Updated: Aug 6
Often times before posting an image on Instagram, we're just so excited to share our new post that we often end up neglecting the caption. This is a huge no-no for anyone looking to grow their Instagram account. In fact, your Instagram captions are almost as important as the image/video itself.
This is because a caption can:
Provide context to the image or video
Display your brand's personality
Entice interaction and increase your engagement
Why is it important for your post to have engagement?
As we all know by now, Instagram changed their posting algorithm long ago, and users are no longer able to see posts on their feed in chronological order. Uploads are now prioritized based on engagement, hashtags, and post times, therefore the more engagement your post has, the more likely it is to reach a higher exposure. With Instagram becoming an oversaturated market for small businesses, it's important for your brand to stand out. The best way to do this is by creating a compelling online presence through posting valuable/shareable content, keeping active on Instagram, engaging consistently, and writing personable, interesting, and enticing captions.
Here is a list of 5 must-have elements to incorporate in your Instagram captions to reach a larger audience:
Ask a Question
Your followers are more likely to comment on your post if you're giving them something to comment about. Be sure to ask questions that persuade your audience to want to participate in the discussion, and not just vague random questions like, "How's your day going?" which users will just scroll right past.
Here are some good question examples to incorporate:
Ask your followers for feedback
Ask yes/no or multiple choice questions
Ask personal questions related to your post (For example, permanent makeup artists can ask their followers, "How long does your makeup routine take you everyday?")
2. Encourage engagement with a call-to-action
For example, "Double-tap if you agree" or "tag a boss babe that you admire."
3. Place the most important words at the beginning of the caption
Captions cut off in a user's feed after a few lines of text, so you need to convey your key point, question, or call-to-action right away. This optimally engages your audience and gives them incentive to want to tap "More" to see what else you have to say!
4. Use Emojis To Showcase Your Personality
The animated icons can help draw the reader's eye in are also a great way to add a bit of personality to your brand. They are also a great way to break up long paragraphs, and can make your business come off as more approachable and personable.
5. Include Relevant Hashtags In Your Post
Engagement helps you stay relevant with your current followers, but hashtags are the secret to help increase your reach!
We will dive more into hashtags in another post, but for now, let's touch on the basics:
Studies have shown that posts what at least one hashtag will receive more engagement and reach than a post without any hashtags. Hashtags increase reach dramatically now that Instagram users are able to follow a specific hashtag, the proper use of incorporating them in your posts can dramatically increase your online exposure. This is because by using said specific hashtags in your post, you will reach both users who follow the hashtag and users who follow you.
Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags, so take advantage of this growth tool by implementing the important hashtags in either the end of the caption or in your comments.
Try to pick hashtags with posts between 5K - 250K. Choosing tags with too many posts will cause your upload to get lost in the algorithm because the tag is too overpopulated, and tags with little to no posts will not receive a decent amount of exposure.
What are some ways you optimize your caption? Did we miss any key elements? Let's chat about it in the comments below!