Good Instagram marketing is a skill to be learned and mastered. In addition to posting good pictures, interacting with your followers, and building a strong profile, captions play a significant role in your success.

If you are unsure what an Instagram caption is, it is the short text that is written underneath a photograph or video. A caption is the only place where you can put promotional material and drive engagement from your followers. Similar to a product description in your online store, it has to be direct, effective, and short.

Short and Sweet

Instagram captions have a limit of 2200 characters (which is a lot!). To avoid loads of text on everyone’s feeds, the app automatically hides the rest of the caption after 2-3 lines and expands it when you click to read more. This means that you only have limited space for good copy. When writing your caption, place the “hook” at the beginning of your caption so that your followers want to find out more. Additionally, be sure to keep the caption short and direct - don’t ramble on. The longer the caption, the more likely you’ll lose their attention by the time they finish the caption (unless of course, you’re telling a great story!)

Ask for engagement (strategically)

You can increase your engagement by asking for it! Many brands use this tactic to increase likes and comments on their posts. Instead of directly saying, “Like this picture!”, they use phrases like:

  • “Like this post, if you like…”,
  • “Tell us your favorite [insert topic] in the comments below!”, or
  • “Tag a friend!”

These types of phrases are a subtle push to get your followers to comment or like your post. It’s also a great way to learn more about who your followers are! 

Another great way of asking for engagement is by asking your followers questions. Asking questions opens the flow of dialogue and gives them a reason to comment. This will allow you to connect directly to your followers and build strong business relationships. 

Link in bio! 

Unfortunately, on Instagram, you are not able to add links to your captions. Without having over 10 000 followers, you can only have a single link in the bio of your Instagram profile. It sucks right? If you make a post about products and want to link to your online store, you have to refer to this link in your bio; otherwise, they may not know where to go! 

Use limited #’s 

Hashtags (#) allow you to connect with others, talking about the same thing. Hashtags are a useful tool to be discovered, however, using too many in one post can come across as spammy. Use 4-6 hashtags that are relevant to your job and only use those

When writing your caption, be sure to place hashtags throughout the copy instead of listing them at the end. This will make your caption appear more crisp and appealing. A cluster of hashtags at the end just looks bad.

Add a geotag

On Instagram, you can add locations to your photographs. All public posts that are “geotagged” will appear on the Instagram Explore page for that location. This will allow new accounts to find you, which can help increase your following.

Additionally, adding a location can spark joy in your current followers that have been there previously. People like to share their locations, as it allows them to relate to each other. By simply adding a location to your post, you may see an increase in engagement.

Take your time

Have you ever made a post and thought of a better caption after posting? Instagram and other social media channels are fast-paced and on the fly, yet you should not forget that for your business, it is a marketing tool. Every action taken should be well thought out and planned. It may seem a bit redundant to rewrite or review an Instagram caption; however, it ensures that there are no errors in your copy.  Avoid posting-regret by triple-checking before posting.

If you’re looking for inspiration to help you get started, check out these Instagram accounts that are doing it right: