It may or may not come as a surprise to you that Instagram gets a lot of engagement. In fact, Instagram gets an average of 1.60% engagement compared to Facebook’s 0.09% and Twitter’s 0.048%. That’s a massive difference.
The problem? Most people aren’t capitalizing on the level of engagement they can achieve because they’re focused only on the visual aspect of Instagram. Don’t get us wrong, Instagram is meant to be mainly visual—but that doesn’t mean you can slack on the rest of your post! You need to be spending time on your captions to take your engagement to the next level. We’ll tell you how.
Get More Engagement with Great Captions
Your post caption shouldn’t be an afterthought you slap on to a gorgeous photo—it has way more potential power that you should take advantage of. Despite Instagram’s origins as a photo sharing platform, your audience is after more than that.
The first step in creating engaging Instagram captions (and the first step in all things marketing) is to think about your audience. How do they speak? What are they liking? What are they commenting on and sharing? This is a great place to start, because this step fosters so much creativity and inspiration from others!
Give Them Some Context
Think about the photo you’re going to post and give it some context. Not all of your posts, even if they seem like it, are self-explanatory. Put yourself in the shoes of a brand new follower—would your post make sense to them? Is your post going to give them a little insight as to who you are and what you do? For a personal Instagram account, this will seem repetitive and unnecessary, but for your business account it’s best practice. Giving potential new followers some context in the first post they see (which could be any of them!) will help them relate to you more quickly and encourage them to tap that follow button.
Stick to Your Brand’s Voice
This next tip applies to all things marketing as well, but you have to nail your brand’s voice. And once you nail it, use it everywhere. Your website, marketing copy, brand communications, emails, texts—everything has to sound like the persona you’ve created. And that includes your Instagram captions.
Short and Sweet—But Valuable
Lengthy captions can quickly deter people from listening to what you have to say. They’re fine in moderation (sometimes you just have a lot to say!) but keep big blocks of text to a minimum. Users are typically looking to scroll quickly through their feed, and might not have the time or the attention span to read something lengthy! Keep your captions to the point.
Keep your captions short and sweet—but add value. You can be concise and still give your followers something to take from your post! Give them something that will make them want to keep reading or stop long enough to look at your content. Providing useful information or fun tips is a great way to not only grab attention but also establish your brand as one with a lot to offer! Quick recipes, how-tos, giveaways, or tips are all great ways to add value to your post.
Use Hashtags and Emojis (in Moderation)
Hashtags are very important, so spend a good amount of time researching ones relevant to your post or overall brand. That’s how people who aren’t following you will find you! Checking out the competition is a great way to learn about new hashtags. As always, stealing is not cool—search for community hashtags, and avoid using ones that they’ve created for their own brand. Consider making one up for yours, too!
Emojis are a great way to not only convey a lot of feeling quickly but also break up big paragraphs of text. Use in moderation, though—going overboard with emojis will make your caption look messy and difficult to read, not to mention too many emojis looks pretty spam-y.
Likes are important on any social media platform, but you know what converts more people? Engagement! Engagement via comments is extremely valuable, and your post captions are where you can drive it. Asking simple, relevant questions is a great way to ramp up engagement on an Instagram post. Invite your followers to share their opinions, experiences, or stories.
For example, if you’re posting a holiday-themed photo, ask people to share their favorite holiday tradition. If you post a New Years photo, ask your followers what they’re most excited about in 2020. People love to talk about themselves, share good news, and feel heard by their favorite brands.
When the Well Runs Dry
If you run out of ideas, look to others for inspiration. Have a stockpile of great quotes relevant to your brand at the ready for when you just can’t think of something. Share something short, sweet, and inspiring (that’s the value!) to accompany a visually engaging photo or video—sometimes that’s all you need. It’s all about finding the right balance for you and your brand. You’ll quickly figure out what resonates with your audience along the way, so you can adjust your strategy and continue raking in the followers!
Surprise, surprise—the internet is a great place to find all kinds of inspiration. You can even find tried-and-true templates for posts about specific things like events, product launches, employee spotlights, or whatever you’re doing. They’ll be simple and to the point, and easy to fit into your posting schedule. The worst thing you can do for your Instagram strategy is to come up with captions last minute—make sure you’re planning ahead of time. Spur of the moment caption ideas are fine for a personal Instagram account, but not for your business. If you make it up last minute, it’ll come across that way.
Don’t Have the Time? We Can Help
You’ll find what works for your specific brand along the way, just keep tweaking, trying new things, and engaging your audience. Sound like a lot of work? It is, but we can help. Start a conversation with us.