tasty, BuzzFeed’s food channel, pairs step-by-step cooking videos with the recipe itself. simple + helpful = a great caption.
A post shared by Healthy recipes (@healthyminutemeals) on Jan 13, 2019.
The contest or giveaway caption.
There are few things on Instagram more appealing than the promise of free stuff. If you’re running an Instagram contest, promote it in the caption by explaining to the audience the way to enter and what they can win.
A post shared by Chelsea Scott (@chelseabeutyspy) on Jan 12, 2019.
The storyteller caption.
If your post needs context, then by all means make the most of Instagram’s generous character count.
A post shared by Humans of the World (@humanoftheworld_hotw) on Jun 14, 2017.
The minimalist caption.
We’ve already stated it in this post, however it bears repeating: if your content is attention-grabbing and speaks for itself, a brief caption is best.
A post shared by Pepsi (@pepsi) on Oct 2, 2018.
And that’s it. You have got the ideas and tips how to write compelling Instagram captions of your own. Now get posting.