With it’s filters, videos, man crush Mondays and selfies, Instagram is first and foremost a visual platform —but that doesn’t mean you should skimp on text.
Captions are important, but a good Instagram caption is hard to find.Instagram currently limits its users to captions of a whopping 2,200 total characters.
This large allowance should be a huge hint towards how much importance Instagram places on photo captions.
A well-worded description can take your photo from simply engaging to truly captivating.
Take this Nike post for example – the picture is breathtaking, but the caption tells the real message.
When writing captions, choose a tone that aligns with your brand. Are you high-class?
Use sophisticated grammar.
Or, are you a home-grown company with a spunky attitude?
Think about what voice will resonate most with your intended audience and what best fits your product or service.
Starbucks and Ben & Jerry’s are two companies that have built a solid, slightly sarcastic tone throughout their social media posts, and fans are definitely responding.
Whatever voice you choose, be consistent with it so you don’t confuse your followers.
In addition, always remember to check for misspelling and grammar errors!
Unless you’re going for a very…um…distinct Instagram presence, correct spelling and syntax will give followers more confidence in your brand as a whole.
Another feature to consider adding to your captions are emojis.
Emojis give you the opportunity to insert a little fun into your text as well as effectively convey any emotions related to your message.
Do emojis fit in with the voice you’ve chosen for your Instagram account?
Will you use them jokingly or genuinely; sparingly or generously?
The following example chose to include a healthy sprinkling of emojis that mimic the actual words of the caption.
Many companies on Instagram assume that the shorter their captions, the better.
Although this may seem more visually pleasing, there are actually no statistics to support this myth.
The average Instagram caption is 138 characters long, according to the 2014 Simply Measured Q3 Instagram Study.
This study actually assured, “There is no statistically significant correlation between caption length and engagement.”
That’s right, feel free to use as many of those 2,200 characters as you want – just make sure it’s effective.The same study also noted that Instagram posts including at least one hashtag had about a 12.6% higher engagement rate than those without any hashtags.
With many Instagram accounts in the habit of overusing hashtags, this statistic shouldn’t come as a big surprise. Instagram actually limits you to a maximum of 30 hashtags per post – but that doesn’t mean you need all 30.
Choose wisely, and only use hashtags that are relevant to your content as well as popular.
But what if you don’t want to look spammy, learn how to hide your hashtags in all your posts.
This way the hashtags are still connected to your post but don’t muddy up your pristine caption.
Also in this example, notice how the caption mentions another Instagram account.
“On average, posts that include another user handle in the caption net 56% more engagement,” the Simply Measures study found.
That’s a lot of engagement – and you want it!
Mentioning other Instagram handles can be used to cross-promote business partners or help you connect with highly active followers.
Most important when captioning your Instagram posts is to put some sincere thought into it.
Just as it can take multiple snapshots to get the perfect photo, it may take several tries before crafting the ideal description.
Your high quality photos are worthy of a high quality caption!