Strategy: Improve Your Instagram Captions in 5 Minutes

At Sparkloft, a single Instagram post can easily take a dozen hours, from planning to posting.  With such a visual medium, you might be surprised how much of that time we devote to writing the caption. A team of writers will pass ideas back and forth, often trying out five or ten concepts before settling on the final concept.  Why? Because we have found that terrific text can amplify the response to a post in almost every case.

Here are five quick ways you can craft captions that will compel your followers as much as your photos.

Tell a Story

One of the most important web metrics is Time on Site—how long do users explore your content?  You can apply the same standard to your social audience in order to generate deeper engagement.  Jedediah Jenkins exponentially increases interest in his photographs with must-read stories, and Wired recently debuted a feature-length article available only on Instagram. Followers will be happy not to leave the platform to see your content. 

Or, Keep it Short

It’s the soul of wit, duh. In the above photo, revolve uses a quick joke to turn an everyday bakery shot into a must-like sentiment.  You can also ask a simple question.

Rock Emojis 

They are the bridge between text and images.  Often, they can express the emotional reaction to a photo more effectively than similar text. Compare these two captions: 

“In love with this beautiful burrito.” 
“😍 🌯 🙌”

You might not want to replace all your captions with emojis, but if your message is straightforward, these little pictograms often add particular punch.

Find a Quote

When reflecting on a striking or surprising image, a bit of wisdom from a writer or a leader can give your audience the lens through which to understand your message.  Looking for a good source of quotes?  Try Goodreads, where users have pulled the best quotes out of their favorite books.

Add Hashtags

More than any other social network, hashtags rule Instagram, which prioritizes them over keywords and user names in search and discovery.  Analysis varies on how many you should use (up to 30 are allowed), but you should follow this rule of thumb: Prioritize #us over #me. Find the hashtags that other accounts, particularly your competitors, utilize, and join in on the conversation by including them in your own post. 

We hope these tips help you write something as beautiful as your photos, and don’t forget to follow Sparkloft for more Instagram ideas.

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