In the height of the digital age, it is imperative to represent your brand on social media. According to Instagram itself, 80% of its astonishing 1 billion users follow a business account! Many brands are already aware of the power of social media and are utilizing their channels to increase brand awareness, promote products, and find new audiences. It can be a challenge to stand out among the thousands of brands fighting for top spots in the infamous Instagram algorithm. While Instagram is dominated by photo and video visuals, your well-written Instagram captions will actually be the key to follower retention and higher engagement.
Why Do Instagram Captions Matter?
Although nobody quite knows how it works, the Instagram algorithm determines which posts appear on a user’s feed based on their relevancy. Engagement is largely thought of as the determinant of relevancy. Stunning photos will surely get their fair share of likes and heart eyes emoji comments, but posts with creative captions will encourage users to spend more time on your post, leave more meaningful comments, and engage with each other.
Captions that are interesting, informative, and entertaining will also help build a relationship with your audience and improve your follower retention rate.
Determine Your Brand Voice
Before you start drafting up captions for the next 50 posts, make sure you nail down your brand voice. Brand voice is the personality of your brand comprised of your dialect, tone, and image. Keeping a consistent brand voice throughout your social media captions will provide a blueprint for writing future captions and help you increase your brand authority.
Take a little trip down memory lane, to the elementary Language Arts class. Attention grabbers are bits of interesting information that draw in your audience, and they work for captions too! Instagram captions only display the first 3-4 lines of text unless the user clicks “more”. Put the most relevant information at the beginning of your captions to get people to read the rest.
Quality over Length
While your captions can be up to 2,200 characters, The Social Report recommends keeping them around 125 characters. Not every caption can be so brief, but in general, it is beneficial to be concise and keep captions short.
Provide Value with Instagram Captions
Don’t just fill the space with a caption, produce a message that adds value to the post. Share information your audience couldn’t just gather from the image, like a tip on how to use your products, a short anecdote related to the photo, or some entertainment with cleverly-worded humor. Give your audience a reason to read your captions and continue coming back to your page.
Include a Clear Call to Action
Your captions are a free way to ask your audience to do something. Remember, not everyone who sees your post is following you. Simply asking users to like the photo or follow your page can be a productive CTA. You can also ask them to click the link in your bio (the only clickable link on your Instagram), to answer a question, or to purchase your products.
Beware of sounding overly spammy and constantly asking people to buy buy buy, you aren’t NSYNC after all. Encouraging your audience to “give this post a like if you can’t wait for summer too” is much more genuine and engaging than just demanding they purchase your products or services. Make sure your CTA is connected with the content in your post, and don’t always use the same one.
Spice it Up
Adding emojis is a fun way to display your brand personality and create visually appealing captions. Use emojis that tie in with the post’s content, or add a few emojis that your brand consistently uses as part of its brand voice. Less is more here, stick to only a few relevant emojis to liven up the caption.
Hashtags deserve their own post, but as a quick synopsis, they are very important for increasing your engagement. According to Later, hashtags are still one of the best ways to get discovered by new audiences on Instagram. You can add extremely relevant hashtags within your caption, but generally, it is best to include your hashtags at the end of your caption or in a comment. Use hashtags that are applicable and unique, but still have a following. Develop some brand-specific hashtags to include in all of your posts as well. If other users post about your brand, they may notice these hashtags and include them in their posts as well.
Instagram allows you to tag a location in your post, including the location of a business. When it applies, you can tag your business, but you can also tag the location the photo was taken. Fourth Source reveals that posts tagged with a location receive a whopping 79% more engagement.
Pairing high- quality Instagram captions with aesthetic photos will engage your audience, increase your follower retention, and allow you to establish brand identity in a competitive space. If you want to learn more about how to best utilize social media for your business, visit our blog or reach out to us for more tips!