Okay, let’s talk about captions. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but there’s something to be said about the context words bring.
We get it, writing good Instagram captions is a lot of pressure! That’s why we’ve come up with some tips to prevent your caption from becoming an afterthought.
First of all, you can’t rush the process.
Try writing several drafts and asking your friends or co-workers which caption they like best. While it’s important for your content to be timely, you also want it to be engaging. In fact, Instagram changed its algorithm so that a user’s feed is curated based on what they’ll likely find engaging.
The visibility of your posts will depend on the number of Likes and comments it receives. Take the time to create content that will delight and engage your customers.
Second, consider your caption’s length. The maximum character count for a caption is 2,200 characters. That’s pretty long considering that Twitter only gives you 140. But remember, users will only be able to see the first 3-4 lines of the caption before they are prompted to view “more.”
Put your most important language at the beginning of the caption to keep it from getting cut off. That being said, don’t be afraid of long captions. Instagram can be a great way to share a story. For example, Humans of New York writes longer captions with quotes from the people they photographed.
Include a call-to-action in your caption. Encourage your audience to “like” your photo, comment on it, or share it with their friends. Finally, remember how Instagram allows you to add a link to your bio? Ask your audience to check it out. For example, you can encourage customers to check out a new product or blog post by using your caption to direct people to the link in your bio. Just remember to change out the link so it corresponds with your most recent post. Tip: Use shortened tracking links in your URL so you can see how much of your traffic came from your Instagram account.
Also, be sure to include a geotag. Did you know that posts tagged with a location see 79% higher engagement than posts without one? Adding a geotag to your posts gives users another way to find your content. If more people view your content, you’re more likely to have higher engagement.
Finally, find your Instagram voice. It may sound silly, but every social platform has a distinct voice. What may work on Twitter may not translate to Instagram. Posts with a lighthearted, authentic tone tend to perform the best.
Try experimenting with emojis and other fun tools to give your brand a distinct feel. Don’t give up if you don’t get it right the first time. It can take a while to develop your brand’s voice.
Still struggling? If you’re ever in doubt about what to write, keep it short. There’s little correlation between caption length and engagement, but short captions allow your visuals do the talking.