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Everything You Should Know About Writing Good Instagram Captions

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Everything You Should Know About Writing Good Instagram Captions

While a picture can tell you a thousand words, words can intensify a photo by telling a story, providing context and adding a little mystery.

For businesses and not only, Instagram is an excellent oportunity to market their products to a more targeted audience.

When it comes to Instagram, things have changed and coming up with the perfect Instagram caption in 2019 is really, really hard.

Should you write a 'quickie' one with one word and emoji?

Should you write one or two sentences or micro-blogging with your captions?

How to write a good Instagram caption in 2019?

In this article, you'll learn what an Instagram caption is, why you should use one, and how to use Instagram captions to get more followers and increase your engagement rates.

Let's dive in!

The ultimate guide to writing a good Instagram caption in 2019


The ultimate guide to writing a good Instagram caption in 2019


Here’s a sneak peek at the article:

  1. What is an Instagram caption?
  2. How long Instagram captions can be
  3. How to edit Instagram captions
  4. How to space out Instagram captions
  5. How to write a good Instagram caption
    5.1. Write several drafts before posting
    5.2. Ask a question
    5.3. Direct people to a link in your bio
    5.4. Invite people to write their thoughts
    5.5. Mention other people or brands to your captions
    5.6. Use strategic hashtags
    5.7. Use emojis
    5.8. Add a call-to-action
    5.9. Disclosure the sponsored posts or giveaways
  6. Measure your impact with Instagram analytics data


#1. What is an Instagram caption?


When you start using Instagram captions, there is a great chance of building connections with your audience and inspire people to talk and ask questions.

Every photo tells a story.

But writing a good Instagram caption can be your magic asset on Instagram that boosts engagement and builds trust among your followers.

It's not easy to craft a story for every photo or video you publish on Instagram, that's why take time to create descriptions that share a consistent brand voice across your profile.


#2. How long Instagram captions can be


Captions can be up to 2.200 characters - approximate 330 words including emojis and hashtags.

Keep in mind that most people scroll through their feed quickly, so it makes sense to keep your captions clear and concise. Optimize the length of your content, and you'll be more likely to engage and convert your audience.

Tip!

Captions are cut off in your feed after a few lines of text, so make sure you use the most important words at the beginning of the caption.

Take a look at Socialinsider Instagram account. Every photo has an introductory phrase, so people know what is about next.

If they are going to read about product updates, blog articles  or social media tips, this phrase acts as a call to action where indirectly we invite our followers to tap "More."

For example, if you want to bring attention to a new blog post, make sure to add “new blog post” or the title of your post early on in the caption, so your followers know that you have a new post, even if they don’t read the whole caption.

There's no size fits all when it comes to a good Instagram caption.

That's why you'll find captions in all shapes and sizes, from short sentences to micro-blogging with in-depth stories.

The most important thing: your captions should provide context (there has to be a connection between the photo or video shared and text), it has a unique voice, and inspires your followers to engage with your brand.

Sue Zimmerman classifies the captions in three categories:

  • The Quickie – One word / and emoji
View this post on Instagram

🌿

A post shared by NALU (@naluunderwear) on

  • The One-Two Done – One or two sentence proposition
  • The Micro-Blog - Long form
View this post on Instagram

Just a quick post to say hey, these kiddos of mine are still around and I haven’t done a complete 180 and became a solo travel blogger. 😂 I don’t think I’ve ever posted this many pics in a row without my kids, my IG feed is having a bit of an identity crisis. 😜😅 Isn’t it crazy how we Instagrammers (in part due to the increasingly difficult algorithm) put ourselves into this box and when we post something outside of that it feels so strange (even when it’s a completely natural part of our lives)? But 2019 is the year to post whatever the heck we want, right? Right?! Haha. Anyways, just some random Sunday thoughts for ya. 💁🏼‍♀️ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #momblogger #matchymatchy #twinningiswinning #familymatching #familyphotos #familyphotoshoot #kidsinthekitchen #cookingwithkids #overalls

A post shared by Sina ♡ Happy Grey Lucky (@happygreylucky) on

Tip!

Make sure you write the right Instagram captions for your type of business. Try several options before coming up with precise form. Keep an eye on your engagement rates and measure the performance with analytics.

Once your posts are getting better and better results, adjust the captions and try something new. Instagram favors engagement and creating conversations through the captions should be your primary focus


#3. How to edit Instagram captions


Sometimes you're in a hurry, and you don't realize that you misspelled a word or you missed some essential hashtags for your post. You can edit your Instagram post at any time. Follow these steps to edit captions for your business:

  1. Tap on the "..." on the top right
  2. It brings up a menu of options. Tap "EDIT"
  3. Once you're happy with your editing, tap "DONE" on the top right, and your Instagram post will be updated.

How to edit an Instagram caption


#4. How to space out Instagram captions


A well-formatted Instagram post – with design elements like spaces and lists – is easier to read than a wall of plain text.

Tip!

Use a character or a series of characters to give you that nice clean break.

You can create a list using numbers or the black check, like Sue. B Zimmerman does with her posts.  

"I know that the easier my posts are to read, the more people will read them and take action." - say Sue.

View this post on Instagram

- WHAT A DIFFERENCE 365 DAYS CAN MAKE IN YOUR BUSINESS (GO AHEAD, DREAM A LITTLE BIT) ⏡⏡ Meet @shannonleestrategy she has been a small business owner, like many of you, for the past 20 yrs. Shannon had been using online marketing for a while but she told me she felt like she was running on 1 cylinder when she wanted so badly to be at full throttle. Can you relate? - Because she knew she was missing something in her business, she joined Marie Forleo’s B-School last year. Shannon wanted to understand the FOUNDATION of what it takes to build a business online today using modern marketing. - After she took her leap into B-School and invested in her business she’s done some pretty tough work and she’s seen impressive results in her biz. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Including… ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ - How to tell stories on social and in her emails that emotionally connected to her ideal clients - She learned how to focus on always leading with giving value to her clients - She rebranded in a way that aligns with her marketing message - She started on Instagram with 300 followers and after going thru B-School and incorporating what she learned from my Instagram tactics in Ready Set Gram she now how 1,044 highly targeted followers -Since B-School & our in person B-School retreat in Boston, Shannon has... ✔️Gained confidence ✔️Made a mindset shift ✔️:Got Laser focused in her niche ✔️Has clear content that attracts her paying customer ✔️Has grown her email list from 0 to 200 ✔️Launched a website that converts to clients. Resulting in 1K views and several leads a week for her strategy and coaching business - She works less hours because of her systems in place and uses automation to work smarter. Her business has increased 800% giving her thousands and thousands of dollars a month to her household. Annnnnd this only took 1 year! 365 days! - Imagine where you could be one year from now if you invested in your business from someone Who has the step-by-step process to do what you need it?

A post shared by Sue B. The Instagram Expert (@theinstagramexpert) on

You can add emojis 👉, 🧐, ☝️, 🎉, 👀 or dots to give your posts besides helpful information, some beautiful visuals too.

Here's how I space out the captions for the Socialinsider's account. I know that every post is an opportunity to engage with our audience, drive traffic or grab the attention. I don't want to miss that opportunity.

How to space out Instagram captions

Tip!

Use the Notes app from iOS! Write your captions in Notes, then copy/paste them in Instagram, and press “done”. The copy will just revert back to zero-spaced formatting.


#5. How to write a good Instagram caption


Take your time, read and then apply all these seven ways. You will see the difference in engagement and number of followers.


5.1. Write several drafts before posting

Don’t push the process. Write a list of a few ideas for captions down, choose the right hashtags, sit on them for a bit, and then pick the one you think is the best.

It is essential to take your time constructing a great caption. It will keep your followers around and encourage them to engage with your content.


5.2. Ask a question

Encourage people to comment on their own life experiences, and you might be surprised. Also, this may help you with new content ideas.

Be more present, and respond to your followers. In this way, it seems like a live conversation, and they will fell part of your story. Make your followers part of your brand's story.


5.3. Direct people to a link in your bio

Clickable URLs are allowed only in the website box in your bio.

Post a photo, and in the caption suggest your followers click the link in the Instagram bio. These could lead them to your business website, another social media profile, your blog, or any page you want to promote.

You can use a “👉” or “👀” emoji next to “link in bio”. Make it super obvious to those who are reading your caption that you want them to click the link your bio!

View this post on Instagram

If you’ve decided #remoteworking is the way forward for your business, how do you manage and support your team? Well, we’re going to be straight with you - it isn’t always easy! You’ve got to work at it, just like you’d put in the work arranging meetings, socials and simply chatting to your employees in an office. In fact, you might have to work a bit harder. However, the payoff - a stronger, happier and more productive team - is worth it. To set your team up for success in 2019, we’ve developed a programme of 10 remote working activities that we’ve tested ourselves at Quuu. To see what they are and learn how you can try them for yourself, check out our latest blog post (link in bio). Let us know how you get on!

A post shared by Quuu (@quuu_co) on


5.4. Invite people to write their thoughts

Content is excellent for increasing engagement, so invite people to share their views regarding your post.


5.5. Mention other people or brands to your captions

You should know that you can also tag your followers with “@“ and your fans will immediately receive a notification that they’ve been tagged in your photo. Mentioning other brands, they can repost your photo or share it to Instagram Stories.

You can use this mentioning feature in your captions with your followers, tools you’re using, places or brands.


5.6. Use strategic hashtags

Hashtags are great for connecting users who aren’t otherwise connected, but who are talking, posting or interested in the same topics, brands, events and so on.

As long as your account is public anyone who searches for that hashtag can find your Instagram post.

Being shadow banned on Instagram was a controversy last year, and when it comes to hashtags there are some weird things going on. Before using hashtags, make sure you check them following the steps described here and protect your profile.

  • How many hashtags you should use on Instagram

To hashtag or not to hashtag? That's the question in 2019. According to Hubspot's latest study "the average Instagram post contains 1.014 hashtags and using more hashtags actually decreases your average engagement rate."

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Even if  Instagram allows you to add up to 30 hashtags to your Instagram posts, it seems that there's no perfect formula for every business vertical.

Again you need to test it for yourself and see what magic number gives you the best results.

  • What type of hashtag you should use

There are different types of hashtags that you can use to enhance your brand or products. You can use:

  • General hashtags
  • Branded hashtags
  • Niche hashtags
  • Community-related hashtags
  • Location hashtags
  • When to use hashtags

The best moments to effectively use a hashtag on Instagram to promote your brand and products are:

  • Promotions
  • Events
  • Contests
  • Product launches
  • Career opportunities
  • Cross-channel discussions t0 generate traffic to your hashtag or even get your hashtag trending
  • Targeting a specific group of people on Instagram

5.7. Use emojis

Emojis - those quite emoticons available to most smartphone users - can add some personality to your Instagram captions.

You can use them at the beginning of the post, in the middle of the sentence or at the end as a sort of a punch. It is an excellent way to make your post more friendly.


5.8. Add a call-to-action

To create a call-to-action in your Instagram caption, you just need to ask your followers to do something after reading your caption.

A good CTA creates conversations both inside and outside Instagram. You can start by asking questions, invite your audience to click the link in bio, to buy a product, tag a friend or to use a branded hashtag.

You should also consider turning your call-to-action into a question, using the 5 W’s - who, what, where, when, and why - is a great way to encourage your followers to comment.


5.9. Disclosure the sponsored posts or giveaways

Include '#ad' or '#sponsored' on any posts that are indeed sponsored, and make sure you do it before the caption shortens. In this case, you respect your audience and the brands you're working with.


6. Measure your impact with Instagram analytics data


Check every week or daily your your Instagram profile growth over time, historical posts data, content performance, and also see what your competitors are doing on Instagram.

Using an analytics tool like Socialinsider you'll understand how your engagement rates evolve every day, and what strategy you should adopt for your Instagram captions.


Final thought

If you want to be successful on Instagram, then you need to reconsider your Instagram captions and follow the steps described here to boost your engagement rates.

There are a lot of ideas of high content, make yours to be liked, shared and commented if you want to transform your account - be visible.


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Maria Ganta

Maria Ganta

Marketing Coordinator @ Socialinsider

I love to explore the world and learn new things. I like to consider myself an optimist, a social media addict and a storyteller with a lot of imagination.

Everything You Should Know About Writing Good Instagram Captions
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