When you think Instagram, you think photos and you think Hashtags. It is a visual platform where the primary traction is based on a visually strong presence and a precise hashtag to go along. None thinks to write a good Instagram caption.
But lately, a simple combination of the former two hasn’t been enough to bring your A-Game on. You need more than beautiful pictures and amazing hashtags to get your followers AND to make them stay.
Why is it Important to Write Good Instagram Captions?
You need a stronger connection with your viewers to make’em stay for the ride. Hashtags and picture don’t cut it anymore. You can’t write much, rather anything, on your picture; that diminishes its beauty (not to mention affects promotions).
You still need to talk to your followers, convey a message, bring their attention to a issue or direct them to a link, page or website. Above all this, you want your viewers to comment (Instagram Algorithm counts this as quality).
This is where the captions come in. Write a good Instagram caption and your audience will feel compelled to like your post, even comment. Write a great Instagram post and your viewers will follow you, be inspired by you and willingly follow through to other pages or links you recommend to them.
But before you start writing a great caption for Instagram, ask yourself about the goals you want to achieve with your account and your post’s purpose towards that goal.
Before Writing a Great Instagram Captions
A user has opened your post because they like it. Now what? What do you put in the caption to push them further in. There are certain things that can only happen in captions, that is, Call-To-Action, information and/or personal stories; not necessarily in that order. The right way to go at it would be to ask yourself two questions:
What do my viewers want?
Your audience want to connect with you. They already like your post, your photo but you and your Instagram account are so much more than the photo. The audience wants to know the person behind the photograph.
What I want my viewers to do?
As an Instagram account, you want your viewers to comment. As an influencer, you need them to follow a link. As a business or soloprenuer, you need to lead them to your website.
You need to take care of everything above and get the caption down to perfection.
How to Write a Great Instagram Caption
So, finally, here is everything you should and shouldn’t do to write a good Instagram Caption:
- Schedule your post : You should take your time to write your caption, not rush it at the peak hour. Give you mind some anxiety free creative space, do it in advance and schedule the post.
- Information first : Let all the important stuff come first. Instagram accommodates a 2,200 character caption but the real visibility goes to the first 3 lines. Rest everything is hidden behind more. The smart thing would be to keep the caption concise.
- Tag a few accounts (optional) : This goes two ways. You can ask your viewers to tag a friend or yourself tag someone (limit it to two people) in your post. Try to use the photo tag instead of caption tag wherever possible.
- Call-To-Action : Writing a great Instagram caption means you and your viewers get something out of it. Tell your viewers about the benefits of following your Call-To-Action.
- About 3 to 5 hashtags : The caption character limit includes hashtags. Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags per post. While you can choose to use them all, it is best practice to use 3 to five best hashtags at a time. If you still want to bring more hashtags, do not exceed 10 and let them hide behind three dots.
- Use Emoticons (optional) : This is not for everybody but if this goes with your brand voice, I encourage you to use emojis in captions but do not overload. Less is more.
- Consistent Brand Voice : Talking of brand voice, it is essential for an account to have a uniform voice across all social media platforms, including Instagram. Even more, between posts of the same account. Choose a brand voice that vibes with your audience.
While writing a good Instagram caption, many a times, people forget to take note of small things that need to be prepped before the actual caption creation happens. Here are those time consuming, seemingly tiny markers you should never forget:
- Look up good hashtags to suit your picture.
- Pick a location to mark.
- Look up all the accounts that you want to tag regarding products, businesses and people.
These things help you in establishing a shared connection. You can’t afford to mess up. After everything is done, take a couple re-runs to check grammar and spellings.
Now you are ready to post.
May the algorithm be with you.
See you next blog!