Instagram’s new algorithm favors posts with high engagement, determined in the first two minutes from posting. That means it’s all the more important for marketers to grab followers’ attention right off the bat. Perhaps equally as important as a great photo is a killer caption.
In an article for Instagram marketing platform Later, Taylor Loren writes the Ultimate Guide to Writing Good Instagram Captions. We’ve boiled it down to these seven easy steps:
- Schedule your Instagram posts: Crafting captions ahead of time allows you to write, edit and review them in advance. Later’s Instagram schedulers allow you to prep photos and captions days or weeks before they go live.
- Create a call-to-action: Like any good marketing campaign, it’s important that Instagram posts include a call-to-action (i.e. engagement). For example, ask followers to click your link in bio, answer a question, tag a friend or share using your branded hashtag. Loren also notes to front-load your caption with the call-to-action, rather than mentioning at the end where it might be hidden behind the “more” word.
- Use a consistent voice: Consistency is key. Your voice and tone (casual, playful, text-speak), should be consistent across posts and marketing channels. Create a voice that resonates with your target audience.
- Use emojis: Emojis add flavor and personality to your posts. Add at the beginning, end or both, or use emojis to replace entire words. Who doesn’t love a good kissy face?
- Add mentions: Anytime you post a photo of another person or brand, tag them! It comes down to good-old cross promotion, and chances are, if you’re interested in this person’s content, your readers will be too!
- Include (relevant) hashtags: Loren says that in order to be successful with hashtags, users must be strategic. While basic words like #love or #happy might get a few more likes, they don’t foster meaningful growth long-term. Instead, focus on hashtags that are relevant to your community—like #accessoriesmag, of course! Also, include any branded hashtags that will encourage followers to include on their own posts.
- Keep it clean: If you want to use a lot of hashtags, a smart way to keep the post neat is to add them in a comment after the photo. Claiming the first comment, Loren says, will keep the caption clear and concise and helps readers focus on the message and not a cluster of hashtags.