Those long/short bodies of texts that follow our posts on Insta. Remember them? Yeah, captions!
We all seem to think they don’t really matter, and as such, we don't pay too much attention to creating them. Everybody just seems to assume that they can drop the first thought that comes to their mind or the first emoji that smiles at them when they’re about to push the “post” button on their Insta app.
No, no, no. You don’t create captions that way! Just the way your photos/videos are supposed to pass a message across to your Instagram followers, your captions also have a role to play. In fact, they’re supposed to intensify the message embodied in your posts, telling a story and adding a little bit of mystery.
I know a lot of us have been doing it wrong. But that has got to change.
In this article, you’ll learn so much about captions and how to do them right! So let’s ride.
The power of captions
A good caption is a powerful asset that can help you communicate the message in your post to people and inspire them to engage with you, ask questions, and get them talking. Sometimes, a good caption can even inspire people to want to know more about your profile. I remember following a certain JOHN GUSTAFSSON (@giggenrosslee) some time ago just because of the choice of words in his captions.
In one of his posts where he was seen popping bottles of champagne into a bathtub, his caption was: "I'm afraid of water, so I only swim in champagne." That line was enough to make me follow his page!
In short, your captions help you tell the story behind your posts.
How long can captions be?
Now to the question that has often polarized opinions in the Instagram world: how long should a caption be? Some Instagrammers believe that a good caption has to be short, concise, and straight-to-the-point. But for others, a good caption is one that clearly defines in detail the theme of a post.
Well, both arguments are right, but in different circumstances! Can you summarize the mystery in your photos in just one word and emoji (quickie format)? If so, then there's no point in telling stories. Are you posting a photo of one of your products? If so, then you may want to try the long-form caption (micro-blog) because you may need to discuss in detail what your product does and why viewers need to try it.
By and large, short captions are often more appealing. But if you have reasons to go for the micro-blog captions, be sure to keep the most important words in the first at the beginning because Instagram cuts off captions in your feed after a few lines.
How to edit your captions?
Strange as this may sound, you can actually edit your captions after posting them. Let's say you've misspelled a word, and you want to correct it, or maybe you've come up with a more exciting caption, and you want to replace the old one with it. Feel free to tap on the "…" at the top right corner of your feed. Click on edit and make your changes. Once done, click on "DONE," and your post will be updated.
How to write a caption that intrigues
Now to the most important part of this post: how to write the best captions. Take your time to read all the six tips we’ll be talking about and apply them the next time you have something to post.
Don’t just jam in the first body of text that comes to your mind into the caption box. Remember, your caption is not the same as the “what’s on your mind?” box of Facebook, where you can just publish your thoughts. It is supposed to reflect the message in your post and get viewers engaged. Someone is supposed to see your caption and feel compelled to interact with your content.
Therefore, always write a list of few ideas for your captions, choose the right hashtags, sit on them a bit, if possible, get a second opinion, and then select the best one.
“Question captions” work magic
You’d be surprised at how responsive people can be to questions that you might think don’t concern them. Just throw it at them with a conversational caption and bang! For example, using captions like “hey folks, what do you think?” and adding a “thinking emoji” on a post about a new product you’re planning to release will definitely send your comment section into a frenzy.
By simply combining the “pointing finger” emoji with the text, “like those pair of sneakers? Cop them in my bio,” you will not only have told viewers about your newest product, but you’ll also be giving them directions (Call to action – CTA).
Invite them to give their thoughts
What about a caption that invites people to share their views regarding your post? Using captions this way can work pretty well for a brand looking to generate engagement. Just make your post and ask your followers to give their opinions.
Oh, let's not forget that you can also use the "@" feature in your captions. When you use this feature, the brand/person you've tagged will receive a notification that they've been tagged in your photo. This can be a great tactic for reaching new audiences and getting the word out about the subject in your post because mentioning others (@ing) in your post can inspire them to repost or share your content to their Insta stories or directly on their feed.
Don’t just make your captions a body of texts and emojis only, add a few hashtags too! Hashtags are great for connecting users who aren’t otherwise connected. As long as your account is public, anyone who searches for any hashtag you’ve mentioned in your caption can find your Instagram post.