Attractive images. That’s what the app is all about, right? But perfect Instagram captions can improve engagement, getting more tanned photos and comments. And engagement, my dear readers, is the key to success.
With recent changes to the Instagram algorithm, publications now appear in feeds “based on the content the audience is engaged with.” This means that a photo or video with lots of comments and tastings has a better chance of appearing at the top of the feed.
In this guide, we’ll show you what’s good Instagram captions and how you can develop this skill and do it for yourself. We will also be presenting a collection of ideas and caption examples on Instagram from the expert brands so that you can learn from the professionals.
What defines perfect Instagram captions?
Perfect Instagram captions should add context, show brand personality, entertain audiences, and engage followers. Captions can be up to 2,200 characters, including emojis and up to 30 hashtags.
Of course, this does not mean that your caption should be a hashtag heap with a lot of emoji distracting. Like any piece of good text on the web, captions should be appealing and easy to read. They should also talk to the content and their audience.
12 Tips to Create the Perfect Instagram Captions
Know your audience
Which of the 500 million users of Instagram are your customers or potential? The platform is used by people of all economic levels and is slightly more popular among women than it is for men.
But one thing is fact. The better you know your audience, the easier it will be to engage them on Instagram.
You can not possibly know each potential customer, so we recommend that you create a persona (fictional characters created to represent the different types of users who can use a website, brand, or product similarly.) These archetypes describe basic details about your client, goals, desires, and limitations.
Our guide to creating a persona pervades issues you need to ask yourself to determine who your customers are. How old are they? Where they live? What occupation? What do they do out of work?
Answering these questions requires a bit of research. Luckily we’ve created a four-step guide to making this process as quick and easy as possible.
Once you know who you are talking to, you can answer questions like:
- Will my audience understand this reference?
- Is emoji and internet slang appropriate to use here?
- Do I need to add more context to this photo?
Identify the voice of your brand
If you have not identified the brand’s voice as part of a broader social media marketing plan, ask yourself: What are the qualities and values that I want my brand to incorporate? Make a list and use it to shape your voice. You can also try to jot down some adjectives that describe your brand and use them to refine your voice.
In general, Instagram users do not expect a formal and serious tone. Of course, it depends on the segment and the audience, but you should try your best to keep things light. Use humor when appropriate and show your personality.
Oreo’s social media marketing team does a great job of combining humor and quirkiness to tell the story of the brand.
Consider caption size
Keep in mind that most people go through Instagram feeds at a fast pace. If there is any doubt as to how long your caption should be, keep it brief. Give context where you need it, but if the publication speaks for itself, leave it.
That said, if there is an interesting story to tell behind the photo, then share it. The National Geographic account on Instagram is one of the best in creating long captions. As impressive as the visuals of magazines are, the accompanying texts always add value.
View this post on Instagram
@natgeo @stevewinterphoto Cheetah cubs with mom behind them. Cheetah’s, the world’s fastest land animal are losing numbers rapidly. There are only 7,100 left in the wild. Habitat loss is the #1 reason for the decline. Also hunting of their food, and turning wilderness into agriculture or livestock production. The pet trade is also a factor. 2/3 of the cheetah population live outside protected areas as cheetahs need to roam. These areas need to be friendly to wildlife with prey species protected for these predators – or we face a world without these magnificent creatures. Scientists desire the cheetah to be re-classified as endangered, which will help them. The Forests and Grasslands where they live provide all living creatures with up to 50% of the oxygen we breathe – oceans provide the rest. And Forests and Grasslands give us 75% of the fresh water we need to live. If we can save the forest of the Amazon and other areas in Central and South America for the Jaguar and Puma. The forests of Central Africa for the cheetah, leopard, lion, elephants etc. And the forests of South Asia for the Tigers and Leopards. If you save the top predator in any ecosystem you save everything that lives with them. So if – We Save Big Cats we can help Save Ourselves. National Geographic launched the Big Cats Initiative to raise awareness and implement change to the dire situation facing big cats. Please visit CauseAnUproar.org to find out more about Build a Boma and other ways to become involved to save big cats! #follow me @stevewinterphoto to see more images from my work with @natgeo and Thanks!! @stevewinterphoto @natgeo @nglive #nglive #natgeochannel @natgeochannel @natgeowild #natgeowild @thephotosociety #NGcreative @natgeocreative #fursforlife #wildlifeconservation #inthefield #wildlifephotojournalism #BCI #bigcatsintiative #photooftheday #beauty #startwith1thing
Place the most important words at the beginning of your caption
Instagram captions are cut into users’ feeds right after some lines of text, so you need to pass on your key point or call the action immediately. Put any @mentions and hashtags in the end.
Also, leading with the most important words is simply a good writing practice. This holds and gives the reader a reason to click on “more.”
Edit and rewrite
Take your time and do not be afraid to go through multiple drafts, especially if your Instagram captions are more than a few lines long. Write a good text – whether humorous or inspirational – always rewrite.
Make sure each word supports the content and the message you are trying to convey. Take away words that are unnecessary to keep as concise as possible.
Use hashtags, but use them wisely
Publications on Instagram with at least one hashtag have on average 12.6% more engagement than those without hashtags, according to a Simply Measured study. So use them when they are relevant to your publication and audience, but do not use as many as to make reading difficult.
If you do not want to clutter your subtitles in Instagram, there are two ways to “hide” your hashtags:
- Separate the hashtags from the rest of your caption by burying them beneath dots and line breaks. After you finish composing the caption, touch the 123 key. Select return and enter a period, a dash, or an asterisk.
Repeat these steps at least five times, so hashtags will not be visible to users unless they touch the “more” option.
- Do not put hashtags in your captions. Instead, include the # in the comments section below your post. After other people leave some comments, the hashtags will not be visible unless the View All option is selected.
Ask a question
One of the easiest ways to get more comments in your photo is by using the caption to ask your followers a question. It could be a yes or no question, a skill test question or an open question.
Make a @mention
Does your post mark another Instagram user? Include your name in the caption, so your followers can check your profile as well. By mentioning another user in the caption, you’ll probably compel this user – and possibly some of your followers – to get involved with your content.
Encourage engagement with a call to action
Want to drive engagement? Ask for it by inviting people to leave a comment, mark your friends, or weigh an opinion.
Of course, the content of the publication will have to be compelling for them to want to do this – so be sure to start off on the right foot. It may be bad for your brand to try to seek engagement, but only receive silence in return.
Alternatively, you could make your call to action excellent to refuse. Ask your followers to enter a contest to win a prize.
Do not be afraid to use emoji
Is emoji suitable for use within Instagram captions? [Emoji 100%]
Lovely animated icons can help attract the eye of the reader and are a great way to add a bit of personality to your caption.
Emoji can also replace entire words, keeping your caption short and fun.
Try to use citations
Not the variety of inspirational cliche, but those that are specific to the post. Maybe it’s a quote from the person who took the photo, as GoPro usually does with your user-generated content. Another good example is Nike, with motivational quotes.
Schedule your posts to optimize engagement
Once you’ve created the perfect caption to go along with your image, it’s time to post!
Depending on your audience and region, there may be better times to do your posting on Instagram. For this, consider your target audience and the parts of the day that would be most likely to view your feeds.
Now that you know how to write perfect Instagram captions, let’s look at some of the most effective types of captioning and how brands use it to engage your audience.
- Legend with call to action to follow the link.
- Legend Behind the Scenes
Instagram is a great platform to give your audience a behind-the-scenes behind your brand. A Lush Cosmetics does a great job in this regard by using their Instagram captions to explain how their products are made.
- Informative and educational legend
The New York Times subtitles are full of facts and hot news about economy, politics, nature, sport, news.
View this post on Instagram
In front of a home crowd looking to celebrate the pinnacle of domestic women’s #tennis, last night’s @usopen semifinals featured an all-American quartet that was reduced to a duo, after @sloanestephens and @madisonkeys advanced to an improbable final. It began with the unseeded @sloanestephens, who was ranked 934th on the women’s tour less than 2 months ago, barging her way in with an impressive demonstration of nerve and desire and ousting the 2-time champion @venuswilliams in the first semifinal. Then No. 15-seeded @madisonkeys played near-flawless tennis to overpower No. 20 @cocovandey, setting up the first #USOpen final between 2 American women since @serenawilliams beat Venus in 2002. Back in January, when @madisonkeys was recovering from the first of 2 wrist surgeries and #Stephens was immobilized on her couch after surgery to repair a fracture in her left foot, the 2 players lamented their plights as they texted back and forth. “I was actually just laughing and thinking, ‘Who would have thought in Australia that Sloane and I would be the finalists at the U.S. Open?’” Keys said. #regram from @nytchangster, who took this photo of #SloaneStephens after her victory last night. Visit the link in our profile to read more. #🎾
- Instructional Legend
BuzzFeed Tasty of the gastronomic channel, step by step video of how to cook. Simple + useful = a great caption.
View this post on Instagram
Bring a smile to your table 😋! # HOMEMADE DINNER ROLLS Makes 16 rolls INGREDIENTS 4¾ cups flour 1 cup warm milk ½ cup water 1 tablespoon rapid-rise yeast ¼ cup sugar 2 teaspoons salt 5 tablespoons butter, room temperature 1 tablespoon butter, melted 1 egg Toppings: Bacon Cheddar Chive Cooked bacon Cheddar cheese, shredded Chives, chopped Garlic Parmesan: Butter, melted Garlic, chopped Parsley, chopped Parmesan, grated Jalapeño Cheese: Cheddar cheese, shredded Jalapeno, chopped Honey Butter: Butter, melted Honey PREPARATION 1. Combine warm milk (110-115˚F), butter, warm water (110-115˚F), and sugar in a large bowl and stir until mixed. 2. Sprinkle yeast evenly over the top of the mixture and let sit for 1 minute. 3. Add the egg, salt, and 4 cups of flour. Mix until the mixture just comes together and forms a dough. 4. Cover for 30 minutes with a towel or plastic wrap. 5. Uncover, and mix in an additional ¾ cup of flour and turn out onto a well-floured surface. 6. Knead until dough until it forms a smooth ball and loses some of its stickiness. 7. Cover for 30 additional minutes with a towel or plastic wrap. 8. Preheat oven to 375˚F/190˚C. 9. Uncover, and roll dough into 16 equally sized balls, roughly the size of a tangerine. Ensure your rolls are smooth with no cracks. 10. Place rolls onto greased cast iron pan and brush each with with water. 11. Add desired toppings, or customize with your own! Honey Butter – Combine melted butter with honey and brush onto rolls. Jalapeno Cheddar – Top rolls with cheddar and diced jalapeno Garlic Parmesan – Top rolls with a mixture of melted butter, parsley, garlic, and Parmesan Bacon Jalapeno Chive – Top rolls with diced cooked bacon, jalapeño, and chives 12. Bake in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until rolls have lightly browned. 13. Enjoy!
- Legend about the contest or offer
Few things on Instagram are as attractive as the promise of free stuff. If you are doing a contest on Instagram, promote it in the legend, explaining to the public how to compete and what they can win.
View this post on Instagram
#GIVEAWAY TIME!👜💗 Get a chance to win this gorgeous tote by Michael Kors x @theluxurypop ! Rules:- – Follow @theluxurypop – Mention in the comments below how would you style this Tote – Tag 5 of your girlfriends who love luxury ! Multiple entries allowed. A winner with the best answer will be announced next Friday ! Good luck girls 👍 #Contest #AakritiRanaGill #MichaelKore #TheLuxuryPop Location : @zora_india
- The multi-platform promotion caption
If there is more of history than what you can publish on Instagram, encourage audiences to check one of your other social profiles for a closer look. Mercedes Benz used this tactic to promote its behind-the-scenes Snapchat strategy.
View this post on Instagram
That moment when you travel on the #Transalpina through #Romania and get stopped by a group of donkeys.🐴 That's what actually happened today on our #ChasingStars tour with the new #GLC #Coupé! 🚙😂 For more live impressions make sure to check out 👻mercedesbenz on #snapchat! #iaaa #stoppedbydonkeys #MercedesBenz #MBcar #RoadTrip #GLCCoupe #SUV #Mercedes #Benz #4MATIC
- The legend of the storyteller
As you noted in tip number 3, if your posting asks for context, then take advantage of Instagram’s generous character limit.
View this post on Instagram
HAPPY THURSDAY with some inspiration for your day. A lot of you question me: how did you lose all the baby weight and got fit again? The answer is simple: this is my lifestyle, I don't follow temporary diets or temporary workout plans for the summer. I prepared my body for the pregnancy and after my baby was born, I took one step a time, lived one day at a time and never panicked about becoming fit again so that the world would love me. I loved myself first and by doing that, others recognized the greatness in me. The journey is not easy but I didn't say impossible. I'm HERE TO HELP YOU REACH YOUR GOALS! Email me now at BELLA@BELLAFALCONI.COM and visit bellafalconi.com for more information about my online coaching program that is TRANSFORMING LIVES! Join the team and become the BEST VERSION OF YOURSELF! #teambellafalconi _____________________ FELIZ QUINTA FEIRA com uma motivação para o seu dia! Muitos de vcs me questionam como eu perdi todo o peso da gravidez e fiquei em forma de novo. A resposta é simples: eu não sigo dietas temporárias nem treinos temporários para o verão – esse é meu estilo de vida. Eu preparei meu corpo para a gravidez. E depois que minha bebê nasceu, eu vivi um dia de cada vez e dei um passo de cada vez. Eu entrei em pânico para focar em forma de novo da noite pro dia, para que o mundo me amasse. Pelo contrário, eu me amei primeiro, assim o mundo reconheceu em mim minha grandeza. A jornada não é fácil mas também não é impossível e EU ESTOU AQUI PARA TE AJUDAR A TORNAR-SE A MELHOR VERSÃO DE SI MESMO! Me mande um e-mail BELLA@BELLAFALCONI.COM e visite bellafalconi.com para saber mais informações sobre meu programa de coaching que está TRANSFORMANDO VIDAS! Vamos juntos nessa caminhada para que você seja a MELHOR VERSÃO DE SI MESMO! Conte comigo e com o meu time! #getfitwithbella #fitness #fitspo #girlsthatlift #abs #postpartum #mommylife #instadaily #nofilter #inspiration #pregnancy #healthy #workout
- The minimalist legend
We have already stated this in this post, but it is worth repeating: if your content is appealing and speaks for itself, a short caption or even no caption is best.
Now that you know all about perfect Instagram captions, practice tips 1 through 12 and tell us the results in the comments section.
To boost your Instagram: Click Here