We all struggle to come up with great Instagram captions from time to time. Figuring out what to say, how to say it, and when to post can be daunting. If you’re feeling stuck or have never written a caption for social media before, read on for some background and tips to help you create captivating Instagram captions. The words you choose can turn online interactions into real-world connections and sales.
The Anatomy of a Post Caption
The perfect caption must draw your reader’s attention but also keep them interested. Your Instagram captions should provide context about the media you’re posting, as well as provide context about your brand’s style. A well-crafted caption will compel action among your followers and encourage them to buy your product, drop a comment on your post, or like and follow a specific page.
First, the perfect caption consists of a catchy intro and an eye-catching graphic. The first line of text on your Instagram caption can be a great place to spark interest and tell your followers what your post is about. For Instagram the first 120-125 character is all that is visible, so make sure to use this space wisely.
The second part of your caption is the guts, or simply the body of your post. In the body, describe your brand and the main purpose of your post. This descriptive portion of your post is also an excellent place to expand upon what your graphic says you included with your post. Here you will share key information with your followers and briefly expound on your motivating factors (e.g., your why). Make sure to keep this section concise and to the point, focusing on the highlights and key takeaways only.
Next, you should have a call to action for nearly every post that tells individuals reading it how to support your brand. Give readers multiple ways to interact with your post, including commenting, taking a specific action, or following a link to learn more.
The final section of your post is an ideal place for relevant hashtags. Hashtags are tiny links that connect your post to the overall conversation on that specific social media platform. Hashtags can be topical (linking to topics contained in your post), chronological (using the day of the week or hashtag holidays), as well as brand-specific (here’s where you can have a little fun and come up with a unique hashtag all your own, which in turn will link all of your posts together)
Types of captions
There are four main types of captions:
Informative captions should be precise and straight to the point. These types of captions pair well with articles and should be informational.
A promotional post is straightforward and to the point. It is not always serious, but it tells the reader to take a specific action, such as buying or trying your product(s). It also lets them know what new things your business is doing.
Inspirational captions should be full of words that open the reader’s eyes. This type of post can be used for promotions, celebrate holidays, or as a way to reassure your reader. A good inspirational post is best paired with a powerful quote or graphic to really bring home your message.
When writing humorous posts, you can be a bit sillier than usual and show off your brand’s personality. Humorous posts bring balance to your business page and let readers connect to the person behind the brand, thus building more trust in your company.
Though Instagram and Pinterest are considered graphic-driven platforms, on these platforms your post caption is vital to spurring meaningful interactions to spark conversations with your followers. Other social media platforms are considered caption-reliant thus the words you choose for you Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are just as vital. Your posting strategy on each should be driven by how the end-user utilizes the social media platform. Your understanding of the consumer’s behavior should help shape your posting strategy for that particular social media platform.
How to Get Started
Okay, so now you know what a caption is, its importance, and the different types to help grow your business; now what? Now you put it all in action! How do you do that? Use these tips to get going:
• Start with an excellent graphic – Sometimes, simply describing what is going on or what feelings the graphic invokes is enough to get you unstuck.
• Check out your competitor’s post – Surf on your competitor’s social media profiles and find a way to say it better (in your own words, of course).
• Start with the end in mind – Consider what action you want the followers to take and use words to get from where they are (scrolling through social) to where you want them to be (buy now).
If you’re still stuck, don’t worry, you’re not alone. We recently ran a poll on social media to determine what reasons led to most individuals experiencing a loss of words when attempting to create a caption for social media posts. Among the top reasons were:
- Lack of experience
- Having too much or too little to say
- Simply not understanding the importance of a caption
If you are new to the Instagram caption game, a good practice is to create posts on your personal pages and start commenting on other’s posts. This will help you get more comfortable with the feeling of writing a meaningful caption for social media. It can also help build confidence because it gets you used to people reading what you have to say.
Bringing it All Together
Instagram captions are a great way to draw more people to your brand. Without a caption, people may not know how to support your business or brand, so it’s important to keep in mind that a kick-ass caption is more than just a description. A caption showcases your brand and its personality while telling customers why they should trust you.
I created a FREE cheat sheet to help you create great post captions. Be sure to print out this downloadable PDF Nahamani’s Caption Creating Cheat Sheet and keep it nearby so that you can refer to it the next time you feel stuck.
Need assistance with creating content for your brand’s social media profiles? Nahamani.org offers social media management which includes creating graphics, captions and monitoring your business’ inboxes across social media. Learn More.