Have you ever been stumped with what to write for your Instagram captions?
Instagram wants people to stay on the platform as long as possible and because of this they reward posts that users engage with by increasing their reach. Posting scroll stopping images will grab people’s attention, but the captions are often what drive engagement.
The goal with any caption is to add value to the image or video that it is accompanying. With the mass amounts of content that are poured onto the platform on a regular basis, there are some tried and true practices that are more likely to get results.
Captions can be up to 2,200 characters long, that’s a lot of space! However, because Instagram is optimized for mobile and the vast majority of users are on smartphones, only the first 125 characters will be shown with a “more” button to see the rest.
This means that you need to hit with the most important information right away. What this will look like depends on your specific post. For example, if you are doing a contest or giveaway, that needs to be the first thing in the caption.
It’s worth noting that Lalalab used emoji’s really effectively to bring attention to the most important info in their caption.
The length of your caption also is dependent on the kind of post. For the majority of posts, a short and sweet caption should do the trick. However, sometimes more in-depth captions can add a lot of value to the post as a whole. National Geographic’s long captions bring context and demonstrate expertise.
One thing you may want to think about when using long captions is to use line breaks so there isn’t one big block of text. It can make the caption easier on the eyes and is less likely to discourage people from reading. This does depend on how long your caption is going to be, if you need all 2,200 characters, then line breaks aren’t an option.
Asking questions is a fantastic way to encourage users to engage with your post.
Ben and Jerry’s has both a question and a call to action. They have a quiz that you can find in their bio. Instagram doesn’t allow for links in organic posts, so use your bio link strategically and update it when you have a post that promotes a link click.
Calls to action can come in various forms, from the link in bio CTA to a “Join us” for an even CTA. Want people to engage online or in person? Don’t be afraid to just ask.
Your posts don’t always have to have the intention of selling. You can post about all kinds of things, including:
- Current Events
- Motivational Content
- Behind the Scenes
The goal is to create a brand image and tone. Be consistent with your tone from post to post and remember that people can tell when you are genuine.
With the median engagement for Instagram posts being at a whopping 1.6%, it’s important to drive as much engagement as possible to get the type of reach you are looking for with your IG. Use calls to action and build a brand image/ tone to entice people to comment, like, share or click the link. A useful tip may be to draft your captions off of Instagram, write several and pick the best one.
Who is your favorite brand on Instagram?
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