4 Tips For Writing Better Instagram Captions That Spark Engagement
With what feels like another feed algorithm update every other day, Instagram can be a tough one to keep up with, and an even tougher nut to crack.
Nevertheless, the demand is there, and there’s no denying it. With over 500 million people using the platform every single day— yes, you did in fact read that correctly— it’s without a doubt the place you want to be if you hope to spark conversation around your brand.
Your visuals are important, it’s true— I mean, duh, it’s what the platform is all about after all— but how you write your captions can have a surprisingly significant impact on your engagement. And, I’ll let you in on a little secret: it doesn’t take hundreds of thousands of followers to boast an impressive engagement rate. In fact, I always say engagement over follower counts. Call me controversial, but…
So, what can you do to write better Instagram captions that actually spark engagement and get people talking about your brand?
Here are four super easy, algorithm-proof tips (with examples included) you’ll want to note down.
Grab the reader’s attention before the fold.
You know that little “…more” button you see in captions as you’re aimlessly scrolling through the feed? The one you have to tap on in order to actually read the full caption? You need to make it your mission to grab your audience’s attention before it hits. Your aim is to give them just enough juicy information or pertinent details to entice them to actually want to keep on reading what you have to say.
Here’s a few examples:
Can I tell you something?
Do you ever struggle with…
Can I get real with you for a minute?
I was just about to sip my morning coffee when…
Giveaway time! Enter to win…
Ask a question.
Arguably one of the easiest ways to entice engagement and discussion in your comments is by asking a question. Don’t be too forceful, or too generic— have it flow naturally. If one thing is for certain, it’s that people love to talk about themselves and share their opinions. So, why not give them the opportunity to do just that? Not only will it boost engagement, but it could give you some useful perspective.
Here’s a few examples:
What do you think?
Share your thoughts?
Would you buy…?
When was the last time you…?
What inspires you?
Make it easy to read.
If your caption is just one big wall of text with one incoherent thought running into another, and another, and another— your audience is going to switch off pretty quickly. Nine times out of ten, people just aren’t going to take the time to read a wall of text— mostly because it actually looks intimidating and feels like a lot of effort that not many people tend to have during their morning scroll through the feed.
So, what can you do to tackle this problem?
You make your captions easy to digest. You make them easy to read, and as far from intimidating as they can possibly be.
Sometimes copying and pasting your caption from the Notes app with the line breaks placed where you want them works a treat— but sometimes it doesn’t. Some like to copy and paste a blank space to create a “fake” line break between paragraphs in their captions.
Personally, I use a handy little app called Instaspacer. All you have to do is open up the app, paste or type your caption into the text box, hit the “copy” button and it automatically opens your Instagram app, allowing you to paste in your perfectly digestible caption. It works like a treat.
At the end of the day, the “best practices” for improving your Instagram engagement ultimately comes down to you and your audience. So, experiment! If you find that short, witty captions aren’t really working for you, why not try writing something a little longer? Why not try telling an in-depth story, or sharing something informative? Get creative and try different things!
Longer captions work great for me and my audience on my business account, but not so much on my personal account. It’s all about trial and error— find out what works for you and what resonates with your audience and soon you’ll see that engagement spark.