Pretty photos will only get you so far. If you’re serious about beating the algorithm, good Instagram captions are vital.
But, we know writing captions for Instagram doesn’t come easily to everyone. In the past, perhaps (caption) writer’s block even kept you from posting.
Those days are over.
Say goodbye to cryptic Drake lyrics and *gasp* emoji-only captions. Get ready to kill the Insta game with our (way helpful) tips for writing good Instagram captions .
Why Good Instagram Captions Matter
Before we dive into the tips, let’s be clear about why good Instagram captions are so important.
Every caption is an opportunity to start a conversation with your followers.
We know you’re more than just your photos. Share your stories, thoughts and feelings in your Instagram captions.
Take advantage of this chance to expand on your personal brand. Use your words, and tell your audience who’s behind the beautiful images they love.
One of our favorite things about social media is building a community. Finding our people.
The goal is to write good Instagram captions that will compel people to engage with you. That means actually leaving a comment.
We’re not the only ones who value engagement.
The new Instagram algorithm favors posts that receive a lot of engagement.
When your followers like and comment on your post, it shows Instagram you have something people really dig. The algorithm will then show your post to more people.
By taking the time to write good Instagram captions, you can’t lose.
Not only are you expanding your personal brand and building community among your current followers, but you’re also increasing your chances of reaching new people.
Good Instagram Captions Tip #1: Set Aside Time To Write (And Rewrite)
You have a great picture and are so totally ready to hit post, but ugh, that pesky caption.
At one time or another, we’ve all been guilty of letting our captions be an afterthought.
But, don’t wait until the last minute to write your captions for Instagram! Your stressed work is never your best work.
We’ve already talked about why good Instagram captions matter. Since the quality of your caption can make or break your post, you need to take writing them seriously.
Just like your photos, we recommend planning out your captions ahead of time. Get yourself into a create head space, and knock out a few in one sitting.
Make A List: Because you never know when inspiration will strike, keep a running list of potential caption ideas in the notes app of your phone. These will come in handy later when you sit down to write.
Good Instagram Captions Tip #2: Show Off Your Personality
Can well all just agree we’ve had enough with the song lyrics and inspirational quotes?
Don’t use someone else’s words to tell your story. We want to hear what you have to say.
Pictures aren’t always worth 1,000 words. If you’re going to establish real connections with your followers, images alone aren’t going to cut it.
A great place to start writing good Instagram captions is sharing what you’re passionate about.
Whether your life goal is to end world hunger or you’re just trying to make it home to snuggle with your puppy, write about what matters to you.
Maybe you think the things you like are too small or too mundane for anyone else to possibly care about.
But, we promise, those seemingly not-so-special details are what make you special. You want your audience to be able to relate to you.
Write Like You Talk: Helene Sula does a great job of chatting her followers, not lecturing them. To keep your tone conversational like Helene, read your caption out loud before you hit post. If a friend or significant other is around to lend their ear, ask them if you sound like you.
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Raise your hand if you’re sick of me looking longingly over cliffs at beaches 🙋🏼♀️🤦🏼♀️Can’t help it y’all. Adding Lagos to my list of fav beaches: beautiful water, cool rock formations, super soft sand, and great beach bars near by that serve buy one get one free frozen daiquiris. Just saying. #helenemademeportugal
Good Instagram Captions Tip #3: Remind People Who You Are
Because of the algorithm (and the fact that most people aren’t glued to their phones 24/7), your followers are most likely not seeing every single one of your posts.
Rather than assuming they have the details of your life memorized, provide context.
Put yourself in your audience’s shoes. What do they need to know so your post makes sense?
Introduce the people in your photo. Remind your audience what you do for work. Tell them where you’re from.
While you don’t need to recap your entire life story every time you write captions for Instagram, we recommend reintroducing yourself from time to time.
Fun Caption Prompt: Give your followers a behind-the-scenes peek. Sure, your photo is beautiful, but is there more to the story? Tell them what was going on just outside the frame. Maybe something really funny popped into your head just as the picture was snapped. Whatever it is, let your followers in on the secret!
Good Instagram Captions Tip #4: Experiment With Different Lengths And Styles
It’s time for some real talk.
We know some of you are looking for a step-by-step guide for how to write the *perfect* Instagram caption. But, the truth is there isn’t a recipe or formula.
Meaningful, engaging captions come in all different shapes and sizes.
Part of the fun of Instagram is discovering and developing your own style. Remember what we said about using Instagram filters? There are no hard and fast rules.
Don’t be afraid to try new things.
Today, go for short and sweet. Tomorrow, something longer and more in-depth.
You are not one-dimensional, so your Instagram captions shouldn’t be either.
Try your hand at writing funny Instagram captions. Then, mix it up with something vulnerable or inspirational.
As your experimenting, keep an eye on which captions your followers tend to engage with the most.
Lean, Clean Captions: To keep your captions from looking too long and spammy, place your hashtags in the first comment on your photo. If you want to hide the hashtags so your audience only see this […], add five dots, dashes or asterisks each on a separate line before pasting the hashtags.
Good Instagram Captions Tip #5: Invite Your Audience To Engage
Engagement isn’t a one way street.
If you want to establish a connection with your audience, then you better be ready to make the first move.
That means having a call-to-action.
Ask your followers to do something!
Maybe you need recommendations for your next Netflix binge or want them to click the link in your bio to read your latest blog post.
You could have them tag a friend they think would laugh at your funny Instagram captions.
We love asking our followers to answer a question. Something that will require more than a yes or no answer like:
- What goal are you working toward right now?
- Are you a coffee drinker or a tea drinker?
- What is your first thought when you leave the office on Friday?
- If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Asking a question is a great way to get the conversation started and show your followers you’re interested in what they have to say!
Jenna Kutcher asked her followers to share something they’re thankful for.
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Sunday gratitude sesh, READY? GO! 🙌🏻 Thankful for a husband to go on road trips with, friends who host us, cherry ice cream flavors, air conditioning, body pillows, family group texts, meeting y’all in real life, legs that can carry me, a moving babe in my tummy, sports bras, the ability to work from anywhere, a hubby I can toot in front of and a good nights rest! ✨ What are you thankful for? Seriously! Tell me below. Let’s share in gratitude!
Food For Thought: Each time you post on Instagram, you have two opportunities to engage your audience. The first is obvious: your image. If you didn’t draw them in with your photo though, you still have a chance with your caption. Even just an okay picture can get lots of likes and comments if paired with a strong, thoughtful caption.
Good Instagram Captions Tip #6: Don’t Just Post To Post
Every time you sit down to write your Instagram captions, there are a few questions you should be asking yourself:
- What message do I want to get across?
- Is my business or brand better off for having posted this?
- Are my followers better for having read this?
If prefer the tough love approach, here’s what those questions basically boil down to:
- Why does this matter?
- Why should anyone care?
Good Instagram captions are written with intention and purpose.
Before you can tell meaningful stories and cultivate genuine connections, you need to answer your “whys.”
Not only will doing so make writing good Instagram captions easier, but asking yourself these questions will also give consistency and cohesiveness to your overall message.
Take Your Gram Game To The Next Level
With practice and time, we promise you’ll get better (and feel more comfortable) writing captions for Instagram. Don’t stress out too much, and remember to have fun with it!
So you can spend more time creating awesome content, Upleap provides dedicated account managers who will grow your Instagram with organic followers.
You’ve put in the work writing quality Instagram captions. Now, let Upleap help connect you with followers who will engage with them.
Check out our no-commitment free trial, and learn how you can get more Instagram followers with us!