Instagram is a social media platform that’s driven by images. You know how important it is to craft professional and interesting photos. What some online marketers neglect to give as much attention to is their words. What you say matters just as much as the visuals you produce.
The captions that go along with your images matter a great deal. They tell who you are and convey your brand’s voice. Getting into a groove of crafting captions that resonate with your followers can be a bit of a process. It will likely take some trial and error, but these eight tips for writing better Instagram captions should get you started on the right foot.
1. Use Your Brand’s Voice
First and foremost, be sure to write your captions in the tone you wish your brand to convey. You want everything you say to reflect who you are, so think about your tone when writing each and every caption. Use wording that sets a mood and shows the personality you want to be known for.
2. Put the Important Information First
Depending on the device being used, captions usually are cut off after only a few lines. Users can view more, they just have to click through.
That’s why you should add the most important stuff first to be sure your message is seen. Writing longer captions is fine and is often necessary. Just keep in mind that the point of your post should be clear at the beginning.
3. Cross Promote
Cross promotion is when you share your social media profiles across platforms. It’s okay to mention your Twitter or Facebook accounts on Instagram.
You can invite users to follow you in those places, as well. This is an easy and efficient way to increase your social media engagement across your various social media properties.
4. Add Some Hashtags
Strategic hashtag use is important to driving audience engagement, so be sure you’re adding them to your captions. Incorporating hashtags that are relevant and specific to your brand and your post helps people with interest in your niche find you. You can do some easy hashtag research simply by looking for your subject matter in the search box or by checking out what your competition is using.
Try to seek out hashtags that specifically hone in on your niche, rather than more broad topical ones. This will allow users with interests that align with yours to find you. When you go too general, you’re more likely to get lost in an overcrowded sea of hashtags. You can even come up with your own branded hashtags. People can use them as a way to get your attention, participate in a contest or share your products with others.
5. Mix Up the Length
Sometimes people use captions as an afterthought, which is a mistake. This small area is a marketing goldmine. It allows you to impart the information you think is most relevant in a way that will resonate with your target demographic.
People may also underestimate the power of captions. You can truly tell a story that resonates with people within the caption. This is a very effective strategy when you have a post that lends itself well to emotion or when your goal is to truly show who you are. Longer story captions should be used sparingly, though. Mix it up with shorter captions that are to the point, as well. Sometimes a longer explanation isn’t necessary, and your photos can stand alone.
6. Give a Shout Out
Your Instagram captions are the perfect place to add tags. Tagging other users is a great way to engage followers or those you would like to follow you. You can give a shout out to anyone you’d like to recognize or show your appreciation for. You can even ask users to tag a friend on occasion. These types of posts are fun, and they introduce new people to your brand.
Don’t go overboard, though, as this could be seen as a blatant way to gain attention. Be genuine and sincere in your shout outs. Only tag users whose content you truly love or whose content is relevant to yours.
7. Be Strategic
You should always plan your caption. A hastily written caption typed out at the last minute wastes valuable social media real estate. Remember, your caption is an extension of your marketing goals.
Take time to write them with strategy in mind. If you want to increase engagement, ask users to tag a friend or give a shout out, as was mentioned above. When you want to drive sales conversions, focus on the benefits of your products. Emphasizing your specific knowledge is a way to portray you as a knowledge influencer. Be sure your messaging matches your intent.
8. Give a Call to Action
Finally, don’t forget to tell your followers what you’d like from them. When done in a non-pushy way, this approach can be quite effective. A quick call to action is a great way to accomplish your marketing objectives.
A simple one sentence CTA is all you need. You can ask people to follow you, sign up for your newsletter, enter your contest or visit your latest sale. Just be intentional and not too salesy, and you may be surprised just how effective this tactic can be.
Writing Instagram captions doesn’t have to be tricky or intimidating. Use these tips to create a strategy that works for your brand, and you’ll soon see increased engagement and more followers come your way.