Are you an Instagram user who has yet to use their caption feature? It’s time to fix that! Not only can you describe the photos in your gallery, but you can also put in hashtags, links, and more! It’s not difficult, but there are some tricks to get the most out of this feature – make sure to give these 5 copywriting tips for writing the perfect Instagram caption a read!
1) Keep it short (90 characters or less)
People have a tendency to scan things rather than read them, and an Instagram caption of more than 90 characters is practically guaranteed to be overlooked. Try to keep your captions short and sweet (but not overly simple). If you’re struggling with figuring out what to say in your caption, look at other popular posts and see how they did it. Short captions are also more likely to grab a user’s attention because they have less scrolling time. Go on—try it out. Next time you post something that’s visually engaging, count how many words there are in each caption and make sure yours is shorter! That extra scrolling time could mean your post never gets seen by potential users or worse yet might get lost among all their other feeds!
2) Be specific
It’s tempting to try and be clever with our captions. After all, that’s what other people are doing. But social media is a conversational medium and you can’t have a conversation if you never speak up! Be specific and say something in your caption that ties back to your image. Let’s look at an example of being specific from 1-800-Flowers: A post about birthday flowers does not just say Happy Birthday or Have a great day. Instead it says When you need some birthday inspiration – check out these bouquets from Cheryl Cole, Selena Gomez & more.
3) Use action words
Find a way to make what you do feel urgent. Everyone says it, but no one does it, says Osborn. If you want your audience to respond to what you have written, make sure that you use action words in your copy—things like ‘start now,’ or ‘stop wasting time.’ People respond best when they are forced to act. Aim for an 80/20 ratio: When possible, try keeping your posts about your target market to 80% informational and 20% promotional (or whatever split makes sense for your business). This will help them better engage with what you are saying because they won’t feel like they’re being pitched something all of the time.
4) Don’t be boring
Come up with a variety of ideas. It’s common to go straight for humorous captions, because they tend to work and get lots of engagement. But consider other ways to grab your readers’ attention, such as informative writing or even poetry. At all costs, avoid being boring; if you’re posting something dull, it’s likely that no one will engage with it in any meaningful way.
5) Add personality
People want to engage with your brand or product for different reasons. But, what’s always true is that they want you to be personable and relatable. So, start by adding some personality—in a genuine way. Be honest and transparent about your business so followers can connect with you and form a real connection with your brand. Give people something to laugh at or relate to and they will be much more likely to engage on a deeper level down the road when they’re ready to buy. That doesn’t mean you should get all casual on your page—it just means you should use language that feels natural while still sounding professional.