Five of our top tips for Instagram captions
A good Instagram caption can make or break a photo. A great one can lead to more engagement, more followers and more influencing. One of the first things a business looks for when choosing content for their marketing is how they are being represented. This means looking at both the image itself and the writing that accompanies it, so the best Instagram influencer will make the most of both.
If you want to give your Instagram content a better chance at attracting listings, check out these five tips for writing amazing captions:
Use calls-to-action or questions (just not for every post!)
One of the most straightforward ways to get viewers to engage with your content is to ask them a simple or question in your caption. Direct them to a link in your bio, recommend a brand, or simply use a branded hashtag to start a conversation! Starting a dialogue with your followers creates direct and organic engagement and builds an easy conversation for you to reply to. Even if it is just in one or two word answers, you can easily respond to your follows through a captioned question format. Use this as an opportunity to build trust and authenticity between you and your followers and it’ll definitely pay off!
Captions like these can also give your followers a sense of your character. Although a picture is allegedly worth a thousand words, use what you have to make each photo more personal. Even a great photo won’t pull the viewer in much without a good caption. Just be careful not to overuse this – if your audience notice that the only content you are producing is designed to maximize direct engagement, you’ll lose their trust. Make sure to mix up influencer content with personal extras wherever possible.
Keep it authentic.
A jarring caption can pull attention from even the best of photos. Although it may sound like a little thing, making sure your caption fits with the rest of your socials can really help. Having a caption that stands out is great as long as it’s consistent with your influencer tone overall. If you’re known for mixing story and punchline captions, for example, then a load of lyric quotations on your most recent posts will stick out like a sore thumb. And if you’re going to use a lyric caption, avoid cliché at all costs.
With each caption you should be aiming to project a little of your Instagram influencer persona onto the content it goes with. Knowing your audience and brand voice really pays off when you have to capture both in a few lines. If you’re really lost, research a little and find some similar influencers or check a venue’s socials. Although you obviously can’t copy-paste any captions, you can easily find some great inspiration on profile’s such as Swayy’s.
Make sure it’s clean and simple.
Whilst hashtags are a great way to prompt engagement with a brand or venue, don’t go crazy with them. Keeping them clear and simple helps streamline people’s reading experience. Too many hashtags, for example, can look like spam and clutter your post as a whole. If you’re struggling with too many messy tags, try adding them as the first comment on your photo after it’s been posted. Or, use bullet points to keep unnecessary hashtags under the caption break. This way extra hashtags can only be seen once the post is expanded. This ensures that your post will still turn up in relevant searches without putting people off.
Use emojis to enhance your caption, not to tell the whole story.
As part of keeping things clean and simple, don’t cramp your caption with too many emojis. While they
can be great for injecting some personality and fun into a post, don’t go overkill. Double check that any emojis are enhancing and not just replacing what you are already saying. Consider the length of your caption before you post something. You can definitely share interesting stories in them, but don’t waste people’s time or establish a reputation for super-long captions. If they’re too cluttered, people will stop reading them altogether.
Here it is also useful to know your audience and brand voice. Some venues might prefer a more minimalistic approach, whilst others could appeal to young, fun millennials. Always do your research and don’t be afraid to ask what businesses would prefer.
Don’t be afraid to edit and rewrite.
If inspiration hasn’t struck, don’t be afraid to work with a few ideas until one of them presents itself. Editing and rewriting allow you to really focus on what could be improved in a caption. Asking a few fresh eyes for advice also can’t hurt – sometimes hearing what other people think can lead you in a new direction. Making the most of every word doesn’t have to be an instantaneous process. It begins with something as simple as noting down a few favourite captions from another Instagram influencer.
By Angharad Miller