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  • Kanyla Wilson

Get Your Instagram Cooking: A Recipe for the Perfect Instagram Caption

Are you looking to grow your Instagram? You need a winning Instagram caption content strategy that encourages engagements and conversions. The tips below can help take some of the anxiety out of Instagram caption writing and help you find the right words to enhance your post.


Over one billion users visit the platform each month, so the app is full of rich potential for businesses and brands looking to grow their presence. Instagram is a visually focused platform, and while careful planning is necessary to develop a strategy for a visually pleasing page that sparks the interest of your target audience, the captions you write for your posts are just as important as the image. Instagram captions add layers to your images. They increase the value of your post and spur your audience to action. As with any content strategy, you want your Instagram captions to make a connection with your audience and invite them to engage with your brand.


Prep


You want to ask yourself four questions when you prepare to write your Instagram caption:

How will this caption relate to the image?


You want your picture and caption to have harmony. When someone pauses their scrolling to look at your image, keep them intrigued by continuing the story in the caption. Your caption should serve triple duty and relate to the image, your brand, and your audience.


What will be the call-to-action?


What do you want your audience to do after they read your caption? Do you want to drive traffic to your Instagram stories or IGTV? Do you want them to leave Instagram through a link in your bio? Do you want them to comment or tag someone? You should have a call-to-action in every caption, but don’t repeatedly direct your audience to links in your bio every time you post. Mix it up by creating an Instagram content calendar that uses a different call-to-action on each post.


What hashtags will I use?


Every solid Instagram content strategy rests on a foundation of extensive hashtag research. You should have a canon of brand-specific hashtags ready for use with every post. Instagram allows for 30 hashtags per post, so test different hashtags until you find the combination that delivers the reach you want.


What is the major takeaway of this message?


This question will help you narrow the focus of your caption and send a clear message to your audience.

Serving Size


I hardly ever write my captions on the Instagram platform; I prepare them on a notes app or a word document and copy/paste. This method gives me a chance to proofread and edit the caption to perfection and control the length of the message. On Instagram, 125 characters of your caption are visible on the feed before cutting off your message with a “…more” tag. It’s important to include the most important and relevant part of your caption in these first 125 characters so users can see it while scrolling. Pretend you’re a newspaper editor and put the biggest story above the fold, in those 125 characters you need to convince your audience the post is valuable and worth pausing to read more.


The total character limit for an Instagram post is 2,200 characters but stay away from long Instagram posts. You want a parred down, easy to read caption broken into short paragraphs. If you find you have more to say than a few lines, write a blog, and use a highlight quote as a caption; then direct readers to transfer to your blog to read more.

Ingredients


The tone of your caption should be consistent with your brand voice, and this is easy to achieve with strategic social media content planning.


Add a generous splash of personality and liven up your caption with emojis and social media acronyms to catch the eye of your readers. Think about your target audience and speak naturally. Don’t feel pressured to overdo it with slang; if it feels unnatural to you, your readers will be able to tell.


Stir in your call-to-action and get into the habit of including one for on-app and one for off-app. Invite users to comment, tag their friends, and visit your Instagram stories and also inform them of value they can find on your blog, landing page or site by following the link in your bio.


Garnish


Include comment responses in your Instagram caption content plan. Think about how users will interact with your brand in the comments and get proactive about how you plan to respond. These comment conversations are highly important because they give users an idea of what it’s like to interact with your brand. Proactive planning will help you craft responses that are consistent with your brand voice and service standards. Encourage more engagement in your responses with questions and more calls-to-action if possible. You want to establish a responsive reputation for your brand with your comment activity, so don’t be afraid to jump in a talk with your audience.

A dedicated social media copywriter can help you hit the bullseye with every Instagram caption. If you would like to talk more about building your social media content strategy, contact me here and let’s get started.