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Writing Instagram Captions That Increase Engagement

Famous personalities often post photos on Instagram without any captions, and you’ll see that these posts garner thousands, if not millions, of likes and comments. Brands and businesses posting photos without saying anything don’t get the same reception, because they don’t have as many followers as celebrities whose follower counts reach millions. Businesses simply don’t have the celebrity factor, so they have two options:

  • Those who can afford reach out to famous celebrities and pay them to promote their brands. Even then, the company would need to specify the caption that should go together with the celebrity’s photo.
  • Brands and businesses that can’t afford the services of a celebrity need to resort to ingenuity and proven Instagram marketing tactics.

You can see the importance of crafting captions for your photos, even though Instagram is mainly a visual platform, because how else will your followers know where to buy your product? The fact is that photos and videos may attract consumers’ attention, but they won’t drive conversions. You need to accompany them with a clear and concise message, and occasionally, a CTA or a call-to-action.

Now let’s check out some tips for writing engaging Instagram captions.

Define the goal of the Instagram post

Instagram captions should tell the story in relation to the photo or video you’re posting, so before crafting your caption, think about what you want to accomplish with the post.

  • If the photo is about a product review from one of your customers, then the caption should detail the customer’s story and how the product has helped them.
  • If the photo is about a contest, giveaway, promotional event, or a sale, put in the complete details of the campaign in the caption. Tell your followers how they can join, when it’s going to happen, what’s at stake, and everything they need to know.
  • If your post is a random photo related to your brand or business, let your caption explain how the photo can impact your followers, when it was taken, and who is in the photo or video.

Keep in mind that images with more than a couple of lines of text perform poorly on Instagram, so focus on capturing high quality images and creating great captions to go along with it which are short and get to the point.

Include a CTA

As everyone knows, Instagram allows users to put one live link in the bio. You can’t place a clickable link in the captions, so the best course of action is to ask your audience to “click on the link on my bio,” or something like that.

This CTA is commonly used and is compatible with almost anything, whether you want your audience to watch a video, sign up for something, or download an ebook.

Aside from this CTA, there are also others that will encourage your audience to engage:

  • Tag a friend in the comments: Encourage your followers to tag other people in the comments section.
  • Share this in your Instagram Story: Tell them to share your content as their Instagram Story. Most users already have this capability now, so urge them to use it.
  • Tap to purchase: Ask followers to tap shoppable tags and purchase your products.

The CTA you use in the captions should also go with the photo you’re posting. In some cases, a CTA may not be suitable. Followers may also find you too forward if you put CTAs in every post, so it’s also important to find a balance.

Instead of obvious CTAs, you can also start a conversation by asking your followers a question.

Short paragraphs are more pleasing and easy to read

How your caption is formatted also matter to readers. Personally, I tend to skip posts with long and run-on paragraphs as they look tiring to read. If you are writing a long caption, divide it into shorter paragraphs with spaces in between. This will look better and will encourage your audience to read the whole thing.

Some words of caution though: Instagram’s formatting will remove any space or emoji when they are placed at the end of a paragraph.

  • Remove space at the end of a paragraph before pressing on the return key. On most devices, double tapping the spacebar will insert a period and a space at the end of a sentence. When you upload your post to Instagram, the space you add after that will be removed, and your caption will appear as one long paragraph instead of multiple short ones. Before pressing the return key to start a new paragraph, delete the extra space after the period which was created when you double-tapped on the spacebar.
  • Don’t put emojis at the end of a paragraph. The same thing happens when emojis are placed at the end of a paragraph. The space will be removed and the next paragraph will be seen as part of the previous paragraph. You can still use emojis, but make sure you don’t place them at the end of a paragraph.

Bullet points, numerical lists, dashes, and space breaks, are other ways to make your captions look appealing to followers. While they don’t have any direct effect on your post’s performance when it comes to Instagram algorithm, they can encourage your followers to read and take action.

Creating captivating captions

Business and brands will find an increase in engagement on their Instagram accounts when their captions are appealing and well thought-of. With the right CTA, captions also help you reach your goal of converting followers to paying customers.

Aside from the three tips above, here are other things you need to remember when crafting your captions:

  • Long captions will be truncated: After two lines, your caption will be truncated in the news feed, and people can’t read the whole text unless they tap on “…more.” The story you tell in the caption and the compelling CTA you added will be wasted if people don’t see the whole story. Therefore, make sure that your first sentence is powerful and captivating enough to make them want to see “more.”
  • The shorter the caption, the better: There might be cases when multiple paragraphs are needed in order to convey your message. However, remember that Instagram users are on the platform to look at photos and videos, not read long texts. There are people who can capture their followers’ attention just by a single line of text.
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Have you noticed toast is trendy whereas sandwiches, which are just two pieces of toast smushed together, don't have the same "healthy" connotation?⁣ 🧐 ⁣ The widespread fear of bread is part of a larger fear of carbs. Nutrition trends are cyclical, but we forget that when we're deep in them. Low sugar, high fat, low carb, low fat, high carb, coconut oil, celery juice, collagen, margarine is great, margarine is the devil…it will continue to flip flop as long as there's a 70 billion dollar diet industry backing it. ⁣🙈 ⁣ When you see someone eating gluten-free bread for example, consider the 489 reasons why they could've made that choice. Do you project it onto yourself? Turn inwards and listen to how YOUR BODY feels when you eat. Let that voice rise above the conflicting nutrition noise.⁣ 🦄 ⁣ You know I ♥️ plants. Fun fact: there's no difference in health biomarkers with being 100% vegan versus eating *mostly* plants. You're not doing it wrong if you still enjoy meat, dairy, eggs, whatever. You're still making awesome strides for the health and longevity of your body and the planet! We want nutrition so badly to be black and white because rules and structure are "easier" to follow but it's just not.⁣ As long as us humans are different, nutrition recommendations will be, too. ✨ ⁣ Today's What I Ate Wednesday is savory oatmeal, a delish tuna sandwich, and tacos. CARBS. Also fat and protein and vitamins and color and variety. I urge you to question your food fears and lean into their legitimacy. Be curious! If you conquered those, would you find more joy in eating and life overall? Eating should be fun, not laced with anxiety. Everyone deserves to know how that feels.⁣ 🥳 ⁣

A post shared by Alexis Joseph, MS, RD, LDN (@hummusapien) on

There are also others who have successfully made Instagram into a micro-blogging site. It all depends on what message you want to convey and if your audience responds positively to it.

Finally, keep in mind that Instagram’s character limit is 2,200 for each post, so use it wisely. Don’t forget that the key to writing engaging captions is to make it relevant to the picture or video you’re posting.

Date: July 17, 2019 / Categories: Engagement, / Author: solmae


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