How to Write Killer Instagram Captions

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instagram captions tips

While we often think of Instagram as being a visual medium, having the right captions for your audience is hugely important in growing your audience. The right caption can boost your likes, and comments – and engagement is what it’s all about!

Today, we’re bringing you some of our favourite Instagrammers from the HIBS100 community, and thinking about what makes their captions sparkle.

Oh, and we absolutely DON’T mean adding dozens of emojis and hashtags in an attempt to hoodwink people into finding your photos!

Know Your Audience

The most successful Instagram accounts target a specific audience and community – the Instagrammer knows who is following the account, what sort of things they’re likely to be interested in, the sort of things that will make them smile, the foods and hobbies they’re likely to enjoy.

Forever Amber knows her audience is interested in fashion, but also in questions around beauty, self-esteem and confidence – so this caption about comments on her own pale skin will resonate well with Amber’s audience.

Use a Consistent Voice

Along with topics and interests, it’s important to think about having a consistent ‘voice’ in your Instagram captions, just as it’s important on your blog.

A voice embodies the characteristics of your feed – are you snarky and witty? positive and affirming? Friendly and light-hearted?

Lucy over at Capture by Lucy shares images of food, interiors, flowers and more – but her posts often have a chatty, personal story attached about her dog’s nicknames, nursing her Mum, looking after her boys – it makes Lucy’s feed really accessible and feel like chatting to a friend.

Don’t Be Afraid to tell a Story

Most people scroll through their feed quickly – so it’s better for captions to be short rather than long (as a general rule).

But some Instagrammers use their channel to tell stories behind their photos – and this can be really compelling, if the stories are great! In the case of Katie from Mummy, Daddy, Me, you have a beautiful image, but the story adds even more value to the page.

 

We’ve arrived in Los Angeles. 💕💕💕 I’m so excited to be here, in a place that has been a part of the pop culture of my growing up years through films, music and magazines. We arrived earlier today and spent most of the afternoon driving around just looking at different parts of the city without even really getting out the car. I remember people saying to me that you can’t really walk anywhere, that there is no centre as such, and that seems pretty true to us so far. It’s absolutely huge, just ridiculously long street after ridiculously long street, with traffic jams and queues everywhere. We are actually staying in Santa Monica rather than LA as we thought it would be a bit more family friendly, but we are going to go into LA to do all the typical touristy stuff- I want to take a photo with the Hollywood Sign, walk down the walk of fame and perhaps even do one of those cheesy celeb tours if @jonjonellison will let me. 😂 Normally we try and not be touristy and visit places the locals do, but I’m all about the cheese and tourist stuff here. 👍🏻As we were driving along we spotted the most amazing wall. 💕 California Dreaming indeed 💕 I love this photo of my big girl jumping. We are all so excited to be in La La Land. @mummydaddymetravels #visitcalifornia #kidifornia

A post shared by Katie (@mummydaddyme) on

Get to the Point

While bloggers like Katie can engage readers with mini-stories, it’s key to remember that Instagram only displays the first few words of your caption by default – so any key words or important phrases need to be placed here. If you’re going to mention brands or other users, and hashtags, make sure those go AFTER the important stuff.

Here’s a great example from Laura at Cardboard Cities:

 

Use Hashtags Sparingly

Using hashtags can boost engagement on your posts substantially, so don’t forget about them – but don’t use so many that your actual caption gets lost in the crowd.

You can make hashtags less obvious by using a series of line breaks above them – then users won’t see them unless they hit the ‘more’ button on your caption. Or add them to your comments (although recent comments suggest that Instagram is less keen on this and may limit visibility of posts).

Lindy from Squidgyboo uses lots of hashtags in her posts, but leaves a big gap to avoid her captions getting crowded:

 

Ask Questions

It’s a tried and trusted technique – invite engagement by asking your readers for advice, tips, or responses to a question – it can be as simple as, “What are you guys up to this weekend?” 

Here’s Rachel from The Ordinary Lovely asking for opinions on fake greenery:

 

 

What are your favourite tips for Instagram captions? And which accounts inspire you? 

Sally is a journalist and editor based in Lytham, Lancashire. When she isn't blogging at Who's the Mummy, she is generally spending time with her 10-year-old daughter, Flea, or her abominably behaved puppy, Teddy.

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So You Know...

As you've likely heard and seen, there's an increasing focus on the authenticity of follower growth and engagement on social platforms across the Influencer Marketing community. The platforms themselves have taken measures to deter inauthentic activity and brands now more closely scrutinise the audiences of the influencers with whom they are partnering.

The Flea Network has implemented a system that will detect abnormal spikes in following and engagement, and flag these properties. Of course, such spikes can often be attributed to viral posts or high-profile brands that bring greater exposure to some content.

If one of your social accounts is flagged by our system without an obvious reason, we may reach out to you for assistance in understanding it. If we find any influencer has artificially inflated their audience size or engagement using paid acquisition or automated, third-party tools, we will remove them permanently from our influencer community.

Feel free to reach out to us at bloggers@fleaenterprises.com with any questions or comments.

Thank you!

The Flea Network Team

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