Things I Learned – Social Media Series
What is a caption? Basically it is the text that accompanies your image or video on Instagram. There is actually a word limit too – 2,200 words in an Instagram caption. Hootsuite says “A great Instagram caption will add context, show off your brand’s personality, entertain the audience, and/or compel people to take action.”
Tell a story for your Instagram caption.
A story is more than just a sentence or short caption. It is a much longer caption that you can add quotes to, emojis, etc. It could also be a background story about the post. People stop scrolling for a story and spend more time on it, are more likely to interact with it and follow the account. Stories can lead to much higher interaction and engagement which leads to much higher exposure and more people seeing your post. Why does it increase exposure? According to Udemy.com, it increases time on posts, breaking up paragraphs make it less overwhelming for people to read and it boosts trust and affinity.
Ask questions in your Instagram caption.
Questions as a caption get people to engage and give their opinion on something. Again, people are stopping on the post, engaging with it and then interacting with their answer. The most important thing about questions is getting people to comment! This will boost your engagement. Also, don’t complicate it. People will comment if it is easy to respond to, not if it requires too much effort or is confusing. A few ways to ask the questions would be like “Do you agree?” or “1, 2 or 3?” or “What is your favorite flavor?” or even just “Caption this picture.”
A CTA (Call To Action) is also something simple to use as a caption. Use things like “Tag your friends that need this” or “This post is double tap worthy” (which leads to them “liking” the post when they double tap it) or even “Follow us for more posts like these”. Keep in mind, you can also use more than one call to action in your caption. There are a few keys about a CTA as a caption. Obviously get people to comment or like to boost engagement. Also, think about what you like and ask yourself “What would I ‘like’ or tag a friend for?”. Another key is to make it very visible and easy for the viewer to read by using emojis and spacing.
As always with any of your Instagram posts, make sure your captions stay relevant to your brand. Test, test, test! You want to see what works and what does not work. Then repeat the process for what was successful. By creating captions that need a response, you are creating a more interactive and engaging audience. Most importantly – HubSpot says it well – “If you think of the caption on your Instagram posts as an afterthought, you’re losing out on an opportunity to engage and delight your followers in ways you can’t with just a visual.”