Trying to stand out in the hectic, jam-packed world of Instagram isn’t an easy task. You can create amazing videos or images, but without the right caption, your content could be missed completely.
According to a study by Microsoft, our attention span lasts on average, 8 seconds (that’s less than a goldfish!)
On Instagram if you don’t grab your audience’s attention in the first few seconds of them viewing your post, you’ve lost them! A good caption will not only help you reach more people but it should also grab (and keep) their attention. Here are 5 tips that will help you create a cracking Instagram caption!
1. Don’t leave the best till last!
Although Instagram gives you the freedom to write as much as you need to in your caption (2,200 characters to be precise), only the first 125 characters can be seen before your audience has to click ‘more’ to reveal the rest.
You want to catch people’s attention quickly on Instagram. By putting your most important points in the first 125 characters, you are showing your message to everyone who sees the post, even the most passive scrollers. The example above shows how Missguided have done this. The key information is the competition, it grabs the attention of their audience straight away and encourages them to click the post to reveal how to enter the competition.
2. Hashtags, Hashtags, Hashtags
What’s the point in creating an amazing Instagram post if no one is going to see it? By using relevant hashtags on your post you are making it easier for your post to be seen by thousands of interested people.
Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags on a single post, but in order to avoid your post looking cluttered and unprofessional, stick to around 5 in the caption. You can always post a comment under your post with more hashtags (just like Casetify has done below) but in your main caption, it’s better to choose quality over quantity!
There are a number of tools online that can help you select relevant hashtags for your business. It’s also good practice to pay attention to what hashtags your competitors are using. It’s best to select a couple of broader, more popular terms that will reach a large audience alongside some niche terms that will help to reach a smaller but more targeted audience.
3. Ask the audience
The clue is in the name, social media posts should be social. Encouraging conversation and engagement on a post is a great way to not only get to know your audience, but Instagram’s algorithm bumps up posts from accounts that a user already interacts with meaning your posts will be shown more frequently. Win-Win!
So, ask questions, ask for opinions and get the conversation flowing. Featuring a call to action, whether its “book now” “tell us below” or “tag a friend” will be sure to drive post engagement and allow your followers to connect and form a strong relationship with your business.
4. Tone of voice
Instagram is a fantastic tool to visually show what your business is all about. Consistency is key with any Instagram profile. Find an aesthetic and a tone of voice for your brand and stick to it. Find your target audience and think about how you want your account to feel. Do you want to be informative, warm and friendly, funny or serious?
Above are three examples of brands that use tone of voice as a tool to effectively attract their target audience. Lazy Oaf use a comedic, light-hearted approach to their captions, often relating to current social media trends or puns which land well with their young followers. Calm, as expected, uses a calm tone of voice, they post inspirational quotes and use a soothing tone. Rat and Boa is one of my favourite examples of brands that use tone of voice well. They create seductive, dreamlike imagery in their captions, both on their website and on their social media. This draws the audience in and grabs their attention.
A strong, consistent tone of voice is essential for creating a strong brand on Instagram and connecting with your audience. It’s something that your followers can recognise and want to engage with. Have a look around at your competitors and see what kind of tone of voice they use and how it lands with their audience.
5. Don’t waffle
The most important thing to remember when posting on Instagram is to make sure your post has a purpose! Don’t just post for posting sake, make sure your content poses value to your audience. Whether you’re promoting your product, answering a question or simply providing entertainment for your followers, make sure you are concise when doing so. You want your audience to engage with your posts, not scroll past them because they’re not interesting enough.
The main thing to keep in mind when writing your captions is your audience. Understanding your audience is key to your business’ social media success. Keep it social, the more you talk to your audience, the easier it will be to create captions they will love.