How To Write Instagram Captions To Increase Engagement
Instagram is a highly visual platform, but the captions you write for your posts are equally as important as the photos or videos you choose to share. So many of our clients here at Sidewalker Daily ask us how to write instagram captions to increase engagement because if you’re going to invest your time into the social platform, we can guess you also want to see results!
Here at Sidewalker Daily we are social media and influencer marketing experts who work with influencers, creators and brands on developing their digital strategy and helping them grow their businesses.
Everything we do has a strategy and how to write instagram captions is no different. Captions are a great way to engage your audience, help them get to know you or your brand better, and keep them looking forward to future posts. The longer people read and engage with your content, the more likely Instagram’s algorithm will push out your content to new people or they will share it on social media, which can increase your engagement and following on Instagram.
With so much riding on the little caption accompanying your Instagram posts, that can feel like a lot of pressure. It’s not uncommon to feel a little writer’s block as you try to write cool captions for Instagram. Since 2015, Sidewalker Daily has helped so many Influencers, Creators, Brands and Businesses with their Instagram engagement strategy and captions so let’s dive into some key tips on how to write Instagram captions to increase engagement.
How To Write Captions For Business and Personal Accounts
We’ve broken it down into 8 easy steps to write caption for Instagram post, so you can have a quick checklist on how to write Instagram captions that increase engagement every time you post.
1) Opening Line
When someone asks us how to write Instagram captions, Instagram only shows about two lines of the caption as people scroll, so you want to be strategic with what you write as your first sentence. Instagram gives your followers the option to “see more,” so you want people to be interested enough to click it and read everything else you wrote in the caption.
This could be something as simple as a question, or thought provoking statement. Capture interest by invoking curiosity or start telling a story. Whatever you write, it has to have a hook that captures enough attention to get people to click that “see more” option. You can use a sentence or phrase that gets an emotional response out of your audience, or even share a special offer. Avoid hashtags in the first few sentences (unless you’re doing a sponsored post and have to per legal requirements), as it may push people away from your post and have them keep scrolling.
2) Caption Length
Punchy one-liners that were almost an attitude caption for instagram used to reign supreme as the most popular caption length on Instagram. Now, many influencers and brands prefer to write long, spaced-out paragraphs and tell whole stories in their captions. When it comes to caption length, there isn’t a right or wrong. The right length boils down to the intent of the caption. If you have a purpose in a long caption, such as telling a story or promoting all the benefits and features of a new product, then a long caption makes sense. But don’t just write a long caption for the sake of a long caption. Short captions for Instagram will work if you don’t need to write a lot to get your point across. In those cases, stick to a short, concise caption length.
3) Use Your Insights
Use your Instagram Insights to your advantage. This is especially helpful if you aren’t sure what post length is working for your audience. You can go back and look at your Insights to see which of your posts received more engagement. Don’t be afraid to test different ideas and captions. Creating space between you and your business is healthy and you should always look and analyze the data if you want to grow. Don’t get stuck in the perfectionist trap because people afraid to make mistakes often get left behind. So take a chance on new ideas, otherwise you may never learn what will be the best captions to engage your audience.
Test captions and content as much as you can so that you can get data that helps you strategically make decisions for future content. The Instagram algorithm leaves so much outside of your control, so using Insights is the best way to gain insight on what works best for your brand and specific account.
4) Use A Call To Action
One very important aspect of a perfectly-crafted Instagram caption to increase engagement is the call to action. A call to action is something you are asking your audience to do, whether that’s to follow you, like your photo, subscribe, buy your product, or sign up for an email list.
Using a call to action is great for your platform in a lot of different ways. It encourages engagement with your posts so your numbers are higher, which in turn boosts your post in Instagram’s algorithm. A call to action also lets you test your influence so you know how much your followers are listening and how much influence you actually have, which is especially helpful if you’re an influencer or creator who is looking to pitch to brands and land paid deals.
Some followers may not even realize what you want them to do, so providing a call to action lets them know how you want them to engage with your content. As people engage with you, they’ll feel more connected to your brand which is always a win!
,5) Show Your Personality
When someone asks us how to write Instagram captions, this is one of our favorite tips to give. Social media sometimes makes us feel like we have to present a certain way or make cute Instagram captions, but social media platforms such as Instagram, TikTok and Facebook are popular because people use them to connect with others! When people are scrolling through their feed, they’re looking to make connections, whether it’s with people or with brands. One of the ways people will feel most connected to you is through storytelling and you being yourself. You want to show up and be authentic for your audience. The more engaging and authentic your caption is, the more chances you have of people engaging with your content, growing your following, and reaching other goals you may have such as increasing your likes, sales, or conversions.
Each brand and personal brand has its own unique personality and style. Be true to that voice and write captions in the way you want to speak to your audience, not how you think you should speak to them. People will be able to understand your tone and get to know you better through your captions which will in turn likely make them feel more connected to you while they’re reading the content.
6) Connect With Others
Another way you can use your captions is to connect with other users. If someone inspires you or your content, tag them with the “@” symbol in your caption and Instagram will notify them that they’ve been mentioned. They may reach out to you and you can develop a working relationship with them. You can also use hashtags to connect with others on Instagram. People search hashtags to find posts and Creators they’d like to follow, and now people can even follow hashtags. This means if you use a popular hashtag that people follow, your post may show up on the feeds of those who follow that hashtag. This increases your reach and allows your post to find people who may not have found you in the first place.
7) Use Line Breaks And Spacing
Big paragraphs full of text are difficult to read, so learning how to write Instagram captions with spaces is a smart idea. With all of the content competing for attention on Instagram, a lot of people may just skip over your caption if it looks long and bulky. We live in a society that prefers to skim text rather than read all of it, so make it easy for your followers to read your captions by breaking up text with lines and appropriate spacing. If your audience likes emojis, you can use emojis to help break up that space and make your captions look professional and readable. You can even use a free app to break up your text so you don’t have to put in the extra work.
8) Keep Notes On Your Phone
Have you ever had a great idea for a caption, but you’re out doing something or just simply aren’t ready to post anything to Instagram yet? Inspiration likes to strike whenever, and you don’t know if you’ll remember it days later when you make a post. If this ever happens to you, keep notes in your phone or in a designated notebook so that you can come back to it later. Writer’s block is real, so having a list of ideas will be helpful later when you’re ready to post.
Take Advantage of Instagram Captions
Don’t just use Instagram to post photos and move on! There’s a caption spot on Instagram posts for a reason, so use your captions to engage your followers and achieve your business goals. Once you learn how to write Instagram captions that sell, you’ll start to notice that you’ll attract a following, audience or community that is more invested in you and what you have to say.
Here’s a quick summary of the 8 steps we recommend when it comes to learning how to write Instagram captions:
1) Opening line: Make sure your opening line really draws them in and encourages them to hit the “see more” option and see your caption’s full value.
2) Caption length: While there’s no right or wrong answer to caption length, be mindful of which captions you choose to keep long and which ones you choose to keep short.
3) Use your Insights: Instagram Insights are full of valuable information; use them to see how your captions are performing.
4) Use a Call to Action: A Call to Action instructs your followers to take another step, so use this to encourage engagement with your content.
5) Show your personality: Don’t focus too much on Instagram perfection. Instead, show your personality and give your followers a reason to connect with you through your captions.
6) Connect with others: You can “@” tag others in your captions, so use this to get a conversation going with other users.
7) Use line breaks and spacing: No one wants to read through a thick wall of text. Help your followers out by using spaces and make your captions easier to read.
8) Keep notes on your phone: Inspiration strikes when you least expect it, so compile caption ideas in your phone or a designated notebook so you always have ideas to refer back to.
If you’re looking for Instagram prompts to jumpstart your new captions strategy, we’ve got you covered in our Instagram Engagement Accelerator Course. With this in-depth Instagram Engagement guide, you’ll get expert advice filled with Instagram engagement prompts, proven strategies to increase your engagement, and professional training to help you take your Instagram account to the next level!
If you found this article helpful, we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!